As a child, I remember being completely transfixed by the shadows of clouds. I would sit in the back seat of our car on road trips and watch them move gracefully along rolling hills. They were magnificent to me then. After 30 years in the inner-city, they are magnificent to me now. Sun and darkness, rolling, rolling, rolling past my window. They spoke to me of something grand and eternal that did not alter with man's doings on this earth.
Inner-city children know very little, if anything of the majesty of nature. They know miles of concrete, cracked sidewalks, tall buildings, urban blight, stray cats howling in the alleys and gangways at night.
I often wonder what this barrenness contributes to the violence that overshadows so many young inner-city lives. I often wonder if more exposure to the majesty of nature would make a difference.
My childhood memories of nature are lush and painted with the intense hues of the world that surrounded me. I still escape into them from time to time. I have memories of watching Jack Frost furling out frond like patterns across windows. I envision the captivating gait of deer, as they turn their startled heads and move off towards more private grazing grounds. I still hear the nighttime song of multitudes of wildlife bellowing out their midnight chorus. My memories keep me sane.