It was a brisk Friday morning and I had spent the last hour or so getting bumped along by a bus ruminating on the idea that all economic and sustainable forms of transport seem to require the traveler to be healthy. I was also being squashed between a flower woman and a window that refused to open and didn’t look like it had ever been opened. I was looking forward to the day. I was meeting friends from the Naturalist Training Program I had attended a while back. We were going to be in a forest, away from the bustle, noise and pollution of the city. I had just about had as much as I could take of it. The bus groans to a halt at KR Market and flower lady and I, along with 50 or so others, squeeze out the narrow doors. She walks off looking at home in the landscape and calling greetings to fellow entrepreneurs. Now the Market, to those who don’t know it, is busiest in the morning before the Sun settles in the sky. A large portion of the city sources it’s wholesale flowers from the street I was standing on. Hundreds of vendors and buyers throng here every morning. Everywhere I turned, roses of all hues, yellow marigolds, white jasmine, pink Aralis, lilies and exotic flowers of the aster family winked at me. In short bursts, when the wind blows just right, their scents reach me over that of their older relatives; forgotten trampled and starting to compost on the roadsides.
Shaking loose the smells and the feeling that we hurt so much more than we help, I started walking towards my destination, feeling very much out of place and looking forward to time in Nature. The sun rays cut through some trees and shone right on my path, bringing with it a greeting of wonderment. My attention held it felt like it was trying to tell me something. I then spot in the wet mud before me a perfect footprint. I realize somebody before me has been here, he has made his imprint like I am going to make mine. My eyes go to a candy wrapper, one foot ahead tossed carelessly on a small pile of garbage that is waiting to be carted away. I wonder if my mystery man was the owner and still wondering, I take a few steps to find yet another perfect footprint. Just filing it away in my head, I walk through the rays of the sun and a memory of a clearing in a forest strikes. A few more steps and I am startled by a little boy who shot out of a hole in the fencing next to me and scampered off to a door where he paused, looked back at me and disappeared. This intuitive, illogical state of mind that I am in tells me,”squirrel.” Unable to walk and pay attention to what was going on, I stop and look around me. Many people call to each other and what was cacophony earlier slowly turns to communication in my ears. I watch as the ugly buildings turn into dwellings and the roads into paths. I realize I am in Nature and I am looking a humongous Human-Hill. A city. A den. A hole carved for itself by this one fascinating animal. My consciousness and awareness expand as they would in a forest, I feel at peace in the midst of garbage and I realize, I am Nature. We are Nature and there is nothing we can do about it.
Take a minute now. Feel your breath working perfectly, in and out. Listen to the thrum of energy around. If you want to, remove your footwear and go out to the garden or a wild space and just feel how a part of it all you are. Or, if you can’t do that now, just close your eyes for a minute and ground yourself. Feel the Earth welcome you. Isn’t it beautiful?
Thank you for being there to listen to the story I had to tell. I’d be happy to listen to yours.