Every spring in March, we revisit the tangled tree.
For reassuring stability, that beyond all changes, something never change. The tangled tree can be trusted; the warmness of her arms can be felt; she shows life continues fully and beautifully regardless of ….
My experience of nature has always been affective; perhaps it is merely affective … and spiritual; rooted in my childhood and culture, in emotional and spiritual engagement full of aesthetic appreciation; influenced by historical and political demands of looking for life, the meaning of life, beyond human society, my society.
This search for the meaning of life carried into my adulthood; a subtle and complex interaction which is the main source of resiliency and joy … and identity formation.
It is important for me to nurture and cultivate with Rauz the affective engagement with nature. Rachel Carson (1998) and other environmental scientists suggest that passion for life can be nurtured through immersion and creative interaction with nature and “the emotional significance of experiential relations to nearby nature that seemingly become a legacy carried into adulthood” (Cobb, 1977). An interaction that according to Kellert (2002) can be emotionally complex: wonder, satisfaction, joy, but also, fear, anxiety, and uncertainty.
I believe experiencing and responding to these unique and diverse emotions in the natural world prepare her to better understand and deal with challenges of life … after all, these challenges define life … they are the meaning of our shared lives.
For Rauz, at this time, the connection is adventurous, affective, and therapeutic. The visit always starts with finding a “good stick”, to use for searching, climbing, for tactile closeness. Tangled tree is “simple” and subtle, available but somehow mysterious. She measures how much the tree and her have grown together; sibling relationship.
As Pyle (2002) argues such connections and immersions are powerful in nearby and familiar natural spaces … and s0 we continue re-connected to the tangled tree at the beginning of the spring.