The day before my 47th birthday, I took a walk with my dog companion on part of the Upper Deschutes River trail, here in central Oregon. I had purposely not invited a human friend because I wanted to be free of conversation and keep my mind clear and open to my surroundings.
What wisdom and what teachings would the land, the growing green ones, the water might offer to me, I wondered.
As I began the trail, I was whirling in mind, seeking insights and solutions. Despite my embodiment awareness and practices, this a familiar place of orientation: I am often firmly lodged in my mind, trying to figure out and make sense of my life cognitively.
Initially on our walkabout, I was perceiving my natural surrounding primarily through my eyes and mind, but as we traversed through cattailed wetlands, piney throroughfares and over rocky prominences, my mind began to calm and quiet. My other senses began to open and widen.
At last, as I sat by a peaceful stretch of the river, I realized (once again) that there was not an absolute need to register information through my neocortex, the logical and definition-seeking member of my brain.
The life force of Nature—defined by various cultures as Prana (ancient Indian Philosophy), Chi (Classical Chinese philosophy), Nwyfre (modern Druid philosophy), Chu’lel (Mayan) and much more, I’m sure—is too vast and complex to be grasped by the logical brain alone. The living vitality of Nature vibrates and sings, emanating in a myriad of ways.
And my body—and yours—has a myriad of ways to receive and soak in this vitality and sing along with it.
So that is what I did.
In deep gratitude and pleasure.
Then I felt satisfaction.
No longer did I need answers and solutions.
I was just being.
I shared myself as Nature shared herself and we blessed one other.
And, just possibly, I could feel that I am Nature, too, and that we are actually one.
Later I read this passage from Sharon Blackie’s “If Women Rose Rooted”:
“We spend our lives searching for meaning in ourselves . . . when so much of the meaning we need is beneath our feet, in the plants and animals around us, in the air we breathe. We swaddle ourselves so tightly in the centrality of our own self-referential humanness that we forget that we are creatures of the Earth, and need also to connect with the land. We need to get out of the confines of our own heads. We need—we badly need—grounding; we need to find our anchor in place, wherever it is that we live. Once we find that anchor, so many of our problems fade away. And once we find that anchor, so often uncover the nature of our true work, the nature of the gift we can offer up to the world.”
May you find that anchor.
May you bless one another.
May you discover your truth in that place of grounding and being.