For nearly all of the time humans have been on the planet, regular conversations across the species border were an everyday natural part of life.
Sadly, this seems like a strange invitation in our world today; most people have difficulty initiating such a conversation. Perhaps this is because we’ve been taught from a very young age to perceive nature as separate, a life-less object, a commodity. This mistaken perception seems to be at the foundation of our cultural ills.
In The Lost World of the Kalahari, Laurens van der Post writes about living among the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert and describes how shocked they were that he couldn’t hear the stars. At first they thought he must be joking or lying. When they realized he really couldn’t hear the stars, they concluded he must be very ill and expressed great sorrow. For the Bushmen knew anyone who can’t hear nature must have the gravest and deadliest sickness of all.
Humanity’s ability to perceive the sentience of Earth is critical to our survival and to all life on earth.
Longing to be in conversation with nature can catalyze us. And perhaps the natural world longs for this relationship with us too.
Longing is not acquiring, as the vulnerability of failure feels all too possible. Instead, longing incites us into feeling the love-ache of what we really value, and it matures us into becoming and creating that which matters most, like an embodied prayer that lays our life on the altar to serve what we love.
~ Rebecca Wildbear, the Animas Valley Institute: https://animas.org/books/bill-plotkins-soulcraft-musings/newsletter-archive/
[Art: Ruth Evans Art]