What does living with the nature really mean? It seems that in human duality world it means different things to different people. For a surfer it means riding a huge wave in what oftentimes appear to be horrible sea conditions. For hikers it means climbing as high up as they can in any type of terrain, snow, rain or wind. A fisherman is depending on the mercy of the ocean and the marine life, hoping for a good catch and a safe return home. A farmer is praying for an abundant harvest and just the right amount of sunshine and rain. And lastly, for city folk it might be talking a long walk in the park or growing a nice organic garden on the terrace of their fifteenth floor apartment.
I interpreted living with the nature as co-existence of man and nature in perfect balance. Although to be honest, I don’t think I really understood it until I came to Hawaii. It is obvious that the native Hawaiian population inherited a beautiful life philosophy that transcends their little islands and places a man at his rightful place as only a small part of a much larger, intricate picture. Man trends to think himself superior to his role of a part of the whole and often places himself on the ruling pedestal, only to often be reminded by the very thing he is trying to rule of the lack of wisdom in his views and actions.
Let’s take sharks for example. Many people are very afraid and/or fascinated by them at the same time. Whether Hollywood had something to do with it or not, is right now irrelevant, but they have mostly been categorized as the mean beasts of the oceans. The way the natives understand them, appeals to me much more. Everything in the nature, humans and sharks included, has its place and its role in the intricate design of Earth’s ecosystem. Sharks in their own way help to keep the oceans at balance and most of the time go about their business unnoticed. After heavy rains they tend to come closer to the shores to feed on the nutrients the rains have washed off the land into the ocean. That represents a very important part of their diet. At the same time, humans like to catch a wave or two after it rains, due to then normally high surf and end up on sharks dinner plate.
What would you do if you found a cockroach on you dinner plate? See now! Most of the time they are quite tolerant and let us usurp their living environment. It’s usually the youngest of the shark community that don’t understand or wish to bear with the human intruders during their feeding time. We can’t really blame them, can we? As Alden says: “We have the land and they have the ocean.” How many sharks do you see walking around our cities?
What if you’re about to go for a hike, but the mountain is covered in clouds. Maybe it’s saying: “Stay away. I need this time for myself!” But we want to go surfing or for a hike and we are the masters here, and no one is going to tell us what to do! Really? Is it really so?
As any native would tell you: no, no and again no. Mother nature is our home and a gentle ruler of this place. As only one of its inhabitants we should adopt, pay attention, listen and respect its wishes and needs. How often are we doing so? Sometimes, for such an intelligent species we are such slow learners. Maybe it’s time we show our animal friends we can be as smart as they are, when we put our egos aside and just simply act on instinct and inner feeling. It kept our shark friends around for millions of years, I’m sure it would work for us too.