“The only thing that can save the world is the reclaiming of the awareness of the world. “ - Allen Ginsberg
An old, forlorn, hunched over, gigantic oak tree stands in the middle of a field void of any interest from passers by, as they stand glaring in amazement at the speed boats on the adjoining lake twenty yards in front of the tree. It screams “admire me” and nothing but the birds who make it their home took notice.
I always felt sorry for the tree.
I actually feel sorry for the lake. It isn’t the lake that people notice. It’s the man made machinery on that lake. And yet, the beauty lies in the lake itself.
As a child, i’d be taken to this lake for picnics. We’d sit and we’d eat, we’d talk and we’d laugh. We’d play games and we’d run wild for a brief time. We’d be told “cherish this, these are the best days of your life” and we’d ignore it as if the adults just like to use phrases like that for the sake of language.
The only people who tended to take notice of the old oak tree, were the children. They had very little interest in the incredible feats of engineering currently speeding across the Water. Their interest, was in that tree, that naturally made tree, that ragged old tree. The fascination was beautiful in itself. When the childish imagination creates a World out of that single tree, you could offer the child a million Aston Martin’s and he’d ignore you.
The children would run around it, they would use it as a goal post, they’d hide behind it, they’d spend endless hours deciding between them which way would be the easiest to climb it. All the while, completely ignoring the speed boats, or the beautiful new cars driving into the car park that the adults all but masturbated furiously over.
To those children, that tree was a source of the most beautiful and pure entertainment.
The tree always looked different and as a child, I never understood why. The seasons would change it’s beauty but my awe in it’s beauty innocently remained nonetheless. One day it’d be covered in green leaves, like it had a full head of hair, shaking wildly in the breeze. Next time it’d have bright red leaves, as if flames gripped the branches tightly. Next time, the tree would be bare but the ground underneath would be covered in the same red leaves, i’d want to run through it, kicking them. It didn’t matter what time of year it was, the tree provided entertainment to a child that the material World just couldn’t match up to.
My point is, that no matter how advanced human technology gets, no matter how entwined in materialism the human mind becomes, no man made entity could ever match the simplistic beauty found in the freedom of the natural. We all watch if a deer runs across an open field. We all want to sit on a beach, with the powerful rolling of the ocean in front of us. We all want snow to fall on Christmas day. And yet, we take this natural habitat, unowned by any private company, for granted. There is no time to admire nature. We have to get to work. There is no time to admire the beautiful, or use our adult imaginations to create an entire World out of a single old forlorn hunched over gigantic oak tree. The child is more in touch with the Planet. I want to reclaim this amazement at the simplistic, as an adult.