Dichotomy of Nature

January 4, 2018
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I am a product of this world. My bones are made from the same atoms that burn and smolder in the core of this Earth, and in the heart of every celestial body suspended in this universe. My skin is made of the same silk that roils as the ocean does, that cascades down desert plains and fields of green grass that sway in the wind. My heart churns with the same turmoil of the most violent storms - lightning cracks in my soul, and yet my essence is that of a warm summer rain. Like me, there is you. A product of this world.

As I walk, a butterfly flits down to me, beckoning me to follow. I do. I watch as the butterfly, perhaps one of nature's most beautiful creations, shimmies through the brisk air. Seeing the same shade of tawny brown as my eyes speckled across its beautiful wings, I blindly follow its perpetual grace. The butterfly leads me to where I now sit, writing this, and leaves me to my tumultuous thoughts without a word. In a small swath of dry grass underneath a towering pear tree, the sun whispers through the shivering branches and envelops me in a warm, tight hug, soothing my apprehensions, my fear for the future. The sun's warmth is gentle and ferocious at the same time, its light helpful and blinding. Its power wholly of this Earth and wholly other, the sun gives me strength. In this lies the beauty of duality, of having a choice. When I choose to look at something with only negativity in mind, I'm choosing to strip away what is good and beautiful and powerful. Those who know how to look, know they have nothing to fear.

As a bee flies up to me in silent greeting, I fight the instinctive urge to move away, so as not to be within striking distance of the small, winged figure. I make a choice. As I sit and observe, letting the bee extract its livelihood from the small canary yellow flowers spattered about, near my feet, I recognize that that bee is no different from me. We were both created by this Earth to live, to flourish, to grow, and, like me, the bee can be driven to anger, to lash out and sting those around it. Like me, the temper of the bee can shift and alter as surely as the colors on its fuzzy back - yellow and black, light and dark. My blood sings in my ears, throbbing along as incessantly as the buzzing of the bee. The pounding of my blood keeps me alive, just as flying does for the bee, and when my blood ceases to pound and the bee ceases to fly, we will both die, returning to the earth from which we came. Like me, there is the bee. A product of this world.

As I realize this, my fear ebbs, and I begin to enjoy the quiet presence of the winged creature. Hours or moments pass, the sun moves across the sky, and smiles down at me with a knowing look in its bright yellow eye. Soon, the butterfly returns to my side and together we silently watch the grass dance and laugh with mirth.  The same grass that pokes and prods the sensitive flesh on the backs of my knees provides sanctuary to millions of tiny living things that otherwise wouldn't be able to survive. The reddest of lady bugs, the slightest of ants, and the noisiest of crickets have all learned to thrive in their microcosm of a planet, much like I have learned to thrive in mine. Like me, these creatures are bound by nothing, time only gives the pretense of binding the living, and though death seems final, the soul that was once stolen from the essence of the earth when we were created, will certainly live on, returning to this world the fruits of vitality, of a life fulfilled - brimming with love and passion and feeling. Like me, there is everything. A product of this world.

The butterfly remains at my side. We do not exchange any words, our discussion only conceivable by the two minds, the two spirits, in which it enthralls. Our essences. I don't think the butterfly ever glances at me, but I watch it. I watch its wings flutter in the chill breeze, I watch the ants hustle to and fro, and I watch the leaves fall softly from their trees. As I sit and observe, this Earth teaches me what it means to possess and seek out the beautiful, soft qualities, and to ignore the ugliness that is so obtrusive. In this dichotomy, I find true strength. I am proud to be a product of this world.

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