The sublime simplicity of connecting with what is real is what brings me home to the deepest knowing of myself that only being in the natural world can ignite. It is one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves, especially during such disconnected and uncertain times.
Ever since Covid came and the world as we knew it began falling apart, I’ve been diving deeper into this reconnection. Earlier this year, I’d finished studying and returned from my travels, ready to embark on a career path that was suddenly no longer viable, and the world through the lens of social media fragmented into fear and mayhem. At the time, it simply seemed far more compelling to navigate in nature. Simply put; I bailed and went bush.
Little did I realise that this is where I would rediscover my heart’s calling, and the inspiration for the path I am now walking. Regardless of whatever uncertainty there is in the world, there is clarity and creativity available right here, right now, from being connected and centred in an attitude of gratitude and awe-inspired receptivity.
There is a world of difference in choosing to be oriented to the real, and choosing to visit the matrix, as opposed to living in the matrix and keeping the connection with all of life just outside the front door. There are challenges, yes, and things to be scared of here too, but they are part of the journey and sometimes the obstacle is the doorway to deepening our connection with life, nature and ourselves. If we are willing, if we are courageous, if we are trusting enough to stand up and accept the invitation.
It’s so simple and so sweet, it is quite literally second nature or rather first nature. It is a matter of retraining, remembering, rediscovering what truly matters. Being grounded in nature is where we are all already connected, complete and creative, we’ve just been trained to look elsewhere. When we know how much more fulfilling and rewarding it is to be connected to the source, in primary relating with real life.
I will share a day in the luscious Blue Mountains National Park, New South Wales, Australia and perhaps it shall inspire you to go to your wild places and allow your version of connection to come alive and ignite in you.
A Journey Home to the Source
The forest becomes thicker and denser as I come closer to the mountain’s feet. Feeling the earth through the souls of my feet I am aware of the tingling of each footfall, the connection that exists within my body, the endless expanse within and beneath me.
It feels as though I have been traversing the slopes of this mountain, ever-unfolding downwards, for a lifetime. Turning, the way back is shrouded by forest and steep rock faces. There is no going back, yet the end does not seem near. All pilgrimages worth walking are long and most laced with some form of trepidation. My heart begins to wander into a sense of timelessness. Would the destination ever arrive? Would the promising sound of gurgling water ever eventuate? Or would I lose my way in the forest and not be found again?
My toes come face to face with a large pointy rock. Pain receptors flare and flames of angry nerve endings send signals into my leg. Shaking my head in annoyance I apologize for being so rudely preoccupied and forgetting to be present. Putting my foot back down I take a tentative step, repeating under my breath, over and over again.
I am here.
I am listening.
I call myself into presence here and now.
The path comes to an intersection, one path slopes down to the right, with gentle beams of light, flitting across moss-covered rocks and ferns. The other … I jump back, heart pounding, staying very, very still. A massive red-bellied black snake lays sunbaking on one side of the crossroads. I can feel my nervous system angling into fight or flight mode, bargaining with my rational mind about what to do next. My focus is laser-sharp, none of what I’ve read about these encounters enters my awareness. The snake looks up at me. His penetrating eyes meet mine and we are locked in stillness. Gazing into the very fabric of the other until it seemed we no longer knew the difference. Gently lowering my head, never breaking eye contact I bowed to the creature that could end my life. He in turn lowered his head, gazing into the eyes of the creature that could end his. I stood slowly and thanked him for showing me which path to take.
Mind quiet, nervous system racing, I breathe gently up from the earth, in through my nose and release from the mouth, turning my head from side to side, making my body notice the luscious forest, picking up details, the texture of a leaf as I brush past, the crackle of a twig, the warmth of sunlight occasionally caressing my cheek. It’s ok, I assure my body, we are safe.
My sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems tentatively embrace one another, hold me with their gentle touch, and slowly melt into each other. The sounds of the forest return, my hearing becomes stronger and louder as the internal noise simmers into stillness. Extending my vision, I can make out a clearing beyond the ancient conifer and eucalyptus. The tinkling of the stream grows louder, urging me on, calling me home.
Then there she is, pristine glassy water meets creamy white limestone sand. Dropping the pack, I rush to meet her, clothes coming off in tandem with each footstep, until my toes touch her icy cold shores, cooling my system instantly. I smile upwards, taking in the sweetness of the sunshine as he wraps his warm mantle around my naked shoulders. Greeting the warmth with my smile, sending gratitude into the world around me.
The mountain stream is so clear and gently flowing that I can see every tiny indent in the rock bed, every little leaf and pebble in high definition. A pod of tiny fish encircles my now submerged feet, dancing in the water’s pull. I take another step forward, and another. Bringing every inch of my awareness to the ice-cold acupuncture needles engulfing my feet. Breathing, every inch of awareness to the sunshine on my skin. Another few steps and I am up to my thighs. Sunlight dances on the stream’s surface, sending ripples of light into her flowing body. As I observe the play of these two opposite forces, perfectly merging and dancing, my feet begin to tingle, tingle with a soft radiance.
The rock of the riverbed begins to warm beneath my touch, sending gentle folds of warmth up through the icy water. Bringing my entire focus to this process happening to me, with me. I walk, eyes closed, arms outstretched as if balancing on a tightrope, deeper into the stream. Belly button frozen and reawakened, chest soothed and softened, arms gliding to meet the surface of the water like a bird’s wings, sinking beneath the surface. Opening my eyes, I see the ripples racing away from my submerged body. Moving my head, more appear, gentle at first, rising in strength and speed until they reach the shores of the stream. Swaying in the water, I watch the ripples appear and disappear. Silent and still I dance through the water, gliding and slipping through states of awareness, knowing myself as I am, knowing the water as myself, and myself as she. Knowing the rock bed below as intimately and infinitely as the sky above.
Rising from the water, I softly glide towards the other side, beginning to sing my love and devotion to the land, to life, into Existence. Marrying the world within me to the world around me. My voice expands the chambers of my lungs as my heart pours forth its pure love of the world that is real and whole and my body dances with joy to know itself as whole and here. The trees soaking in the nutrients of my breath and breathing back to me the life-giving source of theirs. And I cry tears of joy to know, deep in my bones, as deep as the Earth goes, that this, this isn’t going anywhere. This is all there ever was and all that truly ever is. Coming home unto myself is coming home into connection with all of creation, it is within this unconditional interconnectedness that I know myself as whole, that I know myself as love, that I know myself as part of all that is, all that was, and all that ever will be. For all exists right here, right now, within me. I am nature. Nature is Me, Nature is We.
All my love,
Tara, Wilder Flora.
Please share with us your direct experiences whilst communing in nature. What have you been shown? What are your most precious gifts from the irrepressible gifts of Mother Nature?
All our love, naturally to you.