Hug a Tree Until Things Get Better

RECEIVED Mon., Sept. 13, 2004

Dear Editor,
   Although few and far between this time of year, good rains make our usually dry creek beds incredibly attractive for 50 or so hours. Their spontaneity gives us a quick reminder of how Texas weather can be compared to a going out of business sale – hurry, while supplies last. Today, on one such excursion, I came across one of the killer live oaks I'm blessed enough to be living under.
   Call me a tree hugger, but I truly feel something when I lay my hands on certain trees around town. Not all of them give off a vibe (they are just trees), but once in a while a tree shows me just how long he has been around by giving me this "what's up kiddo" type of acknowledgement. These moments are when I feel a connection to nature; this is my favorite description for naturalism.
   Naturalism is a strange word in that it is often used in stereotypical ways. Many avid proponents, or naturalists, often respect nature with religious fervor – when they add mother to nature, they mean it. In contrast, avid opponents look at nature and naturalism with disdain, believing that man truly and completely reigns over God's green Earth.
   Neither of these parties is very large or entirely outspoken; nevertheless, these intellectual poles represent the scale at which the human race has integrated itself into holism with the cosmos.
   The masses are compelled to navigate toward one of these poles depending on innumerous mental factors and life situations. Nevertheless, if Robert Wright's theory holds true with the test of time, humanity will likely end up at some nonzero, or conflict-free and harmonious place with the environment.
   Unfortunately, harmony probably won't occur before things get much worse. In the meantime, I urge you to feel up a tree.
Rad Tollett
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