Nature is indeed incredibly beautiful, amazing, and endearing. It can also be destructive, terrifying and deadly. The water that sustains us can also drown us; the plants and animals that we need for nourishment can be the source of our demise. Nature isn’t just roses, puffy white clouds, and the doe wandering the forest. It’s also the thorns, the tornadoes, and the wolf stalking its prey.
Denying that Nature can be a simultaneously beautiful and bloody bitch does not change the reality of the matter. For those of us who choose to follow an earth- or nature-based path, there will be some point in our lives when we encounter an aspect of nature that makes us want to run screaming in the other direction. For me, this usually happens when a fanged, eight-legged beastie crosses my path unexpectedly… and if said beastie is of the larger variety, I do literally scream and run away. And yes, I will have nightmares just because I’ve allowed my thoughts to wander in that general direction.
My point, which nearly got lost in an arachnophobic moment, is this: Nature isn’t always going to make us happy or comfortable. Sometimes it’s going to hand us things that are, at best, incredibly unpleasant, and at worst, deadly. As practitioners of nature religions, how do we handle this dichotomy? Do we deny or ignore those aspects that are unpleasant or uncomfortable? Do we embrace all sides of Nature equally without applying our own terms of judgement of what is good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant? Do we find some middle ground that allows us to acknowledge and learn from that which we find distasteful or distressing?
For me, I think middle ground is important… in fact, the more middle ground the better in the case of arachnids. 🙂