One of the things I love about living in the San Francisco Bay Area is how much gorgeous natural beauty there is, even close to urban centers. We live about an hour north of San Francisco, but recently we were taking care of some business in the East Bay and visiting a friend in the City. On the way home, we stopped in the Marin Headlands to watch the sunset. You’re in the middle of San Francisco–a horribly dense, human-populated area–and then within 15 minutes you can be in the Headlands, looking at this:
It’s wonderful. Climb to the top from the parking area and look to the southeast and see this:
And then you simply turn around and you’re confronted with stunning views like this:
Of course no place is without its human tarnishment. For undoubtedly no good reason, the trees here were cut down; I counted 17 sizable stumps on this hillside. I think they were Bishop pines, silver-trunked, with giant heavy cones–gorgeous, stately trees that would’ve made the view even more stunning, the place that much more magical. But that is part of the pathology of our culture. If it’s natural, it must be tamed, controlled, even destroyed.
We must never forget to maintain contact with nature; part of the reason suicide, drug abuse, violence, and patriarchy, among other pathologies, are so prevalent in civilized cultures and all but nonexistent among indigenous societies, is because we have lost our connection as a culture to nature. To the Earth. Part of rebuilding a sane culture, of healing this decimated planet, and of creating a legit resistance to its destruction, is remembering what it is we have here. What we’re fighting for. We need to reconnect ourselves to the Earth. It is one of the first steps in the healing process, and it can be done even in urban areas.
And it’s for everyone.