There’s Only One Nature – Joan D. Chittister, OSB

From Sister Joan D. Chittister, O.S.B.:

Joan D. Chittister

It’s what we have when we have nothing that defines our relation to nature and the effect of nature on the soul. Then we begin to realize that we do not exist outside of nature or above nature or independent of nature; we are simply its most vulnerable part. What we learn from nature may make the whole difference in the way we go through life, and what we want from it, and what we consider important in it, and—most of all—what we are capable of learning by being alive.  —from Becoming Fully Human by Joan Chittister (Sheed & Ward)

     

(Click pics for full-screen views.)  Views looking up under American Beech trees, abundant at Balsamea, fascinating in every season.  See my post, The Junk Tree (Fagus grandifolia) for many more home-made pictures and discussion.  Some foolish person called it a junk tree, not me.  I’m not THAT foolish.

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“What we learn from nature may make the whole difference in
… what we are capable of learning by being alive.” –JDC

4 thoughts on “There’s Only One Nature – Joan D. Chittister, OSB

  1. Very nice quote /excerpt – thanks! I agree about foolish people calling any tree a junk tree – I remember someone mentioning the wild papayas that I allowed to grow wherever they popped up. “But they don’t produce fruit that we can eat…,” one person stated. I had the last chuckle when half a year later the toucans were perched on those wild papayas and eating the little balls of fruit! The same happens everywhere in the tropics where the wild nightshade grows.. it has thorns, yowch, and it’s green berries are poisonous, yet if you take one of those berries and cut it in half, rub the sap on your foot/toes to treat athlete’s foot, in a day or two, the fungus will be gone! I share that with locasl, and I note half a year later that they no longer cut down those ‘weeds.’

    Sometimes it’s just pointing out their qualities!

    I’m reading and commenting offline, so have not followed the link (yet) to the junk-tree post!

    It’s good to see you back online!

    • Hi Z! Glad to hear from you.

      That guy’s claimed junk status was because almost all American Beech is infested with a condition commonly called “bark rust.” But that does nothing to make the tree undesirable. But they are hardy and live with it for a long time … great numbers of them much longer than I will. Do you have a beech species in Ecuador?

      The wood is similar to oak (it is in the same genetic family as oak). Great shade tree. Beautiful structure. Great for that climber in the family. Fall color. In “mast years” (I forget the cycle — 11 years?) they produce massive amounts of food for wildlife — and people if you have the time to shell those tiny nuts. (I posted about it in 2012 https://thebalsamean.wordpress.com/2012/09/05/going-beech-nuts/.)

      I had a big mast year here. The seed pods were everywhere. Squirrels threw them down as I walked along the trail.

      And, like everything in Nature, pressing a hand to a beech and opening the mind and heart to its nature, one may come closer to a truer sense of reality as it is, that we are of the forest, not just in it, part of One Nature.

      I love the examples you shared. Of course, Dr. Scholls, et. al. do NOT want to hear about it.

      Beware of falling iguanas!

      • And, like everything in Nature, pressing a hand to a beech and opening the mind and heart to its nature, one may come closer to a truer sense of reality as it is, that we are of the forest, not just in it, part of One Nature.” === that’s a brilliant quote, btw!!!

        i hope that your weekend was a good one – and yes, welcome back – good to see that your incubation has hatched some nice food for thought!

        • Thank you.

          Productivity here and in other things will drop off for a couple of months. Having a surprise guest for the summer, 24 hours a day, starting in a week. A good thing, a deeply beloved person, but the usual isolation/solitude won’t work. We discussed it and will try to make it work, but it won’t be my normal way, where inspiration in most things works by whim. It will be interesting. In its 13 year history Balsamea never had a human guest for more than 1 overnight at a time (and none of them are still coming … forest immersion practice at Balsamea is not for everyone), and only one human resident. Tree nymphs and trail tending sprites (I have pictures of one) and such, yeah, but not humans. This one will be 2 months or more. I’ll learn yet more about the power of choosing to love no matter what tries to get in its way.

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