Recently, I have spent much time in travel and stay in campgrounds in the woods and near the water. Sleeping on the ground, cooking outdoors, walking and hiking several times a day has brought me closer to nature than I have been in many years, perhaps, than I have ever been. It has been my practice to try to be closer to the earth. By that I mean, I have tried to visualize and imagine what that means to me. Yes, I tell myself, that I know nature to be the beautiful vistas filled with awesome sunsets and amazing trees, plants, and flowers. I realize the creatures that abound in the sky and inhabit the forests, oceans, canyons, and deserts. I remind myself that I too am a part of nature, not apart from it. I read about Mother Earth, about Gaia, and I work to protect her. I keep the ground I live and walk on clear of trash. I work at protecting animals from danger by using established practices that prevent drawing them into the campground and putting them at risk because they become a danger to man. I even hug the trees (yes, I was a tree hugger before the term was ever coined)! I have felt that I am communing with nature. I am one with Mother Earth...as least, that is what I am told. That is what I strive for. I go to the woods, sit by the water, talk to the trees.
I have, however, been facing a quandary. Who is Mother Earth? How can she be this rock, this tree, this fish? How can she have so many faces? How can she be a living entity? How can she be all of nature? And if I am a part of nature, why must I only know her when I visit the forests, the lakes, the oceans? It wasn't until one day last week, while holding my beautiful, granddaughter, did I fully feel, intuitively know, nature. It wasn't until I watched this baby who is Nature, who is clearly not needing to wonder where she came from or who she is, that I remembered. It wasn't until I held her close to my heart and felt her energy, did I remember. We are nature. We don't need to go to the woods to commune with nature. All we need to do is remember who we truly are. All we need to do is let go of the barriers, the masks we wear, the boundaries we have built. All we need to do is love ourselves as part of the beauty we find in Nature.
Commune with nature to know nature. Love yourself to live as part of nature.