When I first experienced, simply BEING in nature, I realized, how much more it does than simply be the ecosystem for a lot of species.
Community is such a big part of our DNA… It’s the feeling we all long for in one way or another. It is about being truly seen, being accepted, being loved. It’s about belonging to something bigger than ourselves, living our gift to others, and seing our purpose in the world unfold.
At the end of March this year, I spent one week in the North of Sweden in the middle of nowhere together with nine other people. The only thing that we knew about each other were, that we were all interested in native lifeways and learning about Sami culture and crafts.
touching, viral bear video
One is about a bear mother and her cub, apparently fleeing from a drone filming them. The video went viral, because apparently it shows that perseverence gets you to your goal eventually. But all I could feel is the struggle of the little cub, and her fear. It did show the strength of that small animal that couldn’t have been more than a few months old. both physical and mental strength to handle such a situation.
And it reminds me that I can relate to the fear, but being paralized by that fear, I hadn’t really learned that strength most of my life. Being in that same situation, would I have been so curageous to follow my elder without hesitation, trusting that she knows the way? Would I have the inner strength to not even hesitate or think of complaining how unfair or undoable it is? And after the ordeal, traumatized by the experience, still not have resentment for that thing that threatened me?
While watching I felt all the wisdom that those bears had, that goes beyond words or intellect. And one of my own kind did that to them…
The other story was about two wales that had stranded on the north shores of Germany almost a year ago, and their autopsy now showed all the plastic inside of their stomachs. And looking it up again, I didn’t even find the article, but several other articles on other wales who died with huge amounts of plastic that they swallowed. And again, it is something, that people of my kind did or let happen, and I feel responsible for it.
And those reports are in essence nothing new. What makes this situation different is mostly myself. For such a long time in my life, I was so disconnected from my feelings and emotions, that whenever I heard a report of something awful, no matter if it was on other people, animals or “the environment”, my trained brain told me that this was something awful and that I need to feel sad or affected or shocked or something like that. But I never really felt the connection. And I would guess I’m not the only one out there.
But since I’ve been on my journey to really learn to listen to my inner voice and my feelings for a while, I slowly learned to really connect with these instances. Even though those emotions are not easy to feel and accept, I’m so thankful that I am finally able to actually feel them. Because the way I see it, it is the only way to sustainably change any kind of behaviour that would stop destroying our own home and habitat.
how to deal
So what can we do in that situation? – Well, if you can relate to not really feeling the connection, a good way to start might be to honestly acknowledge that state you’re in, and consciously decide that you want to change and that you’re ready to learn to connect with your feelings and stay on your path even if it’s hard or you’re scared.
If you can already really connect with a certain situation or more, and you feel overwhelmed, stay with the feelings anyway. Really connect with all aspects of the situation. What characteristics does nature show us over and over again? How do plants and animals deal with hard times and fear? Let them be your guide to grow your inner strength. Trust in it and be a role model to others.
is it too late?
There is also a lot of discussion of “it” being too late to turn things around. But is that really important for your decision? What if predictions are wrong? What if we could still influence the development in a way that is not so destructive and maybe even productive at some point? Wouldn’t you want to take the chance and still plant an apple tree even if you knew the world would be gone tomorrow?
The Great Turning
Well, I guess this is not a new concept. I still only have heard little and haven’t read Joanna Macy‘s books about deep ecology, the Great Turning and the work that reconnects, but it goes in a similar direction to what I just wrote about. There is also a wonderful talk of her on youtbe.
The way I see it, connection with yourself, others (not only humans but animals, plants many more) and nature is a vital part of our way of healing.
This is the third and last part of a three part series about nature connected rituals for the end of the year. If you want to learn more about the closure of the past and start of the new year, you will find that in part 1 – closing nights and part 2 – winter solstice. There is also a german version of this post.
The rawly nights (Rauhnächte) have regained their popularity the last few years. Many people are searching for instructions or guidance on how to spend those nights, what they tell us, which rituals can be used. This post should offer you an attunement and some ideas on how to do that. I do however also want to offer the perspective, not to have to follow any instructions, but to really listen to your inner voice of what is important right now. For this, you need to be really quiet and calm, but it might be worth it.
This is the second part of a three part series about nature connected rituals for the end of the year. If you want to learn more about the closure of the past and start of the new year, you will find that in part 1 – closing nights and part 3 – rawly nights. There is also a german version of this post.
This year, the shortest day and longest night of the year is on the 21st of December. This doesn’t only mean that – according to the calendar – now the Winter starts. It means so much more.
This is the first part of a three part series about nature connected rituals for the end of the year. If you want to learn more about the closure of the past and start of the new year, you will find that in part 2 – winter solstice and part 3 – rawly nights. There is also a german version of this post.
On December 8th, the locking nights (Sperrnächte) started. They are the lesser known harbingers of the longest night of the year and the following rawly nights (Rauhnächte). But where does this tradition come from? And what do we actually do in that time?
I do like the motto of the Stark family in the Game of Thrones books, and I do like winter, but the season have been in transformation for some time now. This year, winter seems to be especially undecided. At christmas it had +15°C, only a few days later it was below 0 and looked like this:
Only a week after that, it was sunny and warm again.
I read a while back in a book called “The Vanishing Face of Gaia” (by James Lovelock) that the climate change will result in extremes. I guess that means that not only are spring and fall cut short, but also during the seasons the temperature changes rapidly and unpredictably in any direction. No adaptation periods. I can only guess, but this can’t be good for neither plants, animals or any other living creature. Well, we’ll see what’s to come when it’s here… What did you notice about the weather and climate in your area?
I’m in love! When I first layed eyes on him about two weeks ago, it felt like time stood still and the only thing that mattered was this moment and him and me. I was walking with a friend and had to stop mid-sentence – my head was blank in awe. It was a perfect moment!
He’s quite a bit older, tall and perfect! I wanted to see him the next day, but my schedule didn’t allow it until yesterday. That wasn’t easy! I waited to mention that news here until I could show a picture as well. It will never do him justice, but I couldn’t not share the picture with everyone!
So, as you see, I’m in love with a tree :-). He’s a maple-foliated sycamore tree that must be a few hundred years. You would need at least three people to hug him. There is so much I still can learn from that tree and from all the others. My first lesson: patience 😉