The earth is quite a nice place, but it can also cause us grief.
A few weeks ago in church we sang “For the Beauty of the Earth” and it got me thinking. The earth is a pretty wonderful place, at least what I’ve seen of it.
Laying on the hood of a car at -40 in Canada watching the most beautiful display of the Northern Lights. Seeing a couple of tiny blue flowers in the midst of a desolate plain. Watching the frothy surf roll in from a South Carolina lighthouse. The light blue waters of the Caribbean. The stunning scene looking across Lake Louise to the snow spotted mountains of the Canadian Rockies…I’ve gotta stop, cause I could go on for quite a while.
When I think about it, there is some sort of beauty in just about every place I’ve ever seen. With all the scenery of the outdoors to look at sometimes it mesmerizes us. We can become lost in the view, somehow it doesn’t seem fully real, and yet it is.
The Problem –
The world is at the same time both rich in its views and smells, and also cruel and unmerciful in its dispatch of those who are careless. We are lured like an insect to a Venus Fly-Trap, enjoying every moment until it’s too late, and snap we are caught.
Many times we just forget caution when we get out exploring, everything seems so wonderful, that it never occurs to us that danger lay all about us.
It can be a hike on a nice sunny day up into the mountains where weather can change in a moment, and we find ourselves not properly clothed.
We can be having a blast way back in the sticks on a rough road, when it all changes with a punctured gas tank, now what was a few hours of fun could be days of walking.
The Solution –
When I was a kid learning to drive on the highway, my dad would always ask questions, “what if that car up ahead came into your lane, what would you do?” There were always what if questions. He was trying to teach me to not only enjoy the drive, but be aware of any dangers and try to decide ahead of time what to do.
I suppose I learned a little from those lessons, I have avoided many dangers in my life. I find myself sub-conscously asking myself, “would that make a good shelter if I were stranded here?” Or, “If the truck broke down right here in the middle of nowhere, what would I do tonight?”
We should not fear the wilderness, but with the main focus of our vision see the beauty, and smell all the natural scents with our noses; and at the same time with our peripheral vision, be looking for shelter, or signs of danger. We should always have a little thought running in the background, analyzing our situation and options. It’s all part of what they call “situational awareness,” it’s a way of both enjoying the surroundings and preparing for anything that might threaten us.
We might just call it “Preparedness on the go.” So yes the Earth is indeed beautiful and we can safely get out in it and return, if we keep our wits about us.
Remember, Simplify Survival, observe, plan, and have a great day!!
Until next time – Perry Peacock