How can a Pagan environmentalist not like being outside? Easy. I just don't. Doesn't that mean that I must not be a real Pagan and I must not be a real environmentalist? Apparently not since I am clearly an environmentalist and I am clearly a Pagan and I clearly do not like being outside. A zebra with spots! Good Lord! I am proof that such an animal exists. Let me explain my deviance.
1. There are lots of insects outside. I love insects. They are endlessly fascinating and beautiful comrades in my journey through life. I refuse to kill or injure them--- but I'm also not keen on having them land on my lips and eyeballs. I'm not thrilled about mosquito bites either and I can live without bee, wasp, hornet,or yellow jacket stings. I find it distressing when an insect, the fragile and exquisite handiwork of my Creator, dive bombs my potato salad. Being outside seems to invite this unpleasant insect attention.
2. I am almost always too hot or too cold even indoors. In Upstate NY, the weather changes rapidly. My children went swimming for the first time this year during the first week of May. Later that week it snowed. We have snow in May and heat waves in December. We have ice storms, windstorms, and lightning storms. These are great and interesting phenomena but I prefer to be indoors during them. I also find that prolonged exposure to our more typical forms of weather which consist primarily of icy cold, clammy drizzle, and muggy heat bums me out. I do like to spend time outside sometimes, but I like it to be purposeful and I like it to be limited in duration.
3. Indoors is where people read and talk. I find these activities stimulating Outdoors they throw spherical objects at each other and insist that I help them with yard work. I do not enjoy these activities.
4. The outdoors is very dirty. I do not like to feel soiled. Yucky.
5. I live in rural America. The outdoors smells of flowers. And manure. Mostly manure. Do the math. Also, one of our primary crops is cabbage. Have you smelled cabbage fermenting in the fields?
I always say, "I love Nature...in theory." This is a joke. Mostly. But I do love Nature. I support it as best as I am able and hope to keep learning how to increase my abilities to be Nature's ally. I am a committed Crunchy Green Earth Mama. I breastfed all my children well past the age at which they could engage in stimulating conversation with me regarding the merits of breastfeeding. I am a vegan who chooses locally grown and organic foods (when I can get them in a region that has a growing season of about six days somewhere near the end of August). I stand opposed to wastefulness, consumerism, commercialism, capitalism, and unnecessarily shiny fabrics. I support environmentalist causes, read environmentalist publications, and teach environmentalist topics to my students. I just happen to not like gardening, outdoor play, or having to stand anywhere that is too sunny, breezy, nippy, or damp.
My "God" is in Nature. True. But my "God" is also in intellect, in conversation, in relationships, and in thought. These things are natural too. Just as lots of Christians do not really like to spend their entire day worshiping in the temples of their faiths (often there is a funny smell), I do not really like to spend my entire day in what others perceive as the temple of my faith. So I will continue to honor nature in my own way, here by a window. The trees are indeed, lovely, dark and deep. But I have kitchen floors to sweep, and lots to read before I sleep, and lots to read before I sleep.