Everything in nature invites us constantly to be what we are. We are often like rivers: careless and forceful, timid and dangerous, lucid and muddied, eddying, gleaming, still.
— Gretel Ehrlich
Through the storms of the weeks past, I have felt, noticeably, the need to again and again be in the presence of expanses bigger and larger than myself. The sea, many, many trees, amongst the fields and under an expansive sky.
The need, I think, has been to feel small and my size again because I felt very drawn out of my space, ballooning with the ongoing challenges and having them feel very, very insurmountable.
In the presence of something unmoving, larger, non-judgemental, I feel okay. I feel alright. I feel enough. And I feel alive and present again.
They call nature the ultimate witness because it stays, unchanging — the waves coming and going rhythmically, the sun setting and rising again and again, the trees going through their relentless lifecycles over and over — and un-opinionated. It speaks in silence, and reminds me often to just be, as I am. A quiet reassurance of being surrounded by and being in the presence of exactly that which is within me. Equanimity, sufficiency, calm.
It is an experience that I find hard to express in words, but is probably the closest thing to a spiritual experience I have ever had.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt this in a temple or any other religious space, but I felt it in Manali last year, in the giant wooded park we picniced in, in Paris. And I felt it again and again this time in Goa by the sea.
It induces a sense of expansion within my chest. And when I tune in and really feel it, it makes me want to sit up, puff my chest up, and feel my ribs part. Making space for that something. Expansion, I know now requires so much the ability to move beyond a dualistic bent of mind. It is such a struggle, but this is the invitation at this point in my life. To make room for a spacious, all-encompassing, gentle intuitive approach. To take my contemplations and inner knowing and allow it to flow into my life.