Nature Wisdom

With Pat Tuholske, Naturalist

Even Darkness Must Pass

Lately I’ve been feeling like I’ve been born into the wrong time. This age of speed and multitasking is unnatural. Technology and traffic are too much some days. When violence, racism and bullying rears its ugly face, I am dumbfounded. Pollution and poisoned waters shames me. A garbage patch twice the size of Texas floating in the Pacific makes me nauseated.

The darkness of these days can get to me. I am usually an optimistic person but some days I grope to perceive the light and heal what we’ve done to the planet. In my six decades I’ve seen so much destruction, contamination and foiling of Nature.
To bolster my spirits, I turn to story, legend and myth. In his Lord of the Rings trilogy, Tolkien wrote so eloquently about the shadow of evil and bringing hope to an oppressed Middle Earth. With each read of his books, I feel as if I am walking along with the Fellowship on their quest. Tolkien’s wisdom truly shines through these times.

One of my favorite passages is Sam speaking to Frodo during one of their bleakest moments on their journey to destroy the Ring of Power:

Frodo: I can’t do this, Sam.

Sam: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy. How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad happened.

But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something. Even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now.

Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t. Because they were holding on to something.

Frodo: What are we holding on to, Sam?

Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.
Courage is found in unlikely places and may each of us find ours as we band together and never give up. We can make a difference in this battle to save our planet and all the life forms we share it with.

We have the potential to create a paradise here beyond our imagining. I will leave my legacy of wild forest, flower-filled meadows, and vibrant creek waters. I visualize it growing out into the world connecting with all the other peace gardens creating a fellowship of beauty, hope and peace.

The Earth will eventually heal and recover from our human destruction. Her lifespan is eons longer than ours. When our race is finally gone, the trees will return, wildflowers will reseed, waters will purify, animals will thrive.

But I am here on Earth during these chaotic times for a reason. I strive to be a source of good energy and unfading light… to awaken all to the magnificence of Nature… to reconnect humans to what is real and good in this world.
Even this darkness must pass.

See Pat’s Wild Wreaths, Wheels, and Twig Art crafted from Ozark native plants at willowrainherbalgoods.com. Check out her Field Journal for her musings on the Human-Nature relationship.