Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Nature Writing Prompt

In many Eastern traditions, the world of nature is considered to be maya, or illusion, while in other Eastern and Global South traditions, nature is mother. Western tradition has often teetered between the assertion that nature is God’s good creation and that it has been “frustrated” by human sin. In more recent times, the world around us has been regarded as the expression of random selection and chance. Explore some aspect of nature (as in the non-human world) and write a short piece (fiction, poem, mini-essay) in which your descriptions reflect and reveal your philosophical understanding of nature..."without actually stating directly what your philosophical position is."

Tonight we ate our first family dinner in our new home. This has been Tony's home for several years, and after the wedding when he lived with us it was the cat's home for a while.

Can you imagine - the cat had an entire house to himself?

I think it was Tony's man cave for a time; probably a good thing to have for a guy in his 50's who marries a woman with five loud, energetic and talkative kids.

Then Lisa lived here for a time, and filled the place with peace.

And now we're here.

At the table we passed the meat, the rice, the gravy and squash. Banter back and forth was a little less than gracious tonight, with some of the stress of transition evident in the dialogue. We are still in a place that doesn't quite fit us, all the loud and boisterous and messy parts. We can't find our drinking glasses. We have too many forks. There are no lids for the pots.

Something caught my eye, and I looked out the window and caught my breath. From the table, I saw it.


This was our home, our property, our space. Our trees, out back, where we have already held a birthday party and a graduation party. Great, glorious old trees wrap a canopy over a picnic table and a blue beach table built by my dad.

The house is fine here; it's bones are good. We'll add on and we will fit better.

But the land, the nature - that is what calls to me. There is something about this place that holds the echo of eras gone by. From Lisa's most recent roots to those that go back much further. The ground, the grass, the foliage, the ancient trees - they hold some secret that I would be well to embrace.

They live; they have grown, they have endured for a generation (or two). And one day, they will pass away.

But in these days - and for my family, here and now - they are our shelter. This is our home. We shall put down roots, we shall be watered, we shall not be moved.

We are home.

Yeah, more of our Write, Eat, Post, Bathe stuff. We're cool like that, into nature and all.


annie said...

I enjoyed reading this, Beth! It made me think of how I feel about the land up where my grandparents lived.

spookyrach said...

This is great. Nice that your recognize that it will take time to fit all those bits and pieces into place. Giving yourself time to fit is a cool thing.

Cyn Huddleston said...

I think you killed two birds with one stone. This qualifies as writing about what delights you. And I am sure you thought about what annoys you while moving. You are all caught up and right at home. :)

Lori said...

That was so beautiful Beth. Home. What a lovely word.
So filled with meaning.