Since you are on this wild list, I assume you have either conversed with nature or believe it is possible. Maybe it is something you want to explore. When I tell the random person (or muggle) I talk with plants and animals, the responses vary. Eyes roll; someone suddenly needs the restroom. Some debate: “How do you know you are not making it up?” More times than I can count though, there is pensive silence followed by a confession. It usually begins with “I know this sounds crazy but…”
Last week it went like this “I know this sounds crazy but a few years ago, I was super depressed. Things were very dark, and I did not want to be here any longer. I leaned against an ancient redwood tree and I heard a soft voice say, ‘it’s really so small’. I knew the tree was telling me about my depression. That dark hole I am in – it’s small. As strange as it sounds, I got better after that.”
Many students tell me their experiences in hushed tones. They question whether they made it all up or if they are going a little nutty. Did the mullein really give me such a personal healing message? In indigenous cultures, its commonplace to take council with an Oak or dream with medicine plants. This wholistic mindset threatens the Industrial Growth Society that profits from a collective delusion that the Earth is inanimate, material, and here for the taking, drilling, cutting, mining, or killing.
To live within our earth-eating society we are systematically brainwashed to doubt our own nature. Most children naturally communicate with the more-than-human world. They see Earthly creatures as like them in basic ways; they have good days and crappy ones, interests, needs, loves, and hates. While the Language of Nature is the mother tongue of every creature on Earth, business as usual requires that we train our children to withdraw our empathy from the more-than-human world. When we bravely resist and stand our ground in a living sentient world, we are outcast, or called crazy (or burned at the stake).
There are crazier things than taking council from an ancient redwood tree. For example, buying into the collective delusion that humans are separate, independent, and superior to other creatures. We are not separate. We are complicatedly stitched within the web of life and we live by the grace of our relations in nature. If we remove the plants who freely give us oxygen, we asphyxiate in four short minutes. Operating under the delusion of separation we knowingly sacrifice our collective air and waters for the short-term profit of a few. I suspect you already know this, but without clean air and water, we will die. In my book, it’s not healthy or sane behavior to pump increasing amounts of carbon into our atmosphere while denying it will have dire consequences to every creature on Earth.
Communion with our relations in nature is the opposite of crazy, it is a prerequisite to regaining balance and sanity on Earth. Our psyches evolved in dialogue with our living animate world. We are wired to connect with our more-than-human world for guidance and knowledge. Clearly, Wi-Fi has limited range and Siri can’t answer “What do I do in a pandemic inferno amidst a crisis of moral leadership?” At this burning moment we need to plug into a bigger grid to power us through the rocky terrain of our times. When we to attune to the language of nature, the gauzy veil of separation lifts. We see our hearts are made from the same stuff as every beating heart on Earth. Feeling into that collective heartbeat we tap into a force infinitely wiser than our specks of separate selves. Our Mother Earth is dying for us to come back to her. When we rematriate as part of a living Earth, we become part of the Earth healing herself. It starts with learning to listen to Nature. If you want to increase your ability to listen or/and connect to nature, check out the following offerings.