The naked landscape

The naked landscape

_COLUMN_ by Cor Simon

Actually, it is amazing that I as earthling, outdoorsman and nature lover never ever have been sleeping under the naked sky. Up till recently. Sleeping in the middle of the landscape was a naked and vulnerable experience. Yet worth it for a deeper reason.

Although a roof over your head will protect against the desolations of nature, a roof also deprives us from the experience of the sky and touch with mother earth. Somewhere halfway evolution, when the fish took her first steps on land it must have felt very naked and vulnerable too. I mean the naked landscape is cold and windy, full of robbing pests or falling coconuts. Yet the fish did take that first step on land and now I understand why; the naked landscape feels extraordinary liberating.

I lay down as a new born baby in the womb of mother earth. De wind blew fresh air over me and the girl next to me. The trees around me were firmly rooted in the earth, but reaching for the stars, forming a frame to the universe. The frame was a dynamic mosaic of fine needles of the rough Pine and rough leaves of the fine Fraxinus. In between there I had a magnificent view to the stars around a cloud of black holes. As I thought I experienced God. Don’t they call that a sublime experience? I tried to count the stars, but slept already before finishing it. I dreamed of a fish searching for freedom in the air.
I can’t remember I ever awoke that relaxed, despite the short night. Sunlight warmed my face. Starlight was replaced by a clear blue sky. A leave fell beside me and I thought how gravity had prevented me to fall against the stars (or the other way around, I never know when the earth is upside down). A little further I saw her swinging peacefully in a paradisiacal garden that skilfully transformed into a natural forest. The fish in the pond jumped a hole in the air.

Then I realized that our homes are prisons. Don’t we choke our feet from direct contact with mother earth, our lungs from fresh air, our eyes from the rhythm of day and night and our spirit from the freedom of heaven? Of course, it is necessary to protect us from the possible desolation of nature. But it seems that we, in our zeal for protection, forgot what it is to be who we are. It is time to face the landscape pure and naked again. Pure and naked, so that the urban man feels again his connection with nature and will be freed from its suffocating cocoon.

The fish, putting her first step on the land, doubtlessly felt naked and vulnerable, but I know for sure that it never took her step to end up in a fishbowl!