The beautiful thing about nature and walking amongst it with all your senses wide open is you never know what little gems you might come across. Earlier this week I was walking along the river and noticed a nest on a low branch of a Fig tree. Gently pulling down the branch revealed this delicate, innocent and totally vulnerable pair of baby chicks. I don’t profess to be some expert on nature so I’m not able to name them, however I am able to totally appreciate the delicate balance that is life within the natural order of the world. Along with a massive dose of gratitude for being able to peer in to this private little world, I captured my photo and moved along to allow them the peace they deserve.
It got me thinking a great deal though on how we all start out in the same way. Now i’m not saying we are all born in trees and hatch out of eggs, maybe some of you did but i was told I wasn’t delivered in that fashion (mine was a stork delivery). I was however like all of us that vulnerable, innocent and totally reliant upon a responsible adult to care for me and raise me so that one day I might be able to leap out of the nest and fly all on my own. The question is have we flown on our own natural instincts as we know these birds will do one day, or are we flying according to someone else’s desires?
Looking at the birds they are totally unaware of their environment and require their parents to protect them and supply a steady amount of food. We think that’s all there is too it and when they are ready their parents push them out and they start flapping and hopefully fly before getting anywhere near the ground, and Shazzam! we have a bird that just knows what to do to be a bird. And that’s nature, no need for nurture, the animal world is a dark and cruel place where only the strongest survive. In my humble opinion that last sentence only applies to the human world. The animal kingdom has an inbuilt nurturing and knowing that all will be how it is meant to be and its that simple. That little bird will simply KNOW! what is required and will embody it.
Us humans have a similar experience. As infants we are totally unaware of anything other than food, warmth and our parents. Then we grow and expand our awareness of the world around us. We slowly over many years stretch out into that world until at some point we leap out of the nest and be human. How many of us know what it is that our human nature needs us to be let alone be human? The baby chick knows innately what is required. They fly, balance and collect food to survive. How do we humans, know what to do or be? Or are we shown what someone else wants us to be?
Our parents generally want us to do or be something that they weren’t able to do or be or to live up to some weird ideal of being “proper”. Proper according to what measuring stick? Society has its hand in the ideals of being a human. It lays its imprint into us through schooling, TV, radio, internet, advertising, marketing as well as our peers and the economic pedigree we are born into. So as a result how much of our present day reality is made up of these ideals, morals and imprints? How much of it do we just follow along because “that’s what we’ve always done around here”? How much of it is natural to us? And how often do we feel like a hostage to others ideals and beliefs? Doing and not Being? How often do we really feel like we are the bird flying through the trees effortlessly and needlessly, being? Spend time in nature, disconnect from the feedlot, turn off the phone and TV and you may very well find the answers to these questions and many more.
Nature is beautiful there is no doubt about it. When we spend time in nature we instantly feel alive and connected. Every wondered why? Well we come from nature. We are nature. Its within all of us however we’ve been domesticated and separated from our natural source. We’ve been hearded and corralled into our own feedlots, separated by a fence or a wall from each other and from nature. We have boxed nature up into little strips between the concrete and asphalt. At night we close the doors and windows on nature. We hide from it when it is fierce and hot or scowly and cold. Why? Because it is uncomfortable and we have been conditioned to comfort. Yet whenever we spend time in it no matter the weather we have a story of significance to share about how wet and cold we got or how sunburnt and hot we got. Battle scars of our survival against nature.
So my point is this. We don’t survive against nature we thrive in its presence. We as a species thrive when our environment thrives and is healthy. We grow when nature is left to grow. It isn’t about our job title, the size of our houses or how much we are worth financially, nature doesn’t care for that. It’s superficial in natures presence. When you open yourself up to receive the beauty of a sunrise or sunset you instantly feel better, nothing else matters in that moment of beauty. The fresh air on your face as you wander through the forest and the crunch of the grass and sticks beneath your feet all add to the therapy of nature. The best way to nurture yourself is to be at one with nature. Sit in nature in quiet contemplation and ask it for the answers to your questions. Hug a tree, dance or walk barefoot on the dirt, get your hands dirty even for just 10 minutes. And you never know you might get a chance to peer into the private world of nature and be changed by the experience. Or better still you might find your true nature or even yourself. Go out and enjoy the moment!