I feel excited and hopeful. In Costa Rica we are immersed in the rhythms of nature. We cannot separate ourselves from the rains, the sun, the insects, the animals. We cannot conquer the jungle. I am noticing how the locals dance with the jungle. There seems to be a give and take, a complicated relationship in which the humans know they are not in charge and cannot force their will. Instead, there seems to be a deep, respectful entanglement with the elements. I feel I am re-remembering something deep within me. Something that in our modern times is absent from our cultural understanding. I feel like I am remembering that I am nature.
Our cultural myths reinforce our separation with nature: our need to dominate and control the elements; our need to take care of the earth, as if it needs us to survive. These myths tell us that there is the earth and then me, and we affect one another. I know that the monkeys outside my window do not feel separate from the tree in which they hang; there is a symbiotic flow of interdependence, oneness. Living in the jungle does not allow us to stay in our disconnected state of mind. I feel like I am remembering that I am not separate, I am not in charge, I am not a steward of the earth, but I am the earth.
These moments of remembering are fleeting . . . I forget and then I remember. When I remember, I hear the poetry, I hear the call within myself to listen acutely and to let myself be immersed in a state of awe. I can hear the whispers of the ocean and I can hear the medicine of the rains . . . I pause and soak in the beauty of the sunset each night and bear witness to the artistry in the sky. I pause and remember.
When I remember that I am the earth, my actions hold great meaning. My words, my thoughts, and my behaviors have the power of connection or disconnection. Judgement/fear or inclusion/wonderment. I feel the call to come back to be in rhythm. I was reading Jung’s, "Man and His Symbols," again and came across this reminder of what we have lost with our separation:
“As scientific understanding has grown, so our world has become dehumanized. Man feels himself isolated in the cosmos, because he is no longer involved in nature and has lost his emotional “unconscious identity” with natural phenomena. These have slowly lost their symbolic implications. Thunder is no longer the voice of an angry god, nor is lightning his avenging missile. No river contains a spirit, no tree the life principle of a man, no snake the embodiment of wisdom, no mountain cave the home of a great demon. No voices now speak to man from stones, plants, and animals, nor does he speak to them believing he can hear. His contact with nature has gone, and with it has gone the profound emotional energy that this symbolic connection supplied.”
I wonder what would transpire if we heard the poetry in nature again. I wonder what would change if we saw earthquakes as Mother Earth shrugging her shoulders to remind us to be more fluid. When nature speaks loudly it is easy to feel only fear and the need to protect ourselves. What if we looked at these events not as disasters and tragedies only, but also as the earth healing itself? Global metamorphosis. Here is a great reminder of what we can see when we orientate ourselves to an inclusive perspective.
“Trees and vegetation toppled by hurricane winds return to the earth in the form of rich, new soil. Torrential rainfall is part of the earth's hydraulic system, which moves water from the surface of the planet into the atmosphere, and back again, renewing our water supply. Earthquakes are caused by the constant recycling of planetary crust, which for millennia has formed our geographically diverse and fruitful planet. Wildfire clears away old growth, making way for lush new plant life. Volcanic eruptions add valuable nutrients to the soil, producing fertile agricultural land.” (Four Winds Society)
The Earth seems to be healing herself. I am excited about our opportunity as a species to follow her lead. To be in rhythm with the one that birthed us, nourished us, nurtured us, and will take us home again.