Ancestral energy lives in the stars above us, the stones beneath us. Their memory gathers in oceans, rivers and seas. It hums its silent wisdom within the body of every tree.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Go to the Woods

Go to the woods, or the desert, or the plains, or the shore. Go to the spaces and places you live upon. Get out of your homes and your boxes and walls and sit in the natural world you have adopted as your own.
For people with an earth-centered spirituality, it’s an urgent heartbeat pounding at the back of our souls. Go to the woods. Sit by the river. Climb those rocks. Sail those seas. Bird watch. Forage for fungus. We are meant to want to be part of it all. The more attuned to nature you get, the louder that rhythm pulses through you.
In the city I can’t see that the sky is literally dusted with so many stars there is no such thing as darkness. In the city I can’t hear the symphony of birdsong over the sounds of traffic, both human and automotive. But I heard them in the woods, the beautiful birds in chorus with soft tweets and sharp whistles, punctuated by the percussive woodpecker and the scatting grok of the raven.
A week on a mountain and I was humbled in those woods. I was a human walking in their world. I was not threatening and, after a cursory examination, they paid me no mind. Catbirds swooped down to see what I was doing in their territory, and I acknowledged their claim to the space with offerings of birdseed and nuts.
Go to the woods, where the beetles and the chipmunks live. Go to where the wolf spiders and snakes are, to where the coltsfoot and burdock blossom. Learn to walk as part of their world, not as a predator in it.
Find where the wild strawberries grow and the raccoon kits take their first steps. Listen at dusk as the owls call out and the heron glides silent across the water. Open to the land our ancestors lived on. Open to the new world they experienced and relied upon. Have gratitude for your industrial comforts. And then, go to the woods.
We are one of many animal species, and we all make home from the same earth. It matters. Our sameness matters. How can we truly live in a place if we do not know it, if we do not understand it… if we cannot see it? How can we care about it? Or about what we leave behind for the coming generations?

So go to the woods. Go to the park. Plant a garden. Fill your bird feeders. Hug a tree and feel it bend in the wind. Feel it bend and sigh and speak. Watch the weeds find purchase in broken sidewalks. Nature has a will and nature finds a way. All is changing and we are made to be changeable. Be a part of the flow. Do not stand against it. Stand in the awe and might of the natural world and be of it. Be home.

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