5 Ways Nature Shows Us There’s More To Life Than Minimalism

There are a crapload of good reasons to live simple. It’s a good idea to live with less. It’s not bad to declutter. But nature shows us there’s a lot more to life than minimalism.

I live in the Pacific Northwest. There’s a lot of natural beauty in this region. And there’s also a lot of variety.

As one who’s lived in the desert of Eastern Washington for years, it’s easy to see the connection between nature and minimalism. The desert is sparse. There’s also a simple beauty in an ocean horizon: a straight, clean line. Nature often shows us her minimalist qualities. However, if we look deeper, we discover that nature can teach us something important: There’s much more to life than minimalism.

Don’t Get Stuck In One Scene

It’s occurred to me that many who take minimalism to its extreme might be stuck. In fact, some might struggle with borderline obsessive-cumplulsive tendencies. Minimalists like clean straight lines, lots of white, and modern furnishings. But that doesn’t really represent the natural world we’re living in.

Nature is not so neat. If you really study nature, it is relatively simple, but there’s variety, and yes, clutter. Please, don’t be afraid.

Nature Teaches More To Life Than Minimalism

  1. The abundant desert: So at a glance, the desert looks simple and sparse. Look closer. If you take a walk through the desert and pay attention to detail, you’ll discover thousands of plant and animal species littering the desert floor. Take it in. There’s beauty in that clutter.
  2. Beneath the sea: An ocean horizon has a minimalist beauty about it. But have you ever studied what lives within its waters? There is an abundance of animal and plant life. There are millions of shells and rocks. Just take a stroll on a beach and you’ll find beauty in natural clutter.
  3. The deep woods: The Northwest is home to The Cascade Mountains. I’ve spent hundreds of hours in the deep woods. There’s a lot of stuff out there. The woods are filled with variety. There’s clutter everywhere. Yet it’s beautiful.
  4. Rolling prairies: I love the Flint Hills. If you’re not familiar, the Flint Hills are seemingly endless rolling hills in the middle of Kansas. Again, from a distance, there is a beautiful minimalist quality about the prairie. But when you look closer, nature teaches her lesson about variety.
  5. Your backyard: Go ahead. Take a look. Even if you keep your yard simple, nature will still show her face. Most lawns are filled with variety of grasses. There are bugs, and bees, and butterflies. If you’ve landscaped, you likely have a few bushes, flowers, and trees. Variety.

Take A Lesson From Nature

Don’t get stuck in one mode. Look around and learn from your natural surroundings. The world is not completely flat with all straight lines. The sky is not always white. Nature is filled with variety. 

Minimalism is a man-made concept. It originated in art and music and has since been deemed a lifestyle. But nature teaches us that even the most minimalist landscapes offer variety and are filled with stuff. 

This isn’t to say that you should go out and buy a truckload of cheap crap that was made with materials that are destroying nature. But be willing to accept a little disarray and clutter in your own life. You’ll learn to be more relaxed and tolerant.

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James Ewen
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