Standing alone in the forest the other day, it felt good to be in the company of trees. I resisted the urge to continue walking, and stayed for a long time.
I can still feel that experience in my body. A gentle swaying and creaking. A sense in my own axis - spine, spinal cord, gut tube – of nourishment and warmth. Soft, light, dewy heartwood.
Spending a whole day in near silence, beside a lake recently was also pretty cool. Allowing myself to be in the presence of the lake, in communion, rather than as an observer.
Dropping again and again the idea of lake as a beautiful backdrop to my life, and letting us be together as two life forms on earth.
Standing still in the forest, sitting quietly beside a lake, or lying on the ground…for a really long time, can feel like an act of revolution.
Revolutionary in that it seems to go against the mainstream culture, politics and social norms.
Staying so much longer than would be acceptable.
Maybe we hadn't realised that there is an 'acceptable' amount of time to do nothing, but when we stand still in a forest for longer than usual, things can happen in the not happening.
Maybe as we stay quiet and still, we feel joy, discomfort, relief or grief, or maybe nothing tangible at all, just a sense of time moving by (and what is that anyway?!). We often soon feel some urge to move away, do something else.
I think it can often be the same with meditation. The feeling that there is something else we ought to be doing. That being still and quiet for so long couldn't possibly be worth doing, not unless we see some measurable results - fast!
But isn't it that attitude that got us into this mess?
Why do we so often move away from stillness and peace, towards busyness and getting things done? Is it the discomfort of being with our own thoughts about the past and future, our own failings, accomplishments and near misses?
What are we looking for?
Is it the tingling, aching, hunger, excitement or sadness of our own presence that we can't bear to be with? Maybe the discomfort is tied to the belief that being still in nature for so long is lazy, a waste of time, foolish or somethings else.
What are we here for?
In the company of nature, we find the company of ourselves. The peaceful and powerful elemental presence of a human life. Made of earth for earth, to love, to serve, to lead peaceful revolution through our staying beside rather than walking away. To stand shoulder to shoulder with trees, mountains and lakes and let their voices be our voices.
Preparing and eating fresh herbs is such a pleasure. Growing our own means they taste even more delicious!
Growing herbs from seed takes us into herb time. We wait in anticipation for the herbs to be ready to eat, rather than going and buying them instantly.
But working with herb time feels good, and is better for earth than buying herbs wrapped in plastic, that have maybe been grown with chemicals, in heated greenhouses, miles away.
At the moment I have growing...
I love how in the growing, a relationship happens between me and the plant.
It is super easy and satisfying!
- Fill plant pot with organic compost, then water it so it is nice and moist.
- sprinkle some seed over the surface, (bigger seeds like coriander need gently pressing into the soil, but not deeply buried)
- put pot on a sunny windowsill or green house (here in Spain I can sow outside now)
- Keep the soil a bit moist, but not soaking wet.
- Enjoy watching the seeds sprout!
Then harvest when ready by trimming off whatever you need with scissors. What could be more convenient!
I sow in succession, so as one plant is almost ready, I sow the next.