Buzzing In The Garden - How To Listen To What Nature Is Telling You
Written by Alexandra Chauran. Copyright(c) 2008, PsychicRx, all rights reserved. Originally published as "How To Listen To Nature" on 6/20/2008 in PsyBlog.
It was February in the Pacific Northwest and we ran laughing through the woods barefoot, like animals on a wild hunt! Mud slid through my toes and the Earth hummed beneath my feet. We laughed and pointed when we saw a flip-flop hanging from a tree. That guy had the right idea. When we all came to the time to rest it was as if I could feel Her breathing in the dirt beneath my soles.
For many of us, religious experiences happen less often in church and more often when outdoors in the beauty of nature, which is one reason why Earth based and experiential mystery religions are experiencing a revival in Western culture. Somehow the parts about being hungry and alone in the middle of nowhere got left out of most spiritual practices, but luckily there are also some enjoyable things you can do to get closer to mother Earth.
You may have to start small. I know a Priest of an Earth-based religion who has a very demanding job working for a major software company. He resolved to spend at least five minutes outdoors every day. One of the ways you might spend this time is writing in a journal about what you notice in nature, or even keeping a sketch diary. It can be very rewarding to reflect a blossom's daily progress towards full bloom in your drawings, and it can be very useful to notice how the weather and moon phase affect your mood and energy.
On a warm day, pick a place where you can reflect in solitude. Kick off your shoes and relax in the shade. Allow yourself to be totally receptive. You might begin meditation by focusing on your breathing, but then allow yourself to listen to what is going on around you. At one point, we all had to do this every day, but now it is a treat that you must make time to enjoy. As Monique Wittig wrote in Les Guérillères,
There was a time when you were not a slave, remember that. You walked alone, full of
laughter, you bathed bare-bellied. You say you have lost all recollection of it, remember.
You know how to avoid meeting a bear on the track. You know the winter fear when you
hear the wolves gathering. But you can remain seated for hours in the tree-tops to await
morning. You say there are no words to describe this time, you say it does not exist. But
remember. Make an effort to remember. Or, failing that, invent.