A celebration of nature

“Let me bathe my soul in colours; let me swallow the sunset and drink the rainbow” said poet Kahlil Gibran. Life is indeed a celebration of colours — the green of the grass, the blue of the sky, the red and orange spill of the Sun on the horizon and the myriad colours of the smiling flowers and hanging fruit in gardens and orchards. All this is reflected in Wordsworth’s lines when he says “the hour of splendour in the grass and glory in the flower”.

The Bard talks about the wild profusion of flowers in his Midsummer Night’s Dream. “I know a bank where the wild thyme blows/ Where the oxlips and the nodding violet grows/ quite overcanopied with luscious woodbine/with musk roses and with eglantine.” A flowery landscape that comes alive!

The Japanese masters of haiku Bosho and Buson bring nature to us when they say, “In the twilight rain/these brilliant hued hibiscus/ A lovely sunset’, and “in the moonlight/ the colour and scent of the wisteria/ seems far away”.

One of the greatest of the English Romantic poets, Shelley, is in adulation of spring. “And the spring arose on the garden fair/ Like the spirit of love everywhere/ And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast / Rises from the dreams of its wintry rest”.

We have Keats’s Ode to Autumn: ”Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness/ close bosom friend of the maturing Sun/Conspiring with him how to load and bless/ With fruit the vines that round the thatch eves run”. The abundance of Nature overwhelms us! The imagination of D H Lawrence makes him see the rainbow as a thing of beauty and majesty — “The rainbow arched indomitable making great architecture of light and colour and the space of heaven”. 

The gradual turn of leaf through seasons, its fall and eddying through swirls along the streets, even the bareness of trees and their branches are the phenomena of nature that have inspired poets, writers and artists. William Blake could discern the world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower and experienced a sense of eternity. With Tennyson’s babbling brook, “I come from haunts of coot and hern”, Shelley’s Cloud saying, ”I bring fresh showers for thirsting flowers” and Wordsworth chancing upon “a host of golden daffodils”, we have nature unfolding its secrets to those who have the eyes to see and the heart to carry them.

The ancient Chinese writer Hu Tzu Cheng talks of the “expressions of blossoms under the moon or the graceful manners of willows in the wind, all of which are existent and yet nonexistent, half real and half unreal — wonder of wonders in the universe”. These sentiments subtle and elusive defy explanation even as they can be seen by the “inward eye”. Albert Einstein says, ”Look deep into Nature, and then you will understand everything better”.

Comments (+)