A friend of mine has written a beautiful text about something dear to his heart, and there I found the perhaps best description of why caring about the environment makes sense. He calls it “taking care of our home.” People often see the environment as something separate from them, as something they are forced to protect at the cost of their own freedoms.
But the environment is where we live. It is an extension of our dwelling, and the more contact we have with nature the better we feel. Separating nature from home is akin to deciding that one room in our house doesn’t count and can be turned into a trash bin.
But there is nature all around us, and those of us who don’t just drive from our garages to an office parking space and back are keenly aware of that.
Birds, squirrels, toads, turtles, and many other animals share the neighborhood I live in, and those of us who take walks or go for bike rides appreciate them very much. I have been learning about snakes so that I can be informed about what snakes I can admire closer up and where I’d better leave a safe distance. This venomous Cottonmouth was photographed with a long lens to ensure its and my safety.
This year dozens of swallow families nested underneath a highway bridge nearby, and the air was filled with their chatter and their urgent hunting for food for their young. It was fun to watch–and photograph–them, but people just roaring along the highway would miss this beautiful spectacle.
Taking care of the environment means enlarging our home. It enables us to go outside to a park, to tree-lined streets, or along rivers and breathe and relax. Your soul will thank you.