Strolling through the forest is a wondrous experience, especially when sounds arise out of the ‘blue’ evoking curiosity and the imagination! “What was that?” “Where did it come from?” “Why is it making that high pitched screeching sound?” “Is it a bird or a rodent?” “Is it calling its mate or fleeing from a predator?”
Unless you choose to trod off the beaten path into dense vegetation onto a pathless path, you’ll have to accept the mystery and carry on. This is one of the great teachings of forest walks! Accepting unknowns in the moment and continuing to do your best is as good as it gets in life! One cannot know everything and as life unfolds, it is indeed wise to shift from knowing to not knowing. What you don’t know in the latter half of life is more important than what you do know! So what don’t you know?! I don’t know!!!
Strolling through a slough at sunset, along an elevated path that follows a winding waterway, a sea of golden leaves decorates the ground. Fall is here. As the sun sets and warm tones blanket the sky, a colourful array of the leaves reflect back a sense of beauty with an overlay of raindrops from earlier in the day. Leafless trees fill the skyline next to abundant evergreens, ever green with trillions of rich needles. Flourishing life and end of life coexist naturally here as the end of day meets the start of a bright night.
A large bird stands tall, perched strong and stable on one thick branch of a leafless tree. With long stick legs, a slender pointed beak, wee head and contrasting robust body, the crane grooms itself while maintaining great awareness of its surroundings. Its head moves up and down, forward and back, occasionally dipping its beak under its wings. Out of nowhere a loud SPLOOSH! echoes through the air as something drops into the water below it. The crane is not distracted at all by the sound and only continues to groom.
As the sky darkens and sun disappears, the moon rises up in the sky casting a soft glow behind the crane. By now the crane has lifted one leg and positioned it securely under its breast making it invisible to the world. Standing still and as strong as before, the crane becomes one with the environment. It exudes a state of serenity, standing peacefully on one leg mirroring the energy of the luminescent moon and still air surrounding it.
Be wise like the crane. Align yourself with nature and discover the magic of the moment. Refrain from distractions overtaking your senses and focus instead on maintaining balance in life. Mirror the energy of the crane’s single leg it stands on, focusing on a single source for grounding self: your commitment to all of you!
A new day has just begun. It is early morning and as the sun rises up in the sky, a magical golden glow is cast across a sizeable empty paved parking lot. Reflecting a soft orange glimmer, the pavement becomes a radiant ocean for more than 100 seagulls who regularly congregate here for their morning ritual. Half of them sit peacefully soaking in warm sun rays while the other half stand alert, observing activities around them and using their beaks to ruffle feathers under their wings. With no food sources, no water or wilderness around them, they appear to be in a natural habitat which they have adopted in our modern world.
The gulls have a significant lesson for us to learn! It appears that morning sun bathing is a good thing! So skip your shower and run out to an empty parking lot. Soak in the morning sun and then flap your wings like a seagull so you can fly freely for the rest of the day!
It is evident that nature’s healing qualities are every where. We just need to look in the right direction and absorb the energy that is present. Just as the sun and outdoor air soothes and nourishes the gulls, they too can soothe and nurture us … the sun, air and birds! Make time every day to regularly breathe in the healing qualities of nature. Allow yourself to be nurtured by nature every chance you get!
In the midst of a 70,844 hectare park, a lookout reveals a beautiful low mountain at eye level and a sign board that tells the story of a devastating landslide that spontaneously happened more than 50 years ago. Today, many trees, bushes and plants have filled the once stone filled slide area. Ample greenery covers up the area revealing new life and liveliness all over.
The air is cool and winds strong. Rain and hail pelts heavily down, brushing diagonal streaks of white and grey against the dark green forested mountain side. As the rain and hail continues to pour, a flood of water sweeps the pavement at the lookout. Millions of water droplets and ice pellets dance boisterously over the smooth shallow flowing river. A great symphony of sounds, sights and sensations sweeps the area, impacting every living thing.
Clouds drift slowly across the sky. Light increases as the sun peers through thin veils of clouds, and then a rainbow appears. The rainbow is not high up in the sky but down at eye level with the lush green mountain as the backdrop. The rainbow disappears and then appears again, staying only for a few brief moments once again.
It is rare to see a rainbow so low on the horizon. It is absolutely magical seeing rainbow colours radiating brilliantly against a vastly contrasting dark green background. It is truly breathtaking! Magic happens when we least expect it. Maintain an open mind, as vast as the sky and be ready for magic to occur at any moment!
Off the beaten path and nestled amongst abundant wild growth is a beautiful natural pond flourishing with scads of lily pads. Hundreds of white floral blooms burst overtop all linked to underwater roots. This vibrantly healthy water forest is truly one of the most magical ecosystems that reveals awe-inspiring richness and the natural thriving of wild life.
Here 12 female ducks float peacefully about, circling quietly around one another, occasionally dipping their heads and chests into the water. On the edge of the shore sits a little one year old boy intently watching the ducks activities. Not moving at all, he only blinks his eyes on occasion and remains steadily focused on the brown ducks.
For several minutes, he is as still as the large tree next to him. Then out of the blue, the left side of his body starts to move. First his left foot wiggles, rises and falls and then his left arm, with hand softly closed, bounces up and back down. His head turns left and right, seeming to follow the sounds around him. The gentle fluttering of tree leaves and tall wild grasses dance in the breeze, faint squeaking from ducks and songs of birds flying in the distance all capture his attention moment by moment.
Suddenly, a loud aggressive splashing sound bursts forth from one of the ducks. She flutters her wings in rapid motion compelling others to speed away. Quack quack quack rings through the air for several moments and then once again, peace and calmness returns. The little boy settles as well, back to a state of calm, mimicking the glassy waters before him.
After a few minutes of watching the ducks floating quietly about, a new and different sound emerges from the wild grasses a short distance away. A low static tone of Kuhhhh..hh.hh.. vibrates for 5 cycles with brief interludes in between. This soft noise instantly captures the attention of all the female ducks and little boy. The ducks start swimming quickly toward the sound and after the kuhhh sound stops, the ducks all turn back to their resting spot. The little boy stares intently the entire time and once the sound stopped, he intuitively echoes the exact same tone for 3 whole cycles! “Kuhhh..hh.hhh . . . Kuhhh..hh.hhh . . . Kuhhh..hh.hhh” … comes out from deep within his throat, with no movement at all from his lips. His sound instantly attracts all of the female ducks who start to swim rapidly towards him. And when he stops, so too do the ducks and once again, they turn back to their resting spot, floating peacefully around!
It is apparent the nature of the little boy and surrounding wild life have something in common. Without a doubt, humans can connect with wild life in a very intimate way. Just as the little boy attuned himself to the ducks, plants and sounds of nature, we too can become one with all of life in the natural world. We can mimic the energies, sounds, cycles, and inherent beauty of all living things. We can be the beautiful flower bursting forth from revitalizing waters. We can be the tall wild grasses gently fluttering in the winds. And we can be the ducks following their own senses, moment by moment and thriving in their natural sanctuary!
Create your own blissful sanctuary where ever that may be. Use your imagination or physically visit the site on a regular basis. Whether you are standing atop a mountain, nestled in an old growth forest, or enjoying a full moon on a sandy beach. Feel a sense of calm, peace and balance wash over you and return to it any time you need!
Imagine laying comfortably on a paddle board in ocean waters. Not only can you view the water at eye level, you can also observe closely what is under the board. With tide coming back in, you are gently lulled towards the shoreline. Your body and mind relaxes more and more as mother earth rocks you like a newborn baby. Breathing in the fresh ocean air and feeling the breezes wash over your body revitalizes every cell of your being. Your mind opens and expands with each breath, compelling you to look under.
Life is teeming underwater. A school of tiny fish swim in unison, darting here and there with great speed. At least 50 of these little fishies flow smoothly together in harmony without disturbing anything. Black crabs, purple starfish, green plants and colourful sea anemones of all shapes and sizes live peacefully under the flying fish.
A short distance away, another group of these tiny fish congregate in a tight circle. Seeming to be in a frenzy, they are actively engaged in something that was not visible to the naked eye. What were they instinctively doing? There was no evidence of battle or conflict, only heightened group energy. Losing self in wonder, you drift onwards.
Wonder is the turning point for reaping wisdom from the natural world. Perhaps the heightened group energy of all these tiny fish reveals the gifts of group synergy. It is true that a group of human beings can achieve a whole lot more than a single person. The key lesson here is that peace and harmony be a prevailing force with no harm to others. Each one of us can feel enlivened by an inspiring group, leading us to something much larger than we ever imagined! Anthropologist Margaret Mead once said “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.”
What speaks to your heart? What would you like to do with your one precious life? Congregate with a group of precious kindred spirits that speak to your soul and let the miracles unfold! Allow your pure spirit to guide you every step of the way!
Tide is out … WAYYY out! It is early evening and the end of day is drawing near. The beach is empty and a string of oval white buoys designating safe swimming boundaries lies in a wobbly line over mud flats. In the middle of the beach stands a small white sign warning people to STAY OFF MUD FLATS since there is a risk of getting stuck while tide is out. Well beyond this sign is a large area of land that is often invisible, immersed under ocean waters.
As the sun sinks slowly down the horizon toward distant mountains, an elderly gentleman prepares to launch himself for an evening canoe paddle. Alone, he carries a sizeable vessel overtop his shoulders that stretches much farther than his tall physique. Like a great blue heron, his legs are noticeably long with spindly legs. His body is adorned with a light yellow life jacket and feet with bright orange rubbery clog-style crocs which seem to flex as naturally as birds feet, never gripping his soul (sole)! They support him very well as he meanders about searching moment by moment for the best path to the waters edge. At times his feet do sink down leaving visible chunks of mud around his soles but this never inhibits him. In no time, he reaches the water and skillfully lowers the boat, half into the water and half out. He then lifts the rear without an ounce of sternness, pushes the boat out, quickly steps in, nestles into his seat and rhythmically paddles away towards the mountains! The sun has now sunk low enough to reflect thousands of glistening jewels on the waters surface. Tide is now coming back in with gentle ripples moving inwards creating a soothing melodic sloshing sound in the environment. As the mud flat gradually disappears, so too does the elderly gentleman floating off into the sunset.
Humans and nature are astonishing forces. Just as tides come in and out in their own natural rhythm, humans grow and expand themselves in their own way and time. Despite warning signs about the mud flats, the elderly gentleman confidently followed his instinctual knowing and successfully traverse the flats while carrying a heavy vessel. He may have spent most of his life in ocean environments and had years of experience exploring the natural world, coming away with lots of inherent knowledge that is not visible to the naked eye. The lesson here is for all of us to be mindful about personal safety in the natural world. Use your intuition and intellect when deciding the best choice for yourself. If you wonder about things, research credible resources and expand your knowledge base. Follow what feels inherently right for you in the moment and stretch your wings when you are ready to do so!
“Heaven gives, Earth receives and allows to grow, Man accomplishes. Only a man in perfect accord with himself, in perfect sincerity, can go to the limits of his own nature.” – Francois Cheng