Written by Sofya Maxnide
In the spirit of this upcoming Earth Day, let’s take a look at the parental words used in reference to Time and Nature. Time first appeared as a male in 1439, according to the OED, but we will not take into account the implied pronouns because we want to show that there is no imbalance of power here in the supernatural realm.
Sidenote: just because the assigned pronouns mentioned later in the text is male doesn’t mean that all males are above females, or vice versa. The quotes here come from old texts and images, so equality was not thought of like today. What should be noted is how regardless of the role, both are tied together in ways that each action will affect the other.
The Urban dictionary describes Father Time as a friendly version of the Grim Reaper, because as we all know, one’s time will come by both hands either way. Time is usually pictured as an old white bearded man with a cloak, a scythe and/or hourglass. Just like Grim Reaper is connected to Life, so is Time to Nature. According to Lexico, an online Oxford dictionary, nature is personified as a female creative and controlling force affecting the world and humans.
From the OED we find that nature was first referenced in 1390 when Chaucer wrote in the Canterbury Tales (Physician’s Tale part), “As thogh she wolde seyn, ‘lo! I, nature, Thus kan I forme and peynte a creature.” I know, Middle English is so hard to read, and even worse is Old English.
It’s like a foreign language that needs to be translated: “For Nature had, with sovereign diligence, moulded her to so great an excellence she seemed to say: “Behold now, I, Nature, thus can I form and pain a creature…” What we can accurately deduce from all these definitions and descriptions is that Father Time and Mother Nature are in a marriage of sorts. Without one or the other, our existence would be very different than what we know now, and that is why keeping both in mind is very important.
Imagine being immortal but having your pets die before you, food becoming scare and having to formulate some kind of meagre sustenance from the last of Mother Nature’s supply. Just imagine what it would be like with no nature, no spring season to brighten your mood, just bleakness all around with not even a single blade of grass to spruce the ground.
In both these examples, you can see that humans will never beat Father Time for although the human race has survived for this long, we cannot outrun the race of Time. Mother Nature is unfortunately tied to both us and Father Time, because whatever we do affects it while Time similarly entraps it.
Knowing that our end is near is not a reason to start caring for dear Mother Nature and escaping to Mars is an alternative that should be squashed.
You remember that old saying, “Clean up when your done?” Well, the same principle applies here.
We shouldn’t be so hasty to think of leaving, nor should we live in our own slop (unless you’re pigs who can recycle trash and poop out good fertilizer for the soil). Just like every Mother’s and Father’s Day we celebrate those who gave us life, we should also be mindful of the environment we were given to live life in.
For some, it’s the simple things like not taking plastic bags from stores and instead using reusable bags or reducing the amount of time spent in the shower just letting the water pour over you while conditioning your hair. Others may employ recycle bins, or instead of throwing away clothes, take them to a store where they will recycle it for material. Use glass storage containers instead of plastic for in the fridge, pantry, etc. Comment down below anything you can suggest that works for you!
Sharing these ideas goes a long way to bringing it to the forefront of our minds which then in turn brings us to actively pursuing it, however, DO NOT and I stress again, DO NOT force, cajole, or judge other lifestyles if they don’t follow this mentality. As we all know because of Father Time, each individual’s time will come soon enough but you never know when time will end indefinitely, so it’s not worth wasting your time about.
Thanks for reading, and comment below again if you’re in agreement that Mother’s and Father’s Day should just be given a whole month and renamed “Parent’s Day.”
“nature, n.” OED Online, Oxford University Press, March 2021, www.oed.com/view/Entry/125353. Accessed 5 April 2021.