I’ve been love-bombing nature.
After two magical weeks spent by the sea, walking in the national park, collecting stones and shells. Lying under the dappled shade of a gum tree reading, my love for nature became irrepressible. So I expressed it, all over the place. Messages of love to nature in nature.
The last two weeks have been unspeakably beautiful. I have lived in the ocean’s echo, woken to bird-sounds and waves and sunshine.
I have walked through forests of ti-tree to the ocean shore where I swam and crashed with the waves and the ocean inspired me to sing my own special soul-song.
This year of intentions has come full circle. It all began on my annual beach holiday last January. I reflected on all that has happened in this year – such a wild and wonderful journey. I reviewed my list of intentions and decided that they have all taught me something, some things to aspire to and some to let go of.
I have been blissfully happy at times, lost in the moment, absorbed fully in a ray of sunshine or floating on an ocean wave.
And yet, the waves of sadness and grief at times have had me standing by the ocean’s roiling dark depths wanting to surrender my body to that force, to be done with these lessons of human existence.
I have been angry for my sadness, my grief, my sensitivity. “When, oh when, will it be done?”
I want to be past it. I want to be hard and strong. I judge these emotions as undesirable, not spiritual. As self-pity and self-indulgence.
And yet here they are. Even amidst such beauty.
As I read more about the celtic spirit wheel, I realise everything can be seen as a gift. Even my sensitivity is a gift.
Ah! So here I am desperately wishing away my true gift. I am sensitive, painfully sensitive, but it’s not something to be rid of, or to be waiting to pass. It is the same sensitivity that allows me to hear the trees and the oceans, to feel the touch of the air like a lover’s caress.
It allows me to feel the pain of others, all of life, the birds, rocks, trees and the humans.
It is a gift to honour, to hone, to respect. To attend to. When I feel that pain, not to berate myself for being overly sensitive but to ask “what is your message for me?”
I am what I am being right now. The only way to shift is through the doorway of complete acceptance.
In some traditional cultures there are special people, usually women, who are so sensitive and empathetic, that they are brought in after a great loss to tell the story of the loss in a way to make the community cry. Their role is to bring the healing tears.
My sadness and sensitivity feel like a gateway, a place I must walk into to claim my unique power. It feels like an initiation into my shamanic powers. These are not the gifts I would have chosen for myself, so I know they are real.
Knowing that the sadness will pass in its own time, like the seasons, allows a space of being in the energy of sadness. Instead of judging it and trying to be rid of it, I practice experiencing the sadness. How does it feel? Like a heavy stone in my heart and chest. It tugs and constricts at my solar plexus, heart and throat. I want to cry, but I don’t want anyone to see me cry, hence the tightness when I hold it in.
So I am full of water and stone. What better place to be assimiliated than in the ocean. Lying in its rock pools with its powerful waves of water washing over me, kneading me, pushing and pulling at me until the dam bursts and the tears flow.
The ocean is seductive at times of grief. It pulls at me, I know it would carry me away from all this pain, and in its depths I would be at peace. But what would be the lesson in that? Am I not here to experience this precise experience right now? Am I not here to open to this moment and be washed clean of all that blocks me from being myself?
So another instinct makes me hang on tight to the rocks and not be swept away. For the sea has no judgment on such things, it would carry me away and thrash my body against the rocks, or drown me in its waves. I am just a part of the ebb and flow of life. Like the coloured glass that washes up on the shore, smoothed and buffed by the pounding on the ocean’s floor and the rocks. Ground into sand to be made again into more glass.
We are all made of the same ingredients as the rocks, the sea and the stars. The web of life that binds us all in a flow and exchange of energy and matter cares not whether I am a living human or shark food. There is no judgement here, only a sense that when my time comes, it will come and not by my own hand.
So each day I make the commitment to the living.
I commune with nature, sing to the waves and the moon, touch the leaves and trunks of her trees, express love and gratitude for the air I breathe and the bountiful sustenance I reap from her soil.
I express love to my family and friends, I cook, I wash, I laugh, I talk, I care. I spend time with my son, coaxing him to come for walks and swim in the sea with me, but also engaging in his world, of games and movies and sport.
Observing nature’s cycles helps me to see how all living things exist in a cyclical way. There is give and take, love and loss, joy and sadness. I try to ride these waves and bend myself to them, instead of my want to bend thing to suit my needs.
And yet each day I awake with this stone in my chest. Sometimes it grows into a sword that gets twisted and yanked by people, and the things they say, and the pain becomes excruciating. But I don’t want to lash out anymore – its not them causing the pain, the pain is in me.
It’s so overwhelming I just want to scream and shout, it’s too big for my body, its uncontainable.
So I go to the sea, go to the forest. In the wildness something changes. As I trek through the forest to the ocean there is an expanse of sky, there are trees and stones, then sand and sea. I lie on the rocks covered in spongey, air-filled seaweed as if it’s a bed made for me.
The waves wash over me, they push and pull with force but the brunt of the ocean’s power is broken by the rock ledges between the wild ocean and the rock pools I lie in. I know the sea would take me, churn me up in its wild machinations. This is not a friendly place, it is a wild place. And in its wildness my emotions are diluted. The wildness in me is literally a mere drop in the ocean. Its not that my pain is taken away, it just finds its proper container, a container big enough, spacious enough for it to roam unconstrained. It finds its home.
Tonight I took my anger to the beach. To experience again this release. But there were too many people. Everywhere I looked for wildness there were people on jet-skis and boats, drinking and playing loud music. I felt affronted. “This is MY wilderness!” I wanted to scream.
I see how my sadness and my emotions propel me. In this way they are a gift, they drive me to find solace and comfort. This drive has led me to a consistent spirutal seeking for that past 15 years, it has led me to Chakradance, shamanism and druidry. What I need now is to deepen my practice and understand these pathways take time, a lifetime to unfold.
When I walk to the National park there is a sign that says we acknowledge the traditional land owners. I think of them. I imagine this place before white man came. The sea is still full of fish after years of plundering, but back then, with the sustainable living of the koories, it would have been paradise. Forest meets seas full of fish and shellfish, abalone, mussels, scallops, crabs. Kangaroos and plenty of bush tucker. The air was fresh and filled with the sound of birds and wind and sea.
I wonder how to reconcile these two extremes. I long for wilderness and solitude, yet I know all this is not worth its salt if I can’t integrate it into my human life. Somehow I have to fall in love with humans as part of nature, somehow I see them as separate things, and yet we are nature too.
On my last night I decided to honour the full circle of this year of Seven Intentions by holding a releasing and intention ritual under the moonlight at the beach.
It was a stormy night, pitch black bar the flashes of lightning. I sang my power song, shook my rattle and chimes, called in the elements and spirits. I had spontaneously written out my list of letting go, commitments, and intentions.
At the beach ceremony I consecrated the page with fire, earth, air and water and surrendered it to the sea. There was an almighty fork of lighting and a large wave that sprayed my body with salty, cleansing water. And it was done.
Seven Intentions of 2015
I release my attachment to ‘romantic love’. I release my attachment to ‘outcomes’. I release my attachment to ‘home’.
I commit to not loving anyone more than myself. I commit to honouring and respecting myself as part of the beauty of nature. I commit to love as my driving, creative force.
Love the (super)natural world
Love my work
Love my space
Love my spirit
They are still a bit rough, a work in progress. Just like me.
(Images by Me)