I remember the first time I noticed bugs.
Those little beings crawling, flying, jumping. On the ground, in the air. From branch to leaf to pond to my bare arm, they called out.
Inconspicuous presence made conspicuous. Notice me, they shouted.
And off we went…
I was a little girl, then; it just happened. I began to look for them everywhere. As the walls of my home left me wanting more, I sought connection in all things smaller outside.
Then, in the Midwestern forests, these days in the Foothills in Boulder, I am that girl, delighting in spending hours bushwhacking a pine forest, kneeling in the dirt, hoping for a glimpse of her buzzing, flying, twittering, winged friends.
It was a welcome event. That Saturday afternoon, the open space of Betasso. With my ecopsychology cohort for the day, guided by a few words:
Go spend six hours on your favorite trail. Alone. Seek, and you shall find.
And find I did. Then, as always—my grasshopper friend, my beefly buddies. Buzzing about their own world.
This is what I learned, the lessons that day:
The Extraordinariness of Our Experience Often Lies in the Simplicity of the Moment.
I mused, what would it be like, to follow a grasshopper around throughout his day? I watched him hop away, spaces beyond his three-inch body. Catching a grass blade, swaying in the wind.
How would it be, to walk into the rhythm of a warm summer day—to feel, aligned with the yellow peas and bluebells? Feel, greeted by the blueflax?
Expansiveness. Grasshopper friend showed: Walk, along the well-worn trail. Can you allow the natural world to leave its footprints on your spirit?
Dropping down that dirt trail, I looked into the darkness within the washed-out sunlit day. How can a beefly dig a hole? And, how many are down there in the earth? Does their community have an HOA?
Capture—silly human thoughts—look at us! We are collective manifestations of life from a fragile, minuscule world. Notice us! We have been here all along. Wasn’t Horton really a Buddha in blue?
Periwinkle butterflies air-dancing inches above mud. Watching them, I wonder: Do their wings feel heavy, traces of moisture infusing pale violet?
Standing up, I glance around. I am missing my grasshopper friend. I wonder where he is, in his journey. Is he climbing a stalk of grass, chirping through the air?
Sun now setting, the pine forest cools. Birds animated, calling out the other: Where is my grasshopper friend now, in his day?
Leaving the trail, I arrive just around the corner. A field of daisies my friends. Sunshine faces lifted, smiling upwards, their maker. They ask: Can we continue to find ways to open our hearts to their moment, to join them within?
Leaving my companions, grasshopper whispers upon my exit. Nature leaves her imprints, marking the landscape. Water paths carve on trails, markers of events past.
I leave the thoughts behind. A moment of impermanence, forever integrated.
Woman leaves her imprint, just the same.
Inspired synchronicity: Dance, with fireflies. Run, into the wind. Stroll, in summer rainstorms. Breathe, into the clouds…
Author: Denise Boehler
Assistant Editor: Jan Farias // Editor: Toby Israel
Image: Ivan Davis via Flickr