Humans and nature
My final post from my recent Japan vacation… For this entry, I wanted to share a few photos and observations on the balance between humans and nature.
In most cities, what we typically tend to see is both a conscious and unconscious demonstration of the power that humans wield over nature. Hundreds of thousands of acres of forests cleared, thousands of miles of concrete paved, and a billion tons of concrete poured. Some of the more forward thinking cities manage to preserve a few natural areas and these carved-out oases often become tourist meccas.
When humans and nature manage to co-exist peacefully side-by-side, it’s often nature supporting humans. A river provides fresh water, a lake provides fish, grass areas provide space for recreation, forests provide fuel and so on. However, when standing in Kenroku-en, Kanazawa’s famous Japanese garden, I saw this tree:
I was mesmerized. The snaking branches felt dynamic and alive. I could have stared at this tree for a hundred years and never tired of its beauty. One of the things I found particularly compelling was the fact that all of its branches, which had spread far out from its trunk, were attached to poles which provided support. While walking around the gardens, I realized that what appealed to me so much about this was that it was a beautiful example of humans supporting nature. We do see many examples of man supporting nature in the world — national parks, wildlife preserves, etc — but the very literal example on display at Kenroku-en hit home to me in a very spiritual way.
I found other examples of humans and nature living alongside — all included below.
That wraps up my posts & photos from our recent trip. This was an important vacation for me — the first time I can really remember where I didn’t have to rush back for anything in particular and the extra freedom allowed me to really to be present with myself and with our surroundings. I definitely felt different and in a small way, I think it showed in the photos I took and what I was drawn to.