Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Nature Girl...


So last week I mentioned that I got super natu re-inspired. I have been nature-inspired for about a month and a half now. Don't get me wrong, I have always loved being in nature and was always encouraged to play outside, but only recently have I realized just how necessary it is to be apart of it on a daily basis. My inspiration came fro m two things: My friend, Amy, aka Daughter of the Sun and the band Brightblack Morning Light.

Amy, who lives in Eagle Rock and has a teepee in front of her house that she frequently sleeps in, is off and away with her teepee travelling the land and living on and off the land right now in Washington. How freaking amazing is that?! In a sense I am jealous, but it's not like we all don't have the choice to do the same, right? Then we have my favorite band of the moment, Brightblack Morning Light who believe that nature should be apart of everyday life. When touring, they live outdoors and transport themselves with their tour van (when not at their permanent niche in New Mexico). Both members of the band, Rachel Hughes and Nathan Shineywater began as environmental activists, specifically with a common interest in watershed restoration, and their music is undeniably a reflection of their love of the earth. Listen to their music when outside looking at the stars - - it's the perfect soundtrack.

So all this got me thinking. What the heck am I doing???? It's not like a quarter-life crisis or anything, but it kind of is. There's so much more to life than having a job, a car and an apartment. Granted, I'm in school... but. Do I give it all up? No I don't think that's the answer. There is so much to see, yet I feel stuck. These are just thoughts in my head, granted, but important ones.

I was raised in West Los Angeles and my parents, while having an appreciation for nature, never emphasized the importance of immersing myself in nature. My mother did do naturey things like wake me up in the middle of the night to watch the lunar eclipse in sleeping bags in the backyard. What a wonderful memory. But I never camped until I was 12 yrs. and not again until 19 yrs. Until college, I had gone hiking maybe two times. It's not that I didn't want to, but it never occurred to me to do so. In college I was introduced to environmental activism through an old boyfriend who was sort of the poster child for all types of activism - - it was definitely an inspiration and eye-opener, but very overwhelming for a girl who was not familiar with these ideas. And while this was great exposure to the wonderful world of nature and environmentalism, I had yet to make those concepts my very own. My connection with nature is definitely there, but not consistent. I want i t to be consistent.

While I love West Los Angeles and consider it my home, it is a challenge to find like-minded individuals who share this same want to be with nature, and I don't mean driving to Big Sur to accomplish this, I mean staying put and making those attempts from our very home. It's so easy to become one of these nature gurus in Humboldt, Portland or even Silverlake and Echo Park, for example. Amy has a friend, Jarred who also lives in a teepee near Mount Washington and wow! He lives literally on the land and cooks his meals on an actual fire. I know people like that live on the westside, but I have no idea where. Actually, why do I need others to make my connection with nature? It would definitely make it easier, but the challenge is finding this on your own.

So you will be definitely seeing more ent ries on my attempt to be one with nature in West Los Angeles. The key for me is to constantly be inspired by those who have accomplished this and use them as examples to fuel my course of action. I don't know where to start, but I did surround my office with pictures of nature (I posted two pictures I just put up), I have a garden in the back of my apartment and a compost pile that is slowly getting more wormy. That's not a bad start. I would definitely prefer to be out with Amy in her teepee, but she's got a lot more experience in that department than I do. But very soon, verrrrrrrry soon indeed.

1 comment:

Farmer boy said...

You know, I lived in Chicago for awhile before moving back here to farm and I felt like the city just swallows you up sometimes. Like nothing exists outside the city. There's no stars, no nothing, just the city.