When looking at Peter Coates book, there are several things that stuck out to me. The evolution of how nature has been defined was much more complicated than I originally thought. It reminds me a lot about when we first talked about what wilderness meant to us and how we defined it. The section I like the most was chapter 7. The reassessments of nature through the view of the romantics stood out to me. I think it was powerful when they talk about how nature being subversive to the power of the state and church. (127) It suggests that it has a greater power than that of civilization. This to me explains why there has been this unexplainable goal for conquest and exploration, because there was this fear of its power. I also think that the quote that Coates takes from Willey was really interesting
It was not the ambiguity of “Nature” which people felt most strongly; it was rather the clarity, the authority, and the universal acceptability of Nature and Nature’s laws. (127)
During this enlightenment and romantic era we see this separation from the church and I think that one thing we see is this drift towards nature instead. I think some of the romantics got tired of the power of religion and found a new power in nature. I think this can also be said about beauty.
I find myself, especially after reading this book, that I myself am a romantic when it comes to nature. I could really relate to the statement on pages 125-126, “The forest is where they came from, it is the place where they feel closest to themselves, it is a renewal.” Every time I go out into nature for an extensive amount of time, I come back feeling “Renewed”.