It’s Not Okay

I started reading a book the other day called Ecopsychology. The premise, it seems, is that if we live in harmony with the natural world we will help the planet and help ourselves.

I see why people struggle. You see, I go to work every day, like everyone else. Many people like their job, even I do somedays. I work at a really big company with many nice people, but it’s all about making the shift once you leave for the day. It’s so hard to return to the natural world. And as my friend Jo likes to say – “money and momentum” does something to people. When I finally get out in nature, either by hiking or observing the hummingbirds and mourning doves that visit my little porch, I’m struck by the fact that the wild is foreign to me, but I know it’s someplace I have to get back to. It’s a hunger, a longing, a very deeply rooted feeling.

But here’s the rub. The natural world is so removed from us now. We try to “escape” to national parks and we try to bring some of the natural world to us through our gardens and our pets. I know why people struggle – they have been entrenched in concrete for so long that they have forgotten their place in the natural world, and when it makes the occasional visit – a snake in a basement, or a rat in a storm drain, our first impulse is to kill, and in doing so we kill another part of the wildness within us. In the river of life we are in boats with no windows and few opportunities to jump in to the ocean and swim alongside. The waters are murky and we are afraid we will see who we truly are when we part the silt.

How do we begin to heal? I know I’m getting close to something but I too fear the waters sometimes.

Last night I went to a beautiful wedding reception at a placed called Blake’s at Boundary Oak in Walnut Creek. The other couple that were supposed to be at our table couldn’t make it, so from our table I had a clear view of the golf course, the mountains, and an amazing sunset. As we stepped outside to enjoy the remains of the day, I had this feeling that I wanted to go take a nap in the grass next to the duck pond below. I wanted to feel the earth below me, and in my head I welcomed the sprinklers.

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