In life, there are many paths.
In living, there are many choices. In loving, there are many hues. To dream is to awaken to the soft winds echoing through the canyons of time.
To be alive is to be in perfect stillness, a spectator to the seasons of change. To be a steward is to hold reverence for all that is symbiotic to the intricate interconnectedness all around us.
From the microorganisms beneath our feet to the symphony orchestra of our feathered friends resting in the tree tops and making great migrations just above us while traveling millions of miles together in unison.
The migratory flyways exist over nearly every river in the world. The rivers are the arteries, the streams and tributaries are the life veins of Mother Earth. The trees, her lungs. Our lungs, her breath.
This wild beckoning to return to nature exists in each of us who are quiet enough to hear her call. For in the not so distant past, we all embraced the wilderness with fearlessness. We were steadfast and strong, wise and intuitive. To stand before an old growth tree and feel absolutely humbled by its magnificence is to live.
To stand before the ocean and bow down knees bent to sand as tears flow freely with every ebb and every flow is to live. To truly hear the ocean waves crash against the dolomite cliffs is to live. To rise above the world in a metal bird and to see the terrain from high in the sky while soaring through the clouds and the warm rays of sun is to live.
To climb mountains and stand upon the peak looking out in all directions and seeing the world actually curve at the horizon line is to live. To not take for granted any second of any day is to live. To fill one’s heart with pure gratitude for every connection, every interaction, every living breathing organism is to live. To rise with the sun and dream with the moon is to live.
To dance around a fire while a drum beat prevails is to live. To look to the skies and see the Northern Lights, a meteor shower, billions of stars in the midnight sky is to live. To travel to the wonders of the world is to live. To conceive a child, bringing life force energy to a being is to live. And for this embryo to develop and grow in the womb—a miracle we take for granted.
To give birth or witness birth is to live. To watch a child grow and learn and discover is to live. To kiss a loved one for the very last time and to witness their very last breath on Earth is to live. To mourn is to live. To be overwhelmed with unwavering sadness is to live. To create is to live. To inspire is to live.
To wrap your arms around the love of your life melting into his or her sheer presence is to live. To look deep, deep into another’s eyes as if you were looking into a nebula in the cosmos is to live. To feel deep love is to live.
To forage wild foods to feed our spirits is to live. To dig our fingertips into the rich dark soils of our gardens is to live. To plant seeds of hope and watch them crack open, rooting deep into the earth while stretching for the sun is to live. To eat from your garden. To feast from the fruits of your own labor is to thrive. To practice permaculture is to live. To plant trees and gardens is to live.
To teach others is to live. To reap what you sow is to live. To get down close to the earth, breasts pressed against the ground and sinking as far down into the dirt as possible is to live. To intimately witness the emerging beauty of the plants as they awaken from the damp rich soil that has been lying dormant in the stillness of winter is to live. As the budding shades of green and white make their way through the cold dark layers of earth, the sun’s rays shine down so delicately on to their new growth in such a naturally calculated manner—to witness the tiny little microhabitats come to life is to truly live.
Knowing that bliss is on the horizon is to live. In the bitter cold winter, the roots knew when to grab hold of the bedrock below. Inherently finding the path of least resistance through the decomposing layers of the forest floor. As lateral roots spread and taproots deepen, the stem grows thicker, piercing through the earth’s surface to dance its innate dance.
The plants have intuition. They know when to sprout, where to set roots, when to flower, when to go to seed, and when to go dormant. Their life cycles are in tune with the rhythms of nature, the relationship of the Earth to the sun, the soil temperature and the changing seasons. These plants have adapted over thousands of years. But to not be fully aware is to not live but to slowly wither away inside.
Knowledge is power. The destitution nature feels from the hands of man needs to be healed. It is our intrinsic moral obligation to wake up and give a fuck. We have ruined the waterways, polluted the air, ripped out the old growth trees, mined her to her bare bones, and poured salt in her wounds. We must rise up, tear away our selfish skin and hear her plea with every moral fiber of our being. Together, we can return to her. Together, we can begin to slowly reverse the damage we as a species have done.
Beyond borders and flags and righteousness lies love. And love begets gratitude. To be grateful and to shed the layers of hatred, fear, bitterness, and selfishness is to live. For we cannot live without her. Rebirth. Rejuvenation. Renewal. Emerging from dormancy and awakening the spirit. Awakening the very essence of our beings is to thrive. Returning to our roots and reclaiming our archaic wisdom is to live. Welcoming the paradigm shift is to live.
Author: Crystal Stevens
Editor: Travis May
Images: Author’s Own
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