This book should be divided into ten different books. It has so much information, It’s like I was reading a text book, because, of course, it is the history of nature! Nature, just like humans, has a history of itself (p. 2). This book made me realize how much knowledge and sense of establishment people have gained from nature. It has always been something I have known, but haven’t taken much time to read and think about how everything revolves around nature and the wilderness. It seems like such a basic idea, but I guess in today’s society we just take it for granted that land will always be available for us to use, buy, sell, grow crops on, abuse with industrial sludge, and live on. The historical definitions of nature include: a physical place; collective phenomena of world and universe; as an essence, quality, principle; inspiration; and conceptual opposite of nature. I had never though of breaking it down this way. This is when I realized how nature has had an influence on how we perceive and live in the world. I just thought of it as a place of peace and detoxification of city life, yet there is so much history to it.
Going along with The Meadowlands concept, I read an articla called, People Have Forgotten What Nature Is. And I agree, we have. Nature is all around us and has so much history to one area–its everywhere. People need to accept it and get back in touch with it or else we will lose all senses of even the slightest concept of wilderness or nature because we only think of it as a far off idyllic place we will never get to.
“The internal dynamic is working to restore a wild condition- not a pleasing prospect for most visitors (p.8).” This makes me laugh and reminds me of Gary Larson’s, “There’s a Hair in my Dirt.” The main character, Harriet, walks along her woodland trail one morning and goos and gushes over the “cute” creatures that came to entertain her along her walk. She is so awed by the magic of nature, when really, all the animals were actually being the aggressive animals they are. People think that nature is just gushing with beautifulness all for our entertainment- ha! Yes, I know people like this. Nature is wild. It doesn’t behave like the dolphins do at Sea World when they jump out of the water and splash us for entertainment. Nature and all the living things in it, do what they need to survive, and Coates states, ” Self interest was natures most sacred law (p83).” I appreciate nature for this reason. Some use Gods to appreciate it such as Greek Mythology (Zeus, Hades, Poseidon ect.). And others use Christianity and other religions. The best way I read the definition of wilderness in these chapters was, “Wilderness is a quality of this divine other. Wilderness is not ‘ours’ indeed, it is the one thing that can never be ours. An entity with the quality of wilderness is its own and no others (p. 107).” This really rings true to me because it doesn’t include any political, economical, industrial, or personal aspects. Nature is what it is.