There are so many painful things happening in the world right now. Lately, I've been hearing and reading about so much heartache and sadness penetrating deeply into peoples' lives. It is difficult to hold this much pain, either individually or collectively. All we can do is let go and release it in whatever way brings us healing and relief.
I find comfort and solace among the trees, especially big, tall ones--Redwoods, Eucalyptus, Sequoias, etc. Their presence is a sanctuary away from the human chaos. Walking among them, I feel them lifting the pain from my chest and clearing the toxins from my lungs. Under my feet, I feel their roots reach up to connect with my body, grounding me into the earthy layers below.
It is a sweet sanctuary full of wordless blessings.
I always feel at home when I'm in a large grove of evergreens. Their sheer size helps me remember how small I am. Their age reminds me how young I am. Their stillness reminds me how restless I am.
They ask for nothing and they offer everything they have. They are so immersed in the oneness of life and their purpose here that I sometimes wonder if they even know they exist unless we notice and acknowledge them. Is it then that their sense of their own uniqueness comes alive? Perhaps it brings them joy to be seen and appreciated...to feel the energy of love coming from us. I know it brings me joy to offer this to them.
Nature can hold what we as humans cannot. She can embrace us through her creations and her creatures and remind us of the innocence and wonder that human experience sometimes crushes. Surrendering to her magic is restorative and helps us to return to a brave, open-hearted place even when we'd prefer to numb ourselves and escape.
Since I spend so much time online and in front of my computer screen in crowded, noisy cafes, time in nature is absolutely essential for my well being. After too much time away, I begin to crave the clean, crisp air, the delicious shade and the strong, moist smell of composting leaves and dirt. The trees literally call me to them and once among them I feel all of my defenses come down and a wave of peace wash over me.
It's an emotional, visceral experience. I'm among friends and feel home among these great beings though my heart hurts for the pain they've suffered at the hands of humans who have objectified and exploited them. I do my best to hold and acknowledge this on their behalf, but it is SO big, the feelings of sadness and betrayal at the horrible things humans have done are overwhelming. But I try anyway...it's the least I can do.
These sacred giants lift my spirits and after three weeks among them recently, I feel strengthened and ready for what's next. Just knowing they are there and I can return any time gives me hope and allows me to keep moving even when I'm discouraged or frustrated with life.
On my travels I've learned a lot about my relationship with nature and how I resonate more with certain environments than I do with others. For example, I know now I'm not well-suited for the desert. I miss the trees too much. This is why I feel so good in the Pacific NW. Lots of evergreens, water and mountains...a perfect mix for my body, mind and spirit. I also don't care for extremes of cold or heat. I've lived in both for good stretches of time and I prefer temperate climates with not too many clouds or too much sun. I resonate with certain cities, but others not at all.
I've been graced with so much clarity since I first left Seattle all those months ago. This will aid me greatly as I prepare to become carless and head across the ocean to international shores. For now, I'm back in Portland enjoying all the amenities of urban life with plenty of gorgeous green trees everywhere!
Grateful to be here. Grateful to be.