Friday, July 31, 2015

Nature Heals

Nature heals. That two word sentence, combining as it does one of the English language’s most complex words with one of its most soothing, unites an antique intuition and an emerging science, draws upon a body of thought distilled by the Romantics and which remains compelling to contemporary environmental thinkers, is nowhere better explicated than in two classic children’s stories: Heidi by Johanna Spyri (1827 - 1901), and The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849 –1924). Is it coincidental that they are both female writers? I suspect not.

1 comment:

  1. Heard on radio a few years back a story of mining lake that was toxic, over which migratory birds flew and landed, upon which their bacteria were distributed and slowly healed (detoxified) the lake. The birds migrated further on, none the wiser. Is this coincidental? Or is this a system with feedback mechanisms we can't even begin to appreciate? Where organisms are virtual pawns?

    I gather you don't think "Nature Heals" is one of the 10 things wrong, but that it is a sort of romantic idea that is even applicable today. No doubt it is embodied in indigenous cultures.

    But you certainly are correct about the word Nature being complex. For example we must "fight against Nature" being e.g. bushfires, which are a physical process. Or Nature is seen as the Universe. The whole physical universe and its processes get bundled together with the natural biological world, and the differences get lost. So it's humans v. Nature, whatever that is.

    Could this kind of confused thinking be why the planet is in so much trouble because of us? Could we be acting against a system which has feedbacks to repair and regenerate itself? Are we about to feel that feedback due to climate change as the biosphere tries to repair the damage?