There’s a special couple who live in Kings Valley, Oregon. A naturalist and a biologist whose way of living in nature is enviable. Large windows line the southwest side of their home that overlooks a pasture, currently being tended to by a herd of cow. Further on, a ridge of old growth forest cuts through the blue sky ( today we cherish the sky, as much of the year the skies are misty and grey). The soundscape is that of a rushing creek just west of the road, hummingbirds whizzing to and fro, and chirps of various birds - if the couple were outside each bird would be easily identified.
Daily walks through the forest are part of the routine here - ensuring the labrador sisters get adequate time running and rolling in mud and the humans have time to engage with the natural world. Yesterday, or maybe it was the day before, one such walk began to excite a bit of fear in me. Maybe it was the snake we’d seen upon entering the thicket, maybe it was the absence of the natural world from my current life, maybe it was that we were walking an uncommonly trodden path, or the fact that we carefully watch for fresh nettle to avoid the powerful reminder of herbal magic. For whatever the reason, I felt a fear itching at my person.
Nature, in its wisdom, called out to me. Beckoned for me to ask the question of fear - was there any bother in being fearful of this trail? Before my mind got the chance to make up a story of the many potential dangers, I heard her.
The answer? I will always hold you.
The phrase repeated in my head as if the wind and crackle of sticks under my shoes were begging to share their allegiance with me. In that moment I saw that even if I were attacked by a bear ( unlikely, but dramatics are part of me) that I would be held in death by the earth. Each part of me is a part of her. Without her I am nothing and in my nothingness I will return to her.
It is a lesson best learned with repetition. Each time we walk further into her bosom without a trail blazed before us, we give more trust to the unknown force of our shared mother, Earth.
It generates great curiosity in my being to wonder about others experience in nature…