Today’s Reflection is about being in, and with, Nature. Something that many of us, city dwellers, have forgotten.
It was late, dark, and raining here in Vancouver. And the world was beckoning me to come and visit and wander the streets. I felt the need to answer the call…
A dark, quiet, windless, and rain-ful night, as Tobi and I were wandering through the neighbourhood. The rain called me out, out of the comfort of my cozy and warm home, to come and join Nature and inhale the fresh air and feel the rain drops on my clothes. Shining tiny diamond-like drops of water on the edges of pine needles, shimmering in the street lights. Feeling the gratitude for the eternal and mysterious self-sustaining ways of Nature was a beautiful thing to notice and feel. Inhaling the fresh air was a gift. The human-made world was mostly asleep, yet Nature did not stop her endless magic of sustaining and creating life. Seeing many naked trees getting ready for a long hibernation made me think about the importance of taking time-out, to sustain and rejuvenate my own well-being.
Even though I was outside the “comfort” of my home, I felt comfortable, at peace, belonging, and connected with the world around me.
“Human behavior is rooted most deeply in nature’s intentions and desire. The rhythms of nature underlie all of human interaction: religious traditions, economic systems, cultural and political organization. When these human forms betray the natural psychic pulse, people and societies get sick, nature is exploited and entire species are threatened.” – Stephen Aizenstat
And then, when I came back home, I stumbled upon the following piece, by John Milton, and it suddenly made a lot more sense.
“The profound healing power of Nature. This healing power comes directly and naturally, without any artifice or complicated treatments, prayers, rituals or ceremonies.
All that is required is a commitment to come alone to Nature’s heart, to relax into the silence, and to trust. In living closely and alone with Nature for the first time, most people’s initial experiences are of radical slowing down… and of silence. Both are powerful healers. Modern technocratic culture is characterized by ever-increasing pressures for speed, and by almost continuous noise – inner and outer. In our contemporary cultural frenzy to boost our economies, we produce increasingly processed products; we consume increasingly greater quantities of these goods and energy, hoping to fill the gnawing void within we fear to meet. As we feed this growing industrial/technocratic mesh, our natural world is systematically replaced by an artificial one. And in this artificial world, the values of silence and slow, organic rhythms are rarely encountered.
Consider how many millions of years it has taken for our current interconnected web of body, mind and emotions to evolve. And consider what kind of environment supported this evolution, and coevolved with us. The environments were natural ones, where organic rhythms of day/night, moon cycle, solar cycle, constellation cycles were part of us; and we were part of them. Trees, flowers, streams, lakes, ocean shorelines, mountains, rocks, sky, clouds – all of these elements of Nature have been companions in our journey into our contemporary embodiment, and influenced our growth. Now, in a few generations, we have leapt into incredibly new processed environments. Plastics, millions of new chemical compounds, air-conditioned air, fluorescent lighting, artificial food, powerful drugs, glass/steel/plastic housing and transportation units, alien electromagnetic fields, intense performance stress, speed, environmental pollution of every imaginable kind, breakdown of community/extended family/core family/marriage/children and parent relationships – the list can go on and on. But it is characterized by one thing: the sudden shift from natural, organic, whole, mostly rural environments within which human beingness evolved – to highly artificial, speedy, noisy, crowded and polluted urban centers. No wonder the species is in trouble. When we drop all our artificial lifestyles, and move back into Nature with simple, open hearts, Nature heals us. Healing happens even if we can only return for a short while. And the healing comes naturally through simple reconnection with the countless ancient relationships our species has always had with all the other living things, with Mother Earth, and with the cyclical energies of the Heavens. Our minds, bodies and hearts move into their ancient harmonies. Time slows into the way the moon fills the night, the way the eagle circles in the sky.”
A sunny week to you all, inside and out.