Tag Archives: relational

Nature Rejuvenates

Rejuvenate – Word of the DayIMG_3048.jpg

Redbank Gorge, the beauty of carved rock and the body of water, life abundant.

When were you last on the trail? When did you last encounter nature? When did you last stroll a lake, the park, or the beach? When did you last smell a fresh blossom or admire the lush leaf cover of a tree? When did you last appreciate the movement of water or wind?

It may be that nature doesn’t do it for you, but I can say without a doubt that nature rejuvenates me, body, mind and soul. To smell the air, unlike urban air, unlike carbon infused air, is refreshing. To bask in the warth of the unimpeded glow of the sun is refreshing. To hear the sound of water lapping a shore or singing over rocks is refreshing. To hear and feel the sound of rain, wind, thunder, hail is refreshing. To hear the curlew, owl, honeyeater or magpie is refreshing. Somehow all these things stir my soul, open my eyes – the eyes of my heart. I live in awe of the beauty, but also the depth of nature to speak into my life differently to buildings, concrete, politics, conflict, ego, machinery, drudge, stress … Nature is unpredictable (in the main), uncontainable, it is its very own and no other. Nature is owned by no one, and speaks for itself without agenda. It is truly free to include me (if I am willing of course) and release me through its freshness, its beauty, its uncomplicated relational way of being, and its overwhelming gift of humilty and vulnerability are priceless.

Whether it be birdsong, crickets, cicadas, or the sight of fish in the water, a tortoise on a mission, a kangeroo escaping, or a dolpin in conversation, nature has an impact on my daily being. Nature can be my solace, my meditation, my prayer, my friend, my antibiotic, my next breath …

Nature is something that brings me youthfulness, breath, a sense of being, an awareness of the present moment, and understanding of otherness and a sense of self. Nature is where I refresh, recharge, reframe. In nature I rejuvenate, I am new, playful, differently aware. I hope you are too.

Old branches reach up
ravaged by wind and sun
birds sing me life

©Paul Cannon

Paul

pvcann.com

36 Comments

Filed under bush walking, Haiku, life, mindfulness, nature

Life Isn’t Black And White!

via Daily Prompt: Silhouette

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Locomotive tender, part of the Gwalia Museum, makes a classic silhouette against the light. We could talk about the merits of silhouettes, or the creativity of black and white photographs. But I’m drawn to the grey.

There’s talk everywhere about colouring within lines, following numbers, obeying laws, sticking to the unwritten rules we all “know”, doing it right, being a “good” citizen. Rules and laws are black and white, literally – print on paper or, as folk lore, mores, they are etched in the community psyche, but one needs discernment to navigate life, one needs to appreciate and savour, even learn to trust the grey. The movie Inception illustrates this perfectly as it has no heroes or villains, each character has to deal with their own subconscious, and their own shaddow. Inception is an abstraction of what real life is actually like, but we all take moral positions and justify them, black and white, but the reality is life is beyond our controls and manys the time our rules don’t fit, don’t work, and we have to find another way through.

Life is a series of relational encounters where we flex and compromise and move, sometimes in a direction we’d never thought we would or could go. A bit like dancing. In this dance of life I live by two main principles, loving my neighbour as myself, and doing no harm, I’m not perfect, but these two principles even roughly applied help me navigate the stultifying black and white and live into the grey of reality. Grey is relational, affective, heart over mind. Black and white are sharp polarities, divided, forceful, demanding. Grey is softer, warmer, blended, forgiving, neutral, open.

I like my silhouette, but it is softened by the grey. Live into and appreciate the grey.

Paul,

pvcann.com

35 Comments

Filed under community, life, mindfulness, Spirituality

Robin Wall Kimmerer

Every now and then I encounter a writer who is completely refreshing, challenging, authentic and mindful.

Robin Wall Kimmerer is one such writer. Fellow blogger Carol A. Hand (https://carolahand.wordpress.com) recommended Kimmerer’s 2013 work “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants.”

It is a wonderful journey into a cultural and ecological life. Kimmerer speaks passionately about returning to the culture of her ancestors, being born a plant biologist, yet finding a way to her people’s language – Potawatomi and Anishinaabe – which are a reflection of the land and the people, and how that knowing was a way to wholeness and understanding which science alone could not provide.

Kimmerer advocates for the land, in particular, for plants, their relational and physical presence, and their place in the ecosystems we too inhabit and benefit from. Plants are beings, not “its” or objects, and deserve our attention, reciprocity, and care. Kimmerer speaks about animacy, how the language of sentience changes how we experience plants, and, ergo, that when we see and experience plants as beings, it changes our relationship to plants, to nature. Thus we value our neighbours.

Kimmerer is clearly in sync with Deep Ecology (which also has antecedents in Process Philosophy and Theology) and the desire to change how we see and work with nature. For Kimmerer, the journey to valuing plants more than scientifically has come through reconnecting with her indigenous roots, and in particular her people’s language, and their relational understanding of nature.

It is a book of biography, science, and life, but predominantly it is a book of indigenous wisdom we most urgently need for all peoples, and it is a book that encourages us to take our own paths to positive relationships with nature. Kimmerer left me with a heartfelt understanding that indigenous cultures had a reverence for nature that would have prevented the destruction caused by the objective consumption model.

Another access point to get to Kimmerer is a podcast at ‘On Being’ with Krista Tippett at https://onbeing.org (also found at iTunes podcast subscription). It will enlighten and refresh.

Paul,

pvcann.com

2 Comments

Filed under Country, life, nature

Prefer

via Daily Prompt: Prefer

I prefer this: (Photos mine: A breakaway before Jindalee, and a section of Jarrah Loop Walks, Bridgetown).

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To this: (Photo from Wiki Commons: Anshan City skyline)

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I know people need to live and work, but city living, though convenient for some things, is not for me. Give me the bush any day. I rejoice in the small house movement, and I rejoice in the rooftop gardens, vertical gardens, community gardens, but I still prefer the bush to the city. I wonder that we could have thought urban living differently if only we had valued nature above productivity and conquest.

I find peace and contentment in the bush, it’s where I feel most whole, but I feel busy and fragmented in the city. My experience of the bush is relational, I feel a part of it, and I know my dependence on it, I value the life of the bush which nurtures me, I don’t get that from the city.

Paul,

pvcann.com

7 Comments

Filed under bush walking, Country, life, nature