"Stop the world; I want to get off"
Well, well, well. Week 6. Funny that I can tell you what week of isolation we are in but I couldn't tell you what day it is, even if my life depended on it. Time has become so fluid. More like it's meant to be. Linear time is a human-made construct. It doesn't exist in the natural world which is more attuned to cycles. And, guess what? We are a part of the natural world, intimately connected. What happens to Mother Earth, happens to us and vice versa (although clearly Mama Earth is getting the short end of the transactional stick).
Which brings me to my favourite new-found hot topic on the internet - Earthing. Turns out that all we have to do is run barefoot on the grass, ground to the electromagnetic pull of the Earth to align our bodies with good mental and physical health. But, wait, we knew that already, didn't we? Remember when you were a kid who was all the time taking your shoes off because the feel of the earth, in all its varied and visceral ways, was what you craved, body and soul? Mmm, the feel of cool green grass on the tender undersides of your feet. What about the simple tactile act of letting dry, warm sand sift through your fingers?
Instinctively, we know the healing powers of nature. I'm no scientist but I don't need to understand the laws of physics in order to experience the downward trajectory of an acorn as it bops me on the head. I don't need a biology degree to know that sunshine makes me feel lighter and happier than a dark, rainy day which I experience as heavy and subdued and kind of angsty. Running my palms over the hard bark of a tree or the ancient smooth of a rock instantly connects me to my roots which flow through all of the natural world. I can feel the earth's vital life force surge through the largest tactile organ in my body, the skin.
I go for walks in the woods to lift my mood and kick start creative thinking. Every Spring, I wait with anticipation and awe as new buds, new sprouts, new smells, and birdsong emerge from the deep sleep of Winter (a feat that is even more impressive this year given the Winter that is oh, so overstaying its welcome).
How ironic is it that during this time of social isolation, we are turning more and more to outside? In all the slowing down, the quietude, the lack of busyness, we can hear the call of Nature (and not in an outhouse sort of way). We are rediscovering the healing properties, especially on our mental health, of being outside. It's hard enough to be confined to the indoors but it is particularly claustrophobic when our outdoor time is also being limited. Could it be that we long to inhale the sweet, fresh air to cleanse our lungs and mind? Do we miss meandering along paths of hard-packed dirt to ground our selves back to Earth? Do we yearn to feel safe among the venerable, loving, and wise energy of the forests?
I hope that when all this is over, we remember how truly grateful we are for the infinite beauty, grace, and patience of Mother Earth. We have done a number on her and, yet, still she welcomes us, beckons to us, and offers healing. She is the ultimate altruist. A Universal medicine front-line worker to the world.
The world that human-kind has created is broken. I don't know about you but, before the pandemic, I was feeling like "Stop the world, I want to get off." It felt like things were moving at a breakneck speed toward a wholly unsustainable future. No matter how much I consciously tried to slow it down and jump off, it seemed to redouble its efforts to keep me spinning. I needed this extreme and sudden stop to catch my breath, and to reconnect with what is important to me. Am I bored? Sometimes. But what a freakin' privilege boredom is.
I know it's hard to be away from the people we love. I know we are finding creative, practical and safe ways to stay connected but, consider this: while you make time to Zoom with family, sign up for another online course, learn to bake bread from YouTube, the ultimate connector of us all is Planet Earth. Try to make time for her. By doing so, you will be tapping into the Universal life force to which we are all connected.
If only the warmer weather of Spring would finally take root. It is outside I want to be. It is outside I need to be. I can't wait to throw off my shoes and run my feet through the green, green grass again.