The knowing that life is more is what we each long for. But what more is there? There is joy in seeing a butterfly flit from flower to flower, in the smile of a child, the laughter of an elder, the howl of the wolf – all these touch our soul somehow and remind us we are more than machines.
Is it about knowing or understanding the mysteries of life, or is it about being alive? The tree buds and blooms, the bee gathers pollen, the lion hunts and sleeps – each living out their purpose or each simply being?
What is our purpose, we humans? How do we contribute, or participate in, the circle of life? I feel that we have lost our way as a species and are struggling to return to something. But what? And can we return? Of course not! There is no going back, and yet, if we step outside of linear time which we have created, and move into the time that is natural, the time of seasons, of moon cycles, of sunrise and sunset, then and there we regain, we emerge into the light of life. We participate in the life of this planet rather than operate above it.
Can we, somehow create that community which we once had? That awareness of being a part of something. Is it possible to find our belonging outside of the natural world and cycles of nature?
Somewhere, in moving away from what we refer to as pagan rituals, we lost our way. Here is wisdom – the seasons pass and then circle back. Lessons that were missed one winter can be captured the next. There is always a return – always hope and, rather than long for what was, what has passed, we can be at peace knowing that each season comes again and every year we get to experience the dying of the light, the return of the light. We may be in darkness for a short time, but light, evermore, returns to shine on us again.
There is a time for setting intentions – the new moon, and a time for releasing, for letting go – the full moon, and we can do this, live this, each moon cycle.
When we stop thinking we are superior to this planet and all life on it, we become a part of all life, of the knowing of the hummingbird and coyote. There are times to be dormant, times to rise and shine. And each turn of that seasonal wheel comes with grace and ease of flow. When we stop wanting to control and subjugate the natural world, the planet, and choose to know that we are part of life here, then every “thing” becomes our brother, our sister, our family. We stop raping the land for energy or food and look to receive from the land’s abundance. We cut down trees, to build shelter by sensing which trees to cut down and which to leave standing. And we build our home to face the sun and not stand in the way of the wind. We live in a way that is part of all rather than with an attitude of “you are here to serve me”
The planet is not here to meet our needs – we are one part of the circle of life. When we see this, when we truly know this, therein lays our belonging, our family. Only then can we address the moon as Grandmother and the crow as Brother and we can listen and learn from each of them.
What then, do we humans bring to this planet, to this circle of life? Perhaps this question and not knowing its answer is why we lost our way. When we forget why and where we belong, we fight to find our place. We look for ways to declare our importance and our need to belong, to matter, leads us to more and more aggression as we try to convince others they need us to protect them, to teach them, to show them the way. “Without me you are nothing” becomes our battle cry when the truth is that, without this planet and all of its life and life forms, we are nothing.
We refer to ourselves as individuals, but we do not, cannot, exist without the world around us. As we have polluted and destroyed great parts of our planet, we have sickened the air, corrupted the food supply and we are becoming sicker and sicker – illness is everywhere. The cancer we have created on the planet with our fuel consumption, with our poisoning of lakes and rivers and soil, is reflected in our very bodies. We are mirrors of what we have done.
Wellness and salvation, in whatever form they take, must be a part of a respect for, and communion with, the planet. As we learn to honour the cycles of moon, of sun, of seasons, we once again find our place as part of the whole.
Therein lies hope for us and our world, to humble ourselves and know our place as one of the life forms here. To truly see the land, the rivers and streams, the trees and all of the life around us and to know that we each belong to the great whole. That the life of one impacts the life of the other. That the death of one affects the life of the other. We are not apart and separate.
We are learning this but still, mostly, with our minds. The impact we humans have had on bees, for example, is scientifically recorded but still we lack awareness of our being a part of the whole. If we were to ask forgiveness of the bee for what we have done, then wisdom would be ours as the bee was renewed and released from the poison, not just chemical but the poison of our self-interest, and new life and freedom would return in a state of grace.
Taking responsibility for our actions in the destruction of another life form must include that seeking of forgiveness. It says “we are one” and it is the awareness, acceptance and acknowledgement of that oneness that will renew life on this planet; that will return balance to the circle of life we belong to.
We will not be well outside of the life of our planet. We must see that we are one; that no life form matters more than another. Whether tree or brook, owl or flea, each is needed and must be valued.
Let us, therefore, listen and learn and find our place as a part of this world we claim to love.