Lately I have been desperately been missing bare ground. There is something grounding for us as humans to be able to lay on the soft warm soil and feel our deep connection to the earth, trees, flowers, bees, birds, etc. We are part of an unimaginable living being and most of the time we are isolated from it and longing to be reconnected. There are days when I am aggressively passed on the freeway by huge testosterone boosted vehicles that just suck out your energy as they pass you without ego in check. You can feel the draining as they pass by without noticing anything around them but speed and disconnection. It reminds me of how completely out of balance our daily environment is. The majority of us live and work in concrete jungles with a nice protective barrier that keeps us from connecting to the earth at all. We walk from buildings with a thick layer of concrete to parking lots covered in asphalt but with a tiny little teaser of “plants” just to give off the impression that nature is still close by. Yet those little concepts of a planter are plants that are struggling themselves. They are keenly aware that they have no underground connection to the rest of their kind, so they only offer us more disconnection. Typically in a thriving environment there exists a deep network of trees and plants talking to each other, communicating in many ways. This network cannot exist in the concrete jungle. So as we walk in these spaces we absorb their loneliness, their sadness of no longer feeling part of the network that exists underground and out of sight. This is why we long for outdoor spaces unencumbered by concrete and asphalt, because to do so we are literally spending time in the warm living room of a thriving vibrant part of nature. It invites us in to listen and connect.
Where I live it has been an exceptionally long winter. I have a beautiful space that is protected from the tall layers of snowfall and things are growing in there. Yet as I walk in to visit my friends I can’t help but remind them that very soon they will once again be with their family and talking again with their network only accessed through the soil. As my little friends sit in trays that keep them far from the soil, I sing to them and keep them occupied so their loneliness with subside for a short time. Once the soil is available there is nothing better than rejoining them with their true home. At that moment the sanctuary then rears its head and starts to thrive and emit connection and energy, rejuvenation and a peaceful cycle of renewal. I long for this, for me and for them.
We live in a culture so disconnected from the slow pace of nature and I love the opportunity to be an observer of the earth fighting back. Bringing us extreme winds and storms to attempt to remind us that we are only a blip in the larger cycle of life. We might be missing it all if we don’t slow ourselves down. I find it more and more difficult to live life at the new “normal” pace. Freeways that travel so fast there is no way to see what is happening at the roadside. Fighting our way through top speeds and literally missing the world from inside our little bubbles of speed and the distraction of music. There could be the most beautiful trees and birds right outside the window but the majority wont’ notice. When we live to often in this protected bubble of cultural norm we prioritize the wrong things. Speed, pollution, waste, disposability, and rapidly trying to control and consume in competition with each other before it all runs out. It’s something that drains the soul from the capacity to even be present or connect to other humans.
I encourage you to slow down, to put down the phone that you are addicted to, take time for real in person connection and put aside the concept of more is better. Find your way back to simplicity, moments of watching the clouds, smelling trees, holding someone’s hand, giving a hug, and feeling the energy of Mother Earth. In America we are under attack and sold the idea that tools of control and dominance are the key to success. This might be the case but success will not come with happiness if we maintain the disconnection to earth. It’s time to lay on the ground, get dirty, stain your clothes, breathe the air, listen to creaks or water lapping at the edge of a lake, hug a tree, smell the flowers, listen to the slow deep thrumming of the ground and notice if your heartbeat strums along with it. It will be then that you will again find yourself at peace.