I was walking next to the river the other day, I paused, I took it all in. Watching the clear water run over rocks and logs underneath the water, watching it move around bigger boulders and down trees. Sticks and leaves bouncing along the top of the water to a destination unknown to me. I was struck by the rhythm of the water. Sometimes there was a slowing down of the river and other times, a quickening. I took a deep slow breath.
It reminded me of my own flow of life. The times I have slowed down due to my own perceived obstacles in my life. Sometimes, just flowing over what was there. The slowing down is so important to me, to connect with what is going on internally with me- to feel it and choose what is the direction for me after the pause.
I came across a fascinating book called The Hidden Life of Trees: what they feel and how they communicate by Peter Wohlleben. It tells of how trees “talk” to each other. Research around this topic continues to discover new things about the tree and plant community. Did you know, trees are emitting sounds through their root systems at 220 hertz, which is below our human ability to hear. This is one of the means that the trees communicate with each other. I think of it like our nervous system-as our nerves send electrical/chemical impulses to activate muscles…or even the neurons in our brain that push one thought after another thru electrical/chemical impulses. Perhaps, we have more similarities with trees/plants than we ever considered before. I am curious. Are you?
We are nature, you and I, we are an integral part of nature- we are not separate. Maybe some of us are not consciously aware of this fact. I ask you to remember a time you walked in a forest or by a river-how did you feel after that experience? Maybe you were working in your garden or took a walk in a local park or sat in your backyard admiring the trees/plants that live there. I guarantee you were communicating, or communing with the plants, whether conscious of that or not. Back to my question of: how did you feel after that experience? More peaceful, more calm or a feeling of being lighter ?
I have come to understand that trees and plants, and all of nature, carry deep wisdom. It is time to listen deeply. So I pause. I wonder what I will hear today.
Last week I took some time away from a research project I am heart-fully engaged in, to be with the spirit of someone who had recently passed on. I went to a “riparian” (near the river) reserve in Arizona near my current place I call home. Soon after the initial awe of the beautiful land and wildlife awakened my god-given senses, the exposed roots of a tree called to me. A neighboring bench ask me to take a seat. My eyes were quickly drawn to a sun drenched pond. Gentle glistening ripples upon the water’s edge reminded me of my own surface thoughts. I took a conscious breath, slipped out of my flip-flops, and settled my feet into the pebbled ground. Mindful of my own inner architecture, I slipped into the holy stream of life and merged with the above, the below, the quiet, and the all. namaste