The trees stand majestically, tall and proud. And the jungle feels like it’s growing with each footstep you put forward. The leaves of all the plant life feel as if they are exhaling their breath on your shoulders, whispering to you to keep walking into the depths of wonderment. You smell a faint floral perfume and musty wet dog scent accented with grassy/piney freshness all with one whiff.
There is a party going on and the conversation is rhythmic. Crickets contribute as the percussion, as the crashing waterfall provides a steady bass line. A myriad of birds of all breeds chirp and squawk their vocals. And mysterious slithery insects and reptiles hiss among the prominent raindrops which make their own music to polish off a Grammy award-winning soundtrack.
As you start to marvel at the beautiful hues of green glistening in the mist, your eyes fixate on the most exquisite and exotic blooms you’ve ever seen. The hypnotic flora will captivate you with salmon-pink scalloped edges, sunburst fire-orange and gold sprays of petals and gleaming white and magenta fringe.
And just as you are visually overwhelmed by the magical beauty you are imbibing with every dew drop of rain, humid breath and groovy jungle strum – it happens… THE BITE.
First it’s a pinch, then a sting, which progresses to the most progressive itch. Thirty-three bites later and two inches of blood-swelling puffer-fish appearing welts, you begin to understand the environment you were just in… someone else’s territory.
And you realize something profound: from a shark bite in the big blue ocean; a charging herd of cattle in the prairie, or yes, even 33 bites in the middle of the rainforest – you are a guest in Mother Nature’s home, which belongs to her children. And her children are skeptical of strangers entering their home.
It is here you are reminded just how small you really are. It is here you earn a newfound respect for the nature you take for granted and dare to trespass. It is also here where you learn just how much we really do need to honor the gifts we have on this Earth before they are gone.
While many of you may balk at the crusaders for our planet – until you’ve personally experienced this or any other kind of magic that intoxicates you visually, audibly and yes, spiritually in a virtual 360, , do you comprehend what people are truly fighting for. They’re fighting for YOUR right to see, hear, smell, taste and feel this all for yourself… the euphoria of everything at once, along with the residual stinging and swelling as a result of the once-in-a-lifetime event. It will make you think differently and put things in a newfound perspective.
I’ve always had respect for the planet and grew up very green in a progressive household that was green back in the 70s with the first solar panels in the neighborhood. We recycled, we conserved. But this experience gave me a deeper appreciation for every bottle, can or paper I’ve recycled, every bit of water I’ve conserved, every piece of litter I’ve ever picked up, every energy-efficient light I’ve screwed in and so forth. And still somehow, it just doesn’t seem enough. For this one opportunity to get bitten 33 times, I would say to see what I have seen, heard and what I have felt – was well worth it.
You can never underestimate the power of Mother Nature. And you can never underestimate the power that each of us have in unity to protect and preserve her and the planet.
Care for the planet, respect nature and don’t forget to grab the insect repellent.