The Pace of Nature


Increasingly so I experience the world as loud. As a mama, I am reawakened in my senses through the eyes of my child. I can see just how big and loud and overstimmulating the world is.  

Yesterday at the toy store I watched Olive find her way over to the wall of plastic music making toys. On the one hand these toys are wonderful. They engage sensory and motor coordination. They focus attention and keep said child entertained. Which is good for mama. But I also watched her increasingly become literally crazed by this toy. It not only captivated her. It consumed her. The louder the toy got, the louder she became. Together they made a cacophony that surpassed the delicate and precious features of delight and entered into some kind of manufactured stimulus-induced mania. 

This is our world. increasingly built less on the natural elements of wood, metal, clay, attention, contact, drum beats, wind rustles, thunder and gesture, and more on silicon, virtuality and synthesized noise. 

I should mention I have also observed Olive be equally as entertained by dirt and rocks. A quiet, present, embodied delight.

The difference?

When she play with a natural material she is in her body. Rhythmically engaged in play.

When she plays with plastic and manufactured noise she leaves her body.

But this is not a post about the toys you choose for your kids. Thats not really my business anyway.

What this is about is our innate sensitivity that is bombarded on a daily basis by a world that is quick, loud and aggressive. A world that people built. And perhaps that is the fundamental distinction. 

The world as it is has us a simple integral feature to the whole picture. We are no less or more important than the willow and the prairie dog. We are equal in importance to the bees and the burdock. And I would even wager we might be less important. We are part of a system that sings and harmonizes because it does. There is nothing virtual about it. But the world we have built is based on buildings and screens and recordings. A masked and mutilated self-important dominance-over instead of that sweet and simple humble cohabiter.

And through the eyes and nervous system of a tiny human being I see just how magnificent what is Natural is and just how self absorbing what is Manufactured is. 

None of us are immune from the addiction of feeling smooth plastic in our hands. Or the pseudo support of the light of a screen.

The world is loud if you listen. The sounds of the wind and the birds and thunder.

Loud. Present. Immediate.

The sound of the grass and the aspen leaves.

Gentle. Subtle. Magic.

The world is fast enough if you witness it.

Rushing waters. Pounding rain.

Sliding Mud.

Flash of lightening. Darting squirrel.


We were designed to move at a pace in step with nature. All rhythms are found in the Earths capacity.


Quick. Slow.

Thumping. Slithering.

All the rhythms of all the beings.


When we reclaim rhythm and movement, we reclaim the pace of nature. We embody the natural world.


Livia ShapiroComment