I’m enjoying the marvelous views of Yosemite. If sequoias make me feel like an insect, those granite mountains make me feel like bacteria. I had no idea how the park was distributed, and that was a good thing because it took me by surprise. All the sudden I was in this small valley surrounded by huge columns of granite. The river is like the central pin of a continental necklace. No picture can make justice to the sensation of insignificance that you feel looking up to those solid gray masses. On this era of Photoshop, when you are trained to suspect even from beauty, these landscapes prove my cynicism wrong once again. This is wonderful.
It looks like we are actually moving forward in this conservationist movement. When the last hotel burned to the ground for itself at Glacier Point, it wasn’t reconstructed again. The chance was taken to stop developing in areas where people come to enjoy nature, not infrastructure.
Yosemite Village is actually in better condition now that it was 80 years ago, way better. You have to be careful while driving, not because of rules but because of creatures crossing the road. I stop for squirrels, deer, raccoons and even bears.
Some signs remind you not to feed these animals and explain that we should leave them wild. Immediately I tried to picture a group of conservationists Egyptians keeping people from feeding felines five thousand years ago. We wouldn’t have domestic cats today. We can use the same mind exercise for dogs, horses, mules and other kinds of animals that are tied irreversibly to our history. The point is that we are part of nature and the impact we have on it is also “natural”. But at some point, we decided that “human will” and “nature” are antonyms.
So, what is nature? Is it just a series of random events? Why this “nature” keeps doings things way better than we? So far we suspect these random events to be self-selective, so just the best processes survive. But even after we understand the processes and try to reproduce them, something is missing. We comprehend the endocrine system (so we say), but by trying to fix one part, we break another. So, what is nature? Is it whatever is happening now that we don’t completely understand, so we better leave it alone?
I think humans are creating a second nature for themselves. That’s why we go to see Nature as a tourist because we feel already separated from her, so we come to pay mother a visit. And that can be easily proved by sitting a civilized person in the middle of the woods and see if that individual is even able to make clothes before winter.
So we created this second nature on which we depend, but keep the first one intact because we never fully understood why it works so well. I agree with that.