A lot of things! I’ve only just begun to see Nature as a wonderful teacher in this world, so hopefully insights continue to flow as outdoor experiences deepen in meaning.
Recently I realized that the natural world, plants and wild animals, are definite models worthy of emulation. We can all better ourselves and the world if we look to them as examples as how to live the good life. They thrive on simplicity and day-to-day living. The future is entirely imaginary to them, and any concept of hoarding is unknown.
Plants in particular simply move in the direction of sunlight at any given moment. There is nothing more to it. Sure, they compete with neighboring plants to survive, but hey – who is going to blame a plant for wanting to survive? The beautiful thing about their survival is that they exist in complete peace whether or not they live or die. They strive to survive, but if they get outcompeted, they humbly accept defeat, perhaps offer some seed to the wind, and return to the ground they came from. Can we live in such a way?
Plants accept the goodness of being and nothing more. Even in death, what some might consider un-being, they live in total acceptance. There is no grand rebellion – no catastrophe stirred by any withering plants. They flow as nature allows them, whether it be in life or death. Living in the present, all they do is move towards the sun.
In a similar way, I think we can all make it our primary objective to move towards the sun. Perhaps the physical sun, if you’re a pilot, scientist, or astronaut, or maybe a metaphorical sun, likened to goodness. Christians would say they are moving towards the Son, Jesus, by looking to him as a model for emulation. Essentially, I think the sun represents that which we all want. This universal want of ours is singular and the same for everyone. What is it? Light!
How do you perceive light? Here’s a story: Just the other day I was sitting down after a yoga session in a meditative posture. Usually, I’m keen on visualizations of the Peace Sign, or a Circle, something I understand as purely good. However, I soon realized that, even with my eyes closed, I was objectively seeing something amazing. The back of my eyelids became something like a screen for truth, and I would see all kinds of various light and images when I chose to focus on what I was still actually seeing when I closed my eyes. I realized that even in darkness, there is light. Light is everywhere. I’m pretty sure scientists will even tell you that we are light.
As we grow towards becoming the truest version of ourselves, we allow others to experience the Light that is not only in us, but everywhere.