Thursday, March 28, 2013

Manicured Park Or Wilderness

I used to jog in a large well manicured park a stone's throw from my house. The grass was neatly trimmed. Precisely spaced apple trees lined the pathway. There was a water fountain, a rose garden, an artificial waterfall, a pond, a gazebo. It was a dream park.

Occasionally, I would jog in the nature trail a little further away. Slowly it dawned to me that the nature trail had such a different quality to it. What was it about the nature trail? Was it the sound of the water in the meandering stream? Was it the rustling of the leaves on the mature trees?

The abundance of life in the wilderness struck me! The sound of the crickets, snails everywhere, fungi, red and black caterpillars crawling slowly, dragonflies, butterflies and the bees, the rabbits safe behind the dense growth of trees, the squirrels far up on the trees, birds of all kinds, small slithery snakes, and raccoons.

I realized that a park simply lacks the community required to sustain life. The wilderness provides food and a safe, sheltered environment for just about every form of life. A landscaped park is a sub-standard version of the wilderness. Needless to say, I haven't felt the urge to visit the park very often.

It reminded me of what Thoreau said "In wildness is the preservation of the world."

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