Biophilia

Love of Life.

Our garden provides us with contact with many forms of life. Indeed, increasing contact with nature was a motivating interest behind the creation of the garden to begin with. Like many people we  connect with nature in a a small way by keeping pets and houseplants and we by taking the time on weekends to go for nature walks and canoe trips. However, this was not enough. I needed to have a greater day-by-day exposure to the natural world and because moving to the country was not an option, I had to bring the country home.  Personally I have a fondness for insects and the minute form of life that live outside of most people’s notice, so developing a naturalistic garden seemed the obvious way to go.It has been a great success in that way, and this little garden seems to have an endless capacity for new natural connections.

Generally, it seems that it is an essential part of our lives to have contact with nature. E.O Wilson and others have theorized that this desire is innate in all humans, an evolutionary trait that reflects our history of dependence on the natural world for survival. They call this bond between humans and natural systems Biophilia.

E.O. Wilson
E.O. Wilson

I have argued in this book that we are human in good part because of the particular way we affiliate with other organisms.  They are the matrix in which the human mind originated and is permanently rooted, and they offer the challenge and freedom innately sought.  To the extent that each person can feel like a naturalist, the old excitement of the untrammeled world will be regained.  I offer this as a formula of reenchantment to invigorate poetry and myth: mysterious and little known organisms live within walking distance of where you sit.  Splendor awaits in minute proportions.

Edward O. Wilson, Biophilia, 1984, p. 139

See A Conversation With E.O. Wilson at Nova for more on Biophilia.

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