Connecting to Nature II - Perspectives

Connecting to Nature II: Some Story-Based Perspectives


Rolland Smith


Story 3

There are places of extreme quiet, where silence and nothing are one, and you cannot tell them apart. Places where only nature speaks and her sounds are deafening as no other audible intrusion is near.

One place is on a silent river. Where portions neither ripple nor descend through roaring cataracts but carry liquid volumes in the stillness of deep flows and where it is far enough away from man’s modern concoctions that the only thing you hear are your thoughts.

If you’ve never been to such a place and find yourself in one, there will come wonderment, revelation, a spiritual attunement, and a surprise appreciation of a sentient nature that only stillness engenders.

The first time I experienced such silence was on the Green River in Utah as I floated in a quiet eddy pool and found myself in involuntary prayer with nature whose sacristy I had entered and remained by choice of benevolent thought.

The second time was at night alone at the edge of a lake in the Allagash wilderness of Maine. The stars have a noticeable brilliance when civilization is far away. They also have a sound that man rarely hears for we occupy a space of noise and hustle in the Cosmos of life.

The third I often experience for I live nearby. It is on the Wallkill River in New York. When my Kayak drifts on the silent surface, I embrace the Oneness and silence of All That Is.

I know that science has learned much from exploring the vast cacophony of the heavens. I know that religions promote silence to reach the unreachable. I know that the stillness of winter creates a frigid cocoon and a constricting density.

What I didn’t know until I experienced it was the gift that nature’s silence gives the listener. I found that robust laughter needs no sound and God needs no dogma.

Story 4

It’s morning. Temperature is five degrees below I have a fire going and feeling safe after a cold winter’s night.

A log fire dissolves its way to ash giving back the heat and light of many seasons' growth. Fluid flames dance in a flickering grace of form and orange light. Heat is the result. Light a soft byproduct. The bright and the warmth of a long-ago sun.

A few feet away is cold. It is a stinging cold with only a window glass to hold it back. It’s double glass, a bulwark of silica that another temperature and time turned into transparent glazing of clarity and protection.

I grew up in old houses with single panes of flawed glass. Frost would decorate the panes into a translucent crystal of art, but not now. Modern houses are too tight for nature’s cryogenic beauty to seep in and paint the panes with a cameo of cold. Too bad! How many kids today will miss the vision of feathered frost on the inside of a windowpane where they can scratch their design into the thin sheet of ice crystals.

Enjoy the day.


The Author, Rolland Smith: 

Rolland G. Smith in addition to the bio in the previous blog post, he has been an adjunct professor of Electronic Journalism at William Paterson College and Montclair University. He is a member of the National Association Television Arts and Sciences, The Lotos Club and New York’s Explorers Club. He has reported from Vietnam during the “Tet Offensive,” the war in the former Yugoslavia, and has been a Capital Hill correspondent.

Some other publications include Quiet Musings (Sunscape Publications) and Stone Wisdom. When I inquired if he had written any song lyrics he shared two songs, “Christmas Child,”  and “Eagle Wind” with Dan McCormick. Eagle Wind is a song about the passing of singer and songwriter John Denver, who was a friend.

He is a naturalist, a poet, a commentator, and a person deeply committed to global and cross cultural understanding.