Nature on Display
The Museum was full of beautiful nature from many areas of Florida. The Butterfly garden was probably the best part. Walking outside into a whole new space changes one's sensory experience completely. The temperature, humidity, sounds, and visual change all made it a very enjoyable moment. Walking through a winding pathway, I was greeted by many different types of butterflies and birds. The openness of the space was very enjoyable. The staff had set out plates of fruits that the butterflies had congregated onto. I enjoyed seeing the different patterns on the butterfly's' wings.
Seeing the small ecosystem flowing naturally really made me think about the interconnectedness of our world so much more. In a very engineered and artificial world, it can be easy to forget this simple truth. Our entire universe is all interconnected and flowing together in the constant present. This was a very relaxing experience.
Nature and ethics
There were a couple of installations regarding the need for conservation and environmental protection. Air quality and climate change projects were both prominently displayed upon entering the main area. These are very important issues that must be addressed in our future. Climate change is a problem that is not easily solved and requires the cooperation of the entire planet, not just a single country. I was reminded once again by this solemn reality upon entering the space. I am glad they made this very clear early on during my tour.
Seeing exhibits about previous native american tribes in Florida was a another reminder of humanity's not so pretty past. Western colonizers have murdered and torn apart rich cultures that have existed in the Americas for thousands of years. It is easy to forget this. The victors in war write the history books, and it is very easy to be blinded from reality when caught up in nationalism.
Seeing the Frogs and butterfly exhibit reminded me of the amazing beauty of life in all its forms. To see an entire ecosystem functioning was very relaxing and felt natural. It is hard to get this connection of nature in my daily life at the University, in such a filtered environment.
A beautiful mural about the need for conservation
Nature and the Human Spirit
The Museum provided an excellent opportunity to think about how I connect to different ecosystems and environments. Multiple different environments created a diverse sensory experience. Going from a butterfly garden, early native american coastal community recreations, and underwater settings allowed me to think about the complexity of the nature in Florida. Our world is incredibly unique. To see how early native americans lived and the artifacts that permeated their lives was very interesting. They had a very rich culture and belief system.
Early native American carving showing the belief of reincarnation in life.
I really enjoyed seeing how the belief systems of Florida native Americans shaped their whole life. Everything was based on living in harmony with their environment. Never taking more than needed. This is how I want to live my life.