There is a rhythm in nature.
A beautiful, barely perceptible orchestra plays the soundtrack of life itself.
It can be heard, but more so felt when we allow ourselves to become the audience. When we place ourselves in the right seat and become still enough.
There are certain sounds that stir the light in us all. Crickets at night for some, a crackling fire for others. Perhaps the powerful rushing of waterfalls or the delicate trickle of rain.
There is a pace to nature.
It is different from the pace we hold in daily life. Its slower, more methodical. Like our breath when we allow ourselves a moment of slowness.
Certain things hold this pace for us, the leaves rustling in the trees, frogs singing, trickling streams. They invite us to be at ease for a moment...maybe more.
Nature entices our senses.
If given the chance our hearts will be lifted simply by noticing the smells around us.
Lilacs blooming in spring, the freshness of cut grass, the musty comfort of damp leaves.
For some we are thrilled by the salty scent of the ocean, others find the smell of freshly turned soil to be the smell of endless possibility. A reminder of the circle of life. The coming together of decay and new growth.
We have become removed from nature. Most of us, most of the time anyway.
We have lost our ability to trust in the land to sustains us. We have lost touch with the skills and confidence in ourselves to be able to maintain life in the wild.
Yet it is all still there.
We could, and the earth would, sustain us.
If we had to. If we let her.
Right now we are not called upon to live off the land.
Instead we are called upon to breathe life back into her!!
We are called upon to respect all we are given and to take only what we need.
We are required now, imperatively, to recognize that we are not here to simply take from the earth.
It is a relationship. A partnership.
We need to participate and contribute.
Just as we teach our children to share, to be kind and gentle with others, to say thank you, and sorry even when it uncomfortable. We must do this with the earth.
We teach children to give as well as receive even when it is hard, to take responsibility for mistakes and help others to do the same, because it is the right thing to do.
So too we must all learn to do this for the environment.
If not because it is the right thing to do...then because our children need us to.
A friend who is not respected will eventually turn their back.
A relationship of selfishness will break down.
Without love and care, we die.
This is the truth of human life, and also the truth of the earth itself.
We know this. We really, deeply, know this.
So what can be done?
We can show love by walking lightly. Respecting wild spaces. Using marked paths even when we yearn to explore further.
Supporting preservation even over our own personal or financial interests.
Disposing of our waste properly. Even when it is heavy, expensive or inconvenient.
We can show kindness by choosing chemical free products and buying used rather than new whenever possible.
We can share things with neighbours and friends so they don't have to buy their own.
In doing so we take less from the earth.
We slow down, quiet our demands.
We say thank you by planting trees and flowers and clover. By using water consciously and conservatively. By changing old habits like watering grass and killing dandelions.
We let wild spaces be wild. Seeing the beauty in what grows naturally rather than rejecting and “cultivating” the world to suit our tastes.
We say sorry by helping to clean up. By participating.
By changing our ways, making choices that preserve the environment even when it is inconvenient.
Walking more, carrying reusable bags, refusing plastics, cooking whole foods.
We say thank you by picking up garbage even if we didn't make the mess.
We stop saying “I do what I can” and start asking “what more can I do?”
And yeah, its easy to become overwhelmed.
Its tempting to turn away from it all, hoping that someone else will figure all out.
In those moments of doubt and apathy, step outside.
Turn your face to the wind.
Listen to the sounds of the world around you.
Allow yourself to smell the earth and let her settle your breath and your heart's rhythm.
Slow down, be calm.
We can do this.
We can show up.
Because she is worth it….and so are we.
Written by Kate Mooney.