We spent Thanksgiving with Liza’s family in San José. There was a lot to give thanks to : meeting and being welcomed by such a nice and interesting family, having one whole year to travel and discover nature in all its diversity and beauty…
The day after Thanksgiving, tens of millions Americans go shopping on this special business day called Black Friday, a “tradition” amplified by companies making big discounts. It is a pity that on the first day of the holiday, on which people could share time with their family, they go shopping. To oppose to that consumerist “tradition”, people started to call it Green Friday (not a day on which everybody should get high with their family, hey? The sense given by marijuana companies), but a day on which families are going to National and State Parks to hike.
And so we went hiking with our newly met family in Henry W. Coe State Park. As the biggest State P
ark in California, there were a lot of things to see, and fortunately, Liza’s father’s cousin Josine knew a lot about the trees and plants growing there.
It made us think about the way to apprehend nature. First, there’s the beauty and the emotional perception of nature. This one is easy, and accessible by everyone. It procures pleasure and mindfulness; it even heals. And then, when you have wandered enough in nature, comes the thirst for knowledge. What does this plant do? What can it be used for? Which animals live here? Knowing more about nature allows us to understand better how we could live among it, why we don’t have to be afraid of it, and by extension it increases the feeling that we are a part of it. Feeling one with our environment is what we are looking for.