Nature is a pretty thing.
A bit of death mixed with birth makes it perfect. If you think “The Garden of Eden,” yup, that’s about right.
But these are just words, which come from a long tradition of words, in a chain that works like this:
God speaks the world. We live in the world and are, thus, God’s speech. We speak, and so, by opening our lips, utter God’s word.
In other words, if I say “mountain,” that’s the same as this:
A cinder cone on the edge of the Berserker Lava Field in West Iceland…
…and some water and life doing their magical thing in the lava.
Hardly. If that mountain is a word, then it’s one that comes from a Nordic tradition, outside of the Christian one that gave the concept of Nature to our European ancestors. It strides in and renews the concept of gardens by making them wild and violent, as they are.
Imagine something like this popping up in your cow pasture one day, eh.
In Iceland, things like this happen.
“Nature,” as understood today, came about a couple centuries back when the Nordic conception of the eruption of otherworldly forces into this meeting place, Middle Earth, met the Christian garden and freshened it up. That is powerful stuff, and I’m grateful for it. It is a point of intersection, where life flourishes.
It has, however, taken over human relations with the earth, which have nothing to do with nature or this intersection of cultures.
Luckily, there is one other tiny thing.
Oh, Just Another Mountain From Outside the World Paying a Visit
There is a road home.
I have European ancestry, and roots in an indigenous world that has been concealed for too long. When I began this conversation four years ago, I had no idea that I would find this world, or its words, but I am thrilled to be on this path, and grateful that it has chosen me. On this Day of Remembrance, let us remember this: we can make peace. The enemy is war.