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There is in each region of the Earth an invisible, intangible essence or spirit that makes each section what it is. It varies in different places, it divides: the continents into great natural provinces separated one from the other by life-boundaries. Mostly we recognize this inner character by the feeling of the locality, and by its resemblance to or difference from some other place.Like some continually sounding musical chord this 'oversoul' causes all within its province to vibrate in harmony with the keynote. Trees transplanted from one natural area to another undergo certain changes, birds become darker or lighter, or may change in size; in fact all forms of life adapt themselves in various ways to the overtone.This quality or characteristic of a place, which we sense but cannot describe, other peoples have personalized as a god or deva. We may call it the 'holness' (1) of a place, a term adapted from Ecology, spoken of as a quasi-organism of which the plants and animals are as cells in a body. They see in a forest a living, evolving 'holness,' changing through the ever-shifting cycles like a living thing.
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Nature has myriad facets. It keeps changing from season to season, from minute to minute. If the sea was a bright blue in the morning, by noon it has become an emerald green hue. The colors of the sky keep changing throughout the day, from pale pink at dawn to a dazzling blue at mid morning and a bright orange by sunset and purple by twilight. Nature reflects our moods. When the sun shines, we feel happy and hopeful. Even evil surrenders before the beauty of nature. It has been observed that patients in hospital recover faster if they are in a room with windows that offer a pleasant view. Beyond providing pure pleasure, nature’s beauty can therefore offer therapy for sick minds and bodies. So it is all the more essential that we do our best to preserve it for future generations. Every time we cut down a tree, every time an oil spill despoils the ocean, let us remember that we are destroying the most precious inheritance we can leave behind for our children.
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