Without realizing it, even the most “outdoorsy” of us can have an ego-centric dimension to our relationship with nature.
Nature needs the rain, wind and clouds to fulfill her needs and nourish all living things. But if the weather doesn’t comply, we express disappointment and disgust at our plans being ruined. We complain about storms keeping us from the summit, bugs driving us from the park and weeds taking over our yards. So we pull, spray and pray for the environment to conform to our needs.
The truth is, it’s a conditional relationship of convenience and expectation that no human connection could ever survive.
There is only one way I have been able to try to face, heal and shift away from this toxic dynamic. I had to lay down under the clouds, close my eyes and locate myself as a child in nature.
I had to go back to a time when I didn’t perceive myself as separate from the wild. Back before the spell of the self cast a long shadow over one of the most fundamental and nurturing relationships of my life – my bond with Mother Nature.
So I went out and found my three-year-old self sitting in a field of bluebonnets, turning over stones. Together she and I tasted the earth, sang to scorpions, balanced barefoot in the riverbed and followed a red-tailed hawk until it arched just out of sight. Together we shook water from the willows, filled our pockets with dandelions and dreamt our way back home.
After realizing myself in her image and spirit, my time with nature started to feel well, a lot like love. All that joy, energy and radical acceptance formed the foundation for all my nature connection and understanding to follow.
This reunion also continues to encourage me to invite that joy and unconditional love into every other aspect of my life.
So go. Go out and walk with yourself as child. Walk together towards the open field, heart in heart, hoping for rain.
Your Woman Gone Wild,
PS. I would love to hear about a special memory you have of being a child in nature. Please do share in the comments below!