“Mother Nature is Awesome!”
I almost threw up a little bit at that point.
It is disgusting to me how a 50 year old man can be standing at a view point in one of the most beautiful places in North America and think it appropriate to thank “Mother Nature” rather than the L-rd who shaped this landscape. The word says that “the firmament shows his handiwork”. This magnificent creation was not sculpted by chance, nor was it created by Mother Nature, a gentler, socially acceptable substitute for G-d. There is nothing gentle about the way this landscape was formed.
Any time a sculptor works to create something beautiful, the process is violent. Our national parks are no exception. They were shaped by floods, rivers, tectonic plates colliding, volcanic eruptions, earth quakes, glaciers, repeated freezing and thawing, acidic rain, the list does not stop. When you see the grandeur of Balancing Rock, you must remember Chip of the Old Block (the balancing rock 100 feet away that toppled in the 70s). When you see Landscape Arch, you must remember that in 1991, 180 tons of stone fell from the west side of the arch. That is how these features are created, and that is how they will be destroyed. It is sometimes a slow process, but it is almost never a gentle process.
I wonder if that is part of the reason why life can be really hard and messy sometimes. Are all of the challenges and difficulties that we face constantly just a part of G-d chipping away at the stone to shape us into something beautiful?
I really do believe that is the case. How beautiful would Arches National Park be if there were no violent forces to shape the stone there? Would it be worth visiting, or would it just be a large mound of rough, unshaped stone?
PS: Before anyone jumps on me, I am aware that Mother Nature is a part of many Native American religions, and is the counterpart of father sky. I am not putting down mothers, or Native American religions even though I do not believe in those religions. I am talking about the way that middle-class, Caucasian Americans use the term basically to mean a series of random occurrences which shaped the world.