iii) Nature (more specifically, weather)
When you go into a shop, do you look for the items that describe themselves as natural? Do you prefer to buy them to those that don’t? Yes, yes, I know I’m stepping on Emma’s toes with her science vs. nature article but hear me out.
Nature has been sold to us as a good thing. Being natural is what we should strive to achieve. Occasionally over, as Emma quite rightly alluded to, the advice and expertise of science.
But I’m not going to talk about that, instead I’m going to say just say it outright. We should stop giving nature a good time.
What a ridiculous statement I hear you cry. How dare he. Yes, yes, I know (twice in one article, I should probably stop saying that). Nature is obviously brilliant, but that doesn’t make it perfect. That doesn’t even make it good.
The truth of the matter is, and it’s something we seem to like to ignore, nature is incredibly powerful, relatively unpredictable and therefore unbelievably dangerous.
Every form of the weather is dangerous. You can die as easily in hot sun as you can in freezing snow as you can in high winds. Nature can pick up a car and dump it miles away, it can give you skin cancer and it can completely shut down your blood flow. It’s recklessly stupid to ignore nature and take it for granted.
Ok, so that was a little morbid and I reckon we live in one of the safest countries in the world when it comes to natural disasters (although we get more tornados per square mile compared to anywhere else in the world except the Netherlands – most of them just aren’t strong enough to do serious damage and the other point about that stat is we are quite a small country) but the point still stands that we aren’t without threat here.
Long sentence that one, feel free to take a breath.
Right, back on it. I’ve always been fascinated by the weather. I was scared of it when I was a child, I didn’t like the sound of thunder, the flash of lightning or, most of all, the rattling of the wind. I dealt with fears back then by learning about them.
I bought a weather station with which I measured rainfall, how fast the wind was, where the sun was coming from and what temperature the air was. Which is fairly normal behaviour for kids my age but I, like I usually do, took it a little further. I studied the Beaumont scale and knew it off by heart at 7/8 (strong breeze/moderate gale you could say). I had a DK video explaining weather, extreme weather, and I watched it every day. I knew every word, I saw the power of hurricanes and tornados (I was always more scared of tornados) and I understood how thunderstorms came about.
I was so fascinated by it, I’m fairly sure all of my family were convinced I would become a meteorologist.
Ok, so I clearly haven’t, and the fascination waned (I’ll try harder next time) over time but I still to this day respect weather, and therefore nature, more than most.
The problem is, with fear and fascination comes longing. Facing your fears isn’t a meaningless phrase, it comes from a hidden desire to actually physically do it and I’m exactly the same. Tornados have always interested me, and yet I’ve never been in the presence of one. Trust me, I know how dangerous they are and how stupid I would be to stand there and watch one, but that doesn’t stop me dreaming. I’ve always thought, on a wet and windy day, I would look up from my computer and watch a funnel cloud form and reach down to the ground in the raw power of a spiralling death trap.
Of course, I’ve always been disappointed.
And I’m an awful example to listen to. We should stop giving nature a good time because it’s something we shouldn’t mess with. You should always be wary of it; it’s the most amazing power in our lives but that just makes it the most dangerous thing in the universe.