Conservation: A Contemporary Ode

By Andrea Eleana

Traditionally, discourses of conservation have leaned heavily on narratives of victimhood, unwittingly transforming nature into a passive object to be acted upon and on behalf of rather than as an active agent with which we can only, at best, interfere.
Positioned as saviours, humans unintentionally reduce the inherent status of nature, failing to piously celebrate the intelligence, tenacity, and resourcefulness not only of animals but also plant life, which has, of course, exposed its intricate and strategic systems of self-preservation, majestically and with great poise, as we scurry by it not taking notice of how profoundly empowered it truly is.
To be a bastion for the preservation of nature is not, indeed, to be a mouthpiece speaking authoritatively on its behalf, nor is it to be the evangelical knight, instead, the path to a more sincere conservation is one in which we can finally admit nature’s awe-striking ability, and hope only to exist humbly before it.
Pandering to people about nature through a script of pity jeopardizes the productivity, which might be possible when working to coexist respectfully with nature. Inextricably networked, plants and animals have never been ours to husband, they have instead been gracious hosts to our petulance and capricious existence.
Turning to nature, taking a meaningful stare at it, should elicit nothing less than veneration, and gratitude to be but a part of it. Celebrate nature. But, be in it like a well-mannered houseguest, aware of the ephemeral place that is held within it.
Appreciate the tacit wisdom nature holds.
Sit with nature, and listen to what it whispers, before it starts to yell.