by Felicity Shipp

Nature is destruction. Have you seen a blizzard bash against a window? It angrily tears through treetops, shouting at the top if its lungs. It destroys glass and stomps through the corners. Slamming the doors in bitter fury it leaves you alone to gather what warmth you can and when you wake up in the morning you get nothing but a cold shoulder. You don’t see the trillions of diamonds left on the ground in apology.

Have you heard the sighs of the ocean as they push up and down the rocks of the coastline, wearing them small and soft in the raw power behind each thrusting wave? It groans and calls out, never fully satisfied and when it’s done it leaves you breathless and soar with nothing but shells destroyed in its wake. You barely listen for the giggle of the pools, teasing you, tickling your toes, inviting you to play again.

Have you savoured the forest? The trees surround you, closer and pressing, fighting with all their height for the sun. Rays reach for branches, leaves stretch for light, fingertips reaching for fingertips. Some will not make it. They will reach as tall as they can, sinking, striving, roaring, soaring, weakening, falling. They cry in pain as they crash with a heart splintered on the floor, destroyed. But how would you know the screams of a fallen tree—were you there?

Have you smelt the burning flames? Uncontainable, untameable, unquenchable. Fire needs to eat to survive, it never says ‘enough’.
It burns red in passionate ecstasy, devouring and crackling in its own destructive power. It’s not dreadfully picky and doesn’t stop for broken hearts- it will eat them too. As you watch it lick with long red tongues, you fail to notice how your toes are curling into the warmth.

Have you felt the heat of the desert drying your teeth and scratching your eyes as it works to drive you to the ground. The unstable earth shifts under your ankles and hot avalanches bring you to your knees. It’s merciless. Unrelenting. It will have you. It will destroy you. It knows no other way. As the rains come, forcing you to gasp in its torrent from one extreme to the other, you ignore how so your skin is after the sandstorm and refuse to acknowledge the flowers it offers you when you finally emerge from the shower.

Nature may indeed be destruction, but it is also a hopeless romantic.