What is it about nature that draws us in and erases our mental boundaries?
Fading sorbet-colored skies at dusk, ruminations under the brilliancy of the Milky Way or the fresh scent of spring flowers, break down the idea of singularity and allow for a moment of melting; an opportunity for a true meeting between the earth—the mother that bore us—and this human mind.
It might be an interesting experience to delve into the fundamental source of our existence and reach toward the very mother of our being; we could learn a great deal about ourselves while looking into the heart of life.
“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”
~ John Muir
And yet, today, it seems her children work incessantly and unknowingly against her, slicing down forests and polluting her life-giving seas.
When I look around, staring out at the expansive sprawl of Los Angeles or watching the smog build up over San Jose in the afternoon, I often wonder how we got here; seven and a half billion people, the sixth great extinction event in the history of life on earth, human-induced global warming, all on this grain of sand, swirling in the midst of infinity.
I look to the religious traditions—the archetypal creation myths coursing through the veins of modern human society—and hear about some place called heaven, yet I can’t imagine one more profound than a redwood grove or a black sand beach (the velvet texture of sand grains oozing up between our toes only to have that experience meld into gazing upon the majesty of swaying monoliths).
When our eyes our opened, it becomes difficult to deny the beauty of it all; the way ocean waves greet the shoreline and how these coastal zones bleed inland to intertwine with desert landscapes and towering mountains, to form a habitat that nourishes us, moment after moment.
How do we, as a species, remain out of touch with this reality?
Is it modernity? Is it the idea that our home is not heaven and that we will all go to a carnival in the sky? Is it that many of us don’t believe that we are the descendants of apes, only a few million years removed?
Or is it the rampant nature of our complex minds? In the end, it is something for you to look into and examine carefully.
If we keep looking away, if we continue to stay out of touch with our vital connection to the mother that bore us, we will miss the heaven that is here, all around us and in our ignorance, we will destroy it.
There is so much we can do.
Joining an organization and giving our time or currency is one idea, while lobbying the government to be more proactive is another.
But, fundamentally, there is something far more important we can all do first: we can rekindle that vital, pulsating connection we have to our mother.
This mind, when quieted and flayed out, is the way into a deep relationship with life.
The more people who can ignite it through consciously wading into nature and realizing the vibrancy of life and our place within the interconnected dynamic of vastness, the faster we can save the real, tangible heaven.
“Defenseless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.”
~ W.H. Auden, September 1, 1939
Be a steward for the earth and cherish life.
Editor: Bryonie Wise
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