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Being Part of Nature

snail on wall  As English speakers we have no one word that  declares that we are always immersed in nature. We  talk of being in nature rather than of nature and  western thought since the time of Descartes has led  to a damaging sense of duality in regard to the  natural environment. As a culture we have become  devorced from where we belong and have acquired  planet destroying delusions of grandeur. And if we  are going to alleviate the planet's suffering then we  need to repair our relationship with the earth - both  individually and as societies. We have to learn that  all living beings, and non-living beings, have equal  value as part of the whole and we as a species have  no right to assume ascendance over anything.

When we immerse ourselves in the countryside, when we grow food, when we care for the smallest piece of land our relationship with the land changes us. For a start we have to slow down and focus on what we see in the here and now. Slowing down is good for us, we see more, hear more and feel more. The bumble bee, the flower, the tree, have been there all the time, the bird on the path - we never question whose path it is.

wild flowers Walking through meadows and woodlands, along a river, we are bombarded with sounds and smells, by chemicals from the soil life that lift our mood. Finding a rythm of breath and footfall that seems to bring a joy that permiates the whole body with a sense of wellness and rightness. We can sense and learn so much sitting supported by the trunk of tree that was there when our great grandparents were born. Just breathing, feeling the support of the tree and the earth beneath us can bring a deep sense of belonging - being part of everything. As elders we are not at the mercy of the busy workplace, the horrors of the commute so we can choose to make time just to be.

Resources: Books

There is no Point of Return, Arne Naess, ISBN: 978-0-241-51461-0, Penguin Classics (re-issued in Green Ideas series), 1986

Ecology of Wisdom, Arne Naess, ISBN: 978-0-241-25719-7, Penguin MOdern Classics, 2016

What I stand For Is What I Stand On, Wendell Berry, ISBN: 978-0-241-51465-0, Penguin Classics, Green Ideas Series, 2018

Gossip From The Forest, Sarah Maitland, ISBN: 978-1-84708-430-9, Granta, 2012

The Private Life of an English Field, John Lewis-Stemprel, ISBN: 978-0-552-77899-2, Penguin, 2014

Soil, Soul and Society, Satish Kumar, ISBN: 978-1-78240-235-0, Leaping Hare Press, 2013

The Secret Network of Nature, Peter Wohlleben, ISBN: 978-1-784-70849-8, Vintage, 2019

The Salt Path, Raynor Winn, ISBN: 978-1-465-93718-4, Penguin, 2018

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