I started this blog post thinking I would share all about my recent experience in an old growth forest along the Salish Sea. But the more I reflect on it, the more I realized it was all about noticing.
Time in the natural world helps me start noticing all the parts of myself that I ignore most of the time. Like the tiny tut tut tut noise a nuthatch makes when it’s watching and looking for food. And the little blurp noise a seal nose makes when it breaks the surface of the water. How about the click click noise of squirrel toenails on a log. Or the faint taste of marshmallows on my breath the morning after a campfire with s’mores. It’s the slower pace that lets you see your baby becoming a young man and yourself becoming an older woman.
I used to think that the natural world was a place I went to relax and recreate, and rejuvenate myself. But the older I get the deeper my understanding of the fact that nature is not a place to visit. It is me. It’s a huge part of me and you that most in our species have chosen to selectively own.
I feel myself migrating back to wholeness by reintegrating this long lost part. And in my recent retreat I watched others heed that call as well. I could watch the peace of unity fall over the group as we spent more and more time accessing this relationship.
I’m finding it’s surprisingly hard to stay integrated with the natural world while still being involved in current human culture. They don’t align real well anymore. But my trip to the sea gave me a tip for maintaining connection even in the busyness of human-ing.
Feel the ocean waves in your bloodstream. The rivers in your veins. The moon managing the tides in your heartbeat. Notice the reciprocity in exchanging breaths with the trees. Drinking in fresh water from the earth. Even in the chaos of a city, listen closely and you can notice birdsong and let it bring you back to yourself.
I am also noticing how my tiny acts of care for the planet are also acts of self care. Using less water when you wash the dishes means a tiny bit more water for the rivers. Reducing waste or repurposing materials means less toxins and pollutants for our decomposes to try to process to keep us healthy. We really are just one big body after all.
Thanks for reading and considering this perspective shift. Maybe even try it on and see if it resonates with you too.
With love and gratitude always.