If you have been affected by the snow storms along the East Coast, I hope you have time to stay home and enjoy a rare snow day!

Let me get a bit reflective on your asses...

Looking upon this lone island and various other small-uninhabited islands, not far off shore from our window in the Virgin Islands, threw me into a reflective mode and our responsibility to the natural world.

Here I was on an island stacked with homes on hillsides.  Less than a half-mile away was an island untouched by man.  This little island represented an entire enclosed ecosystem.  So close to the main island, it should surely be gentrified (I found out later that it has been preserved by The Nature Conservancy.)  I though about the importance of stewardship, “the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care”, in relation to our planet.  We, humans, have this innate need to own things...  “This country is mine, here are the boundaries I’ve drawn.”  “This land and the house on it are mine.”  We are only stewards of the little plots of land we inhabit.  Only stewards of this earth.  Temporary passersby in the long timeline of the universe, a blip.  It’s our responsibility to care for “our” little piece of nature and, to a larger extent, “our” planet.  It isn’t ours to own or spoil, but a gem to protect for the future.

We are the only creatures on earth that can impose our will upon nature in a significant way, changing it to suit our needs, but nature will have none of it.  Nature quickly takes back what belongs to it.  You can see it in the little plants that grow in cracks in sidewalks and overgrown abandoned parking lots or roads.

For me, that’s the impact of a view… this one forced me stop and think about nature and our duty to ensure that we don’t upset its delicate balance.

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All images and content copyright Jeffrey Schneider of JAMES Modern Terrariums 2009.