First Peoples

The Nature of Nature

I think we need a new word for nature. It’s so very hard to find. I mean, I’ve found trees and water and rocks aplenty, but that’s not Nature. That’s rocks and water and trees. So, imagine my surprise when in Vernon, right at home in the Okanagan, I got a fleeting glimpse of this most elusive creature!

This is Not Nature

It is a pair of parking metres against an overgrown hedge from an earlier age of the world.

This, right behind it, though, is nature …

Floodwaters Emerging from the Ground before Going Underground Again

It’s like an ancient myth or something.

This stream was a main social waterway of the Sy’ilx people. Their kids splashed in it during the summers. Now, like them, it passes through town with an unmonitored agenda…

Different Worlds

1492-2012. The Invasion Continues.

In this context, Nature only shows up when cast against the frame given by more intrusive technologies.

Parking Lot Where the Creek Goes Underground Again

Human social engineering relies on this intimate relationship between building urban frames to recreate organic worlds as the art form known as Nature. The thing is, are all humans eager to be boxed in like that?

Outside of social frames, however, life often gets no respect…


Weeds are the broken communities of organic indigenous life. Note the amount of money spent on garbage collection, and how much the weeds got in the way, when all they wanted was a little sun. This is perhaps more a societal self portrait than Nature.

Maybe nature is what happens outside of the frame. Maybe it’s a mirror. Hmm, hmm, hmmm. Here’s what it looks like in a European context, as I found it (I think) yesterday…

Elves Above the Rhine!

Even after being dynamited a bit to decrease the threat to the rail line below. Notice how the vineyards and orchards that used to thread among the rocks (and cover the rest of the mountain, entirely) have been let go to weeds.

So, maybe that’s a form of respect, that we can use to replace this newer idea, Nature. After over a thousand years of Christianity, quietly and without fanfare, the old ways are still maintained, here in oh-so-Catholic Rüdesheim. And look what else…

Love Your Enemy

I mean, an elder bush in the foreground, to keep the witches from wandering out of the rocks into the vineyards, and a spike into the peak of the rock … you don’t do that if you don’t have respect.

This old world, seen from the inside out, is more powerful than the word nature, that sees it from the outside in and which people are happy to whack at. There’s a force that is more vital than the weed eater and the back alley and the Google Map. I’m going to call it, oh, hmm, how about “Earth”. Out of love and respect. The maps to this place flow through your body.

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