Transcendentalism in 2012: Finding Answers in Nature

July 22, 2012
By YoshiVisa GOLD, Plainsboro, New Jersey
YoshiVisa GOLD, Plainsboro, New Jersey
11 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Sitting in my unkempt backyard for the first time in what seemed like ages, I pondered over the subtle events occurring around me- from the radiant-colored birds chirping melodies to the hard-working ants scurrying in search of food, to the flies buzzing around avoiding my annoyed hand. I was simply amazed by the liveliness, the vitality with which each organism did its duty. It’s not like I haven’t been outside. I play sports year-round, but this was different. Staying sessile, and freeing the mind of worldly, societal thoughts brought upon a whole new world: the world of nature. Instead of listening to the drums violently beating away on my iPod, I listened to the soothing sound of a stream nearby. Instead of feeling the artificial air of a fan, I felt the breeze blowing cool, crisp air across my face. Instead of staring at my computer, surfing the web, I enjoyably saw two squirrels chasing each other around a tree trunk.

All of the animals seemed to have a purpose - a reason why they were working so diligently, a goal that they wanted to achieve. I thought to myself, “Who am I? Am I the lost bird flying in search of family? Or am I the little critter frantically avoiding being crushed into an insignificant mark on the sidewalk? Am I the chicken about to be roasted for someone's delight?” I decided to find out. The transcendentalist way.

The sun was rapidly fading away as I went into a forest surrounding my backyard. There were no light switches, no heaters, no hot chocolate to alleviate my uncomfortableness as I walked deeper into the forest. I found a good place to start my meditation, a fairly flat ground layered with what I thought was dolomite rock.

Closed eyes, proper posture, open mind.

Through my closed eyes I saw swirls of yellow dots on the sides of my eyes. I saw the night encroach upon the forest, as the bare light that had permeated through my eyes diminished. I saw, or felt rather, the bug that was tickling me on my forehead. I then just sat there thinking about myself. As I opened my eyes, I saw grey crystals all over the place. And then, pitch black. Done, I was. I ran out of the forest thinking: so who am I?

I think I finally found the answer. I'm not sure if the answer came from my journey, or that I had known it all along. It didn't matter. Just as a tree is just a minute part of a forest, I am a negligible part of society. However, it is this fact that gives me the will, the focus to achieve more. The lost bird learns to live a life in peace and quiet. The little critter finds a hole and slips into it until the crowd passes. The chicken dies a wise death. And me — I intend to do all of the above.


The author's comments:
This small piece describes the decrease in observing and being with nature and the effects transcendentalism and the want to immerse myself more in nature have had on me.

Similar Articles

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

This article has 0 comments.



SciArc

MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!