Connecting with the Natural World

July 1, 2017

by Matthew Segatti

“Perhaps the most radical thing we can do is to stay at home, so we can learn the names of the plants and animals around us; so that we can begin to know what tradition we’re part of.”
-Terry Tempest Williams

I enjoy my own yard as much as I enjoy a mountaintop. My lawn has patches and bare spots. There are grasses and flowers. I avoided mowing the area with blossoms and ferns began to grow. Sometimes I take the shortcut from my car to the front step. Walking across my lawn I look down on an artist’s canvas.

I enjoy a good view. I most appreciate how it changes my perspective. Seeing the forest laid out before me, so evenly green and rolling, I am reminded of moss-covered stones. I like looking to see any people like me out sunning on rocky outcroppings. When I lay on my belly, stretched out on my lawn, I see so many little critters. Not all scoot about on their missions. Some will take a moment, maybe perched along a blade of grass. I wonder how they think and if they think of me. And in thinking of them my perspective expands and I imagine my lawn the home to so much life previously unseen.

I’m glad to have the time to listen to the birds and the insects around where I live. It’s taken several years for me to grow comfortable with leaving the human bustle of the Berkshires for the earthly harmonies of the hilltowns. Without cell service or internet, I don’t look at my phone when I get home. I enjoy my wild yard.

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