Three figures stand at attention in a seemingly barren landscape, the cloud-streaked sky the only pop of colour. Silence looms where nature fades--a moment we are all experiencing during this time of uncertainty. We are all seeking spaces where we can pause and begin our healing processes, allowing the stress to melt away and only leave tranquility to remain.
When I think about the ideal place that reflects the desire we all have to seek solitude, I think of the Nicola Valley: a landscape of endless skies and rolling grass plains, a play constantly shifting, swaying to the rhythm of life. At first glance, it may appear empty: where is all of the wildlife? Your spatial awareness has shifted. Are you alone, with only the wind whistling its melody through your yearning ears?
However, nowhere is truly barren or empty: life emerges wherever it can, and adapts to any circumstance. In this valley, your only company is the dancing grasses and sun's unaltered magnificence on the horizon. You may see some animals pass by on their migratory journeys or hunting missions: stop, don't go up to them--just observe. They will be grateful, and pay respect by keeping their distance from you. You are only to acknowledge each other and respect one another's life paths. No contact is needed.
The very idea of nature is built on the idea that it is distanced from society; yet, it is social in its own manner. Nature's spirit built through unanimous reasoning, itself a complex, ancient network of reciprocity. Existence depends on this collective understanding: life must respect each and every organism that occupies an environment.
We need to embrace this spirit, and find pleasure in our current distance from society. Upon this rolling hill, these three trees on this rolling hill work together, yet maintain distance: Their roots require nutrients, and they cannot get too tangled, or they will suffocate. They mutually understand that to grow in these grass plains, they need to work collectively, yet maintain a safe distance.
This is our mission as a society: to collectively distance ourselves from one another, only to come back together stronger than ever before.
This is what nature can teach us. Her gift of solitude is a treasure to be cherished and held in reverence.