With illusions to nowhere
everyone thinks they’re somewhere
Arthur sat on his log with a frown upon his pale freckled face, “We need to get back to nature.” He pondered out loud after hearing such phrases from many adults.
“Is that so?” His father replied, brushed his hand over his beard, “Why where have we been?”
With that Arthur looked to his father with a puzzled expression and the fire crackled between them, reflecting on their faces. “Nowhere.”
His father too was now considering the phrase his son had just said, in deep thought he looked to the flames as if the answer would be in them. “Exactly.” He said, finally.
“What?” Arthur asked, still perplexed.
His father flicked his knife over the wood he had been whittling into a teddy bear for most of the afternoon, “It’s as you say, we’ve been nowhere, son.”
“Nope,” Arthur shook his head, “I still don’t get ya!”
“Well,” his father closed his eyes and breathed in deeply, “How can we go back to something we never even left?”
The boy considered this for a moment and rested his chin on both of his hands, “But,” He started, “You’ve said it yourself.”
His father frowned, “I was foolish.”
“How so, dad?”
His father once again stared into the flames, as if the flames were an oracle that could give him any answer he needed. “Well, I guess,” He frowned trying to find the words, “Well, look at it this way, have you seen a Beavers dam?”
“Yea.” Arthur sat hunched forwards, eager to his father.
“Do you remember them termite mounds?”
Arthur’s eyes lit up, “Yes! I remember them!”
“And you remember that documentary on the TV about the bower birds nest?”
“Yes! I remember all that, dad! I remember!”
“Well, that’s what humans are doing.”
Arthur’s face scowled into the flames, “I just don’t get ya!” He shook his head, “The termites made them mounds, the bower birds made them nests, and the Beavers made those Dams!”
“And we humans built our nests and all the other things we have created for better or worse.”
“But,” Arthur kicked “We have houses! Not nests!”
“Same thing.” His father remarked.
“But, like,” Arthur paused in thought, “TVs! They aren’t natural.”
“So if something is man made it’s, therefore, unnatural?” His father asked.
“So what are we humans then?”
Arthur frowned, “You just said what we are, we’re humans!” Arthur sighed and looked down at his shoelaces, “Anyway most of what people have made have been destructive.”
“It may well have been,” His father put down his knife and studied the teddy bear he’d whittled, “Doesn’t make it any less natural.”
“But nature is beautiful.” Arthur argued, “To be destructive is far from natural!”
“But destruction is part of nature.” His father reminded him.
“So what does this mean for us?” Arthur asked with a worried expression on his face.
“What do you think it means?”
“I think it means we can’t help ourselves.”
“We can,” He picked up his knife again and shaved a bit of the teddy bears ears that was sticking out too much, “we just need to stop perpetuating the illusions that having houses made from bricks and electronics in our home means we’re not part of nature, or beyond nature. Then, perhaps we’d be more conscious about our choices.” He studied the teddy bear again and smoothed his finger over the curves, “Do you think your little sister will like this?”
“Yea, dad,” Arthur replied but with a far away look that had glazed over his eyes.
“I’m just dreaming of saving the world.”
“Naturally.” His father uttered softly.