For me the best cosmetic in the world is being cracked open, whether that be by dancing deep until we glow with sweat and all we have shed, by some wonderful wild orgasm that comes wondering through us, by a good cry that comes and washes us clean, or by time in nature and big beauty that holds our heart some and lets us expand into our shiny sensate-selves. I’ve just had a good dose of time with fine folk in far-out places and I can feel how the land loves us back to life
Something happens when we spend prolonged periods of time outdoors. Nature not only nurtures us it is also amazing at holding the heart. There maybe times in our lives when the humans around us cannot meet us in what we are going through. They may not be able to meet our grief, our anger, our sorrow and our tender hearts, because they are afraid to go to those depths in themselves.
Nature has never failed to meet me- deeply, solidly and time after time it has held both the big brightness and the tender broken places within me with honour, heart, hope and brought some healing. Sometimes we don’t know exactly what it is we are feeling- there is just some kind of subtle somatic sense of something moving though, a feeling that some aspect of our psyche is shapeshifting.
Sometimes tears come spontaneously in nature- we get to see the beauty in front of us- to get out of the hamster cage of the mind that can be our usual human habitat and to move into the terrain of Terra Incognita- the removing the way that the cognitive captures us and the coming into full feeling of just what is.
When we are outdoors it is somehow easier to feel into our backbone, into the earth under our feet-, we feel into the way the sun or wind touches our skin. We realize we are not alone with whatever it is; that there is an entire world around us and that we are part of it. That there is life our there beyond our own story, beyond our own suffering, beyond our own current sense of self.
We can learn to to listen to the land. To read the revelations in the living world beneath our feet, to read the bare branches of trees like books.
One of the most profound “sermons” of my life came from silently watching a slug (I’d previously squirmed at slugs, partly from having been fed one on the underside of a crisp at primary school by the class bully, partly from that awful sensation when you feel one awkwardly squodge beneath your bare feet…) Yet this time I’d been living off grid for ten days and we were 3 days into an “enlightenment intensive” 18 hours a day of deep dyad enquiry into embodying big mind. I walked oit into the weak sunlight by a soggy welde stream and literally fell in live with the slug on the rock in front of me. The habituated squirm softened, I saw his amazing sensual shiny skin- so juicy! The patterns on his back. The way he was unprotected in the world with no shell and his tender slug feelings finding his way through like the rest of us. His squidge was delicious, his need for water for him to be well so obvious. My heart cracked at this creature who I’d previously judged as ugly. he wasn’t a mistake or a mis-calculation, he was just himself perfectly there in the slow sun. Then it hit me in a big blast- if this dear sluggy self was perfect just he was, and if this ugly sluggy was so bewilderingly beautiful and so utterly meant to be here then so was I. If he wasn’t a mishap, a mistake, he’d developed as part of the perpetual process- Also prefect imperfect and finding a good way though, tender feelers out…As cliched as it sounds, I couldn’t maintain that the slug was delicious and divine and keep myself out of that allocation of acceptance too.
What if we were wiser, wilder, mor e wonderful than we thought? What if we had great goodness within us? What if we are literally perfect amidst all of our imperfectness?
The world will mirror aspects of ourselves back to us- we may see the hawk high above taking in the big view; bunny’s tender heart may resonate, broken sticks may mirror signs to us; or the way that the ants work with a dead mouse – recycling her back into something ese may show us something about the circles and cycles of it all. Death and rebirth moving on through in perpetual motion, we’re just passing on through, we may as well relish and cherish it while we can.
Being embodied on earth may bring us back to eros-to our natural urges to live and love. Nature can bring us strongly back to our sensuality and our sexuality. There are few more delicious things than hot afternoons, bare feet in cooling water and smooth river stones to lay ourselves down on. We can unfold, unfurl, unleash some aspect of ourselves out nature. We are not bound by house rules, under house arrest, dressed in our sunday best so we meet the cultural community standrads. So wander free. Feel into it all. Let the living world around you love you back to life. Let your dear heart be held- even if you don’t know who or how that will happen, the animate world beneath your feet will rise up and meet you. We do not have to do it alone- we can choose to be woven into the web of life; to let life in and to let life out! Take the time…go wander for a while….