I recently watched a video with fighting happening between several people which I found deeply upsetting. As to why they were fighting feels beside the point. With so many human disagreements being played out in the world, this story could apply to numerous places at this point in history.
The reasons why I found this particular instance of violence so upsetting were complex. Some of it was for personal reasons relating to my own childhood experiences, and others related to how such events would effect the world at large. With violence potentially begetting more violence, like an unending wheel.
Balm to my soul
Seeking to soothe myself, I started listening to an album of nature sounds. Birds, water, wolves. That sort of thing. These sounds were a balm to my heart from the violence I had just witnessed.
As a lay down, listening to these sounds, a question arose in me as to whether I might be happier if I could listen to such sounds all the time. To be immersed in them, just as my ancestors used to be, when we were hunter and gatherers, living off the land.
The power of nature connection
After the question arose in me, I found myself internally responding with a resounding “Yes!” Absolutely! I knew this to be true following a recent experience at an outdoor school I have been attending.
The clean air, the crunch of pure white show, the fascinating paw prints running this way and that in that snow, leaving a labyrinth of puzzles to be deciphered and explored. It was all so wonderful!
For me, the most amazing experience of all though, came in the evening near the end of our gathering. It was then was when one of our instructors played the call of the rarely seen, nocturnal Saw-whet owl (to which I will add, we played only this type of owl and no other, to help keep it safe from other owls finding it) at the edge of the river. We stood there, in the dark, holding our breath, wondering what would happen.
Being more of a indoorsy person, unused to witnessing much wildlife on a daily basis, I, to be honest, did not expect anything to happen. To my surprise, seconds into the call, a call came back from far across the river. A call that was indisputably, none other than that of another Saw-whet owl!
While all of us were quietly witnessing this miracle of nature, I found myself imagining that I was connecting with this little owl. My heart to its. A beam of love shooting between our hearts, so strong and intense that it felt like, together, we were radiating love outwards, not only to ourselves but also the world! Like a beautiful explosion of love sending it’s healing peaceful energy everywhere!!!
Imagine if there was a surplus...
While this experience filled me with tremendous feelings of well-being and connection, this was only ONE such experience. Which caused me to imagine, “What if such experiences were commonplace?”
Imagine if it were possible for all of us, or at least more of us, on a regular basis, to connect with nature like that. To feel connection, to radiate love outward from our hearts in doing so. Imagine, imagine if, rather than there being a scarcity of nature connection, (which there arguably is in our increasingly urbanized and developed world), there could be a surplus of this!
Following from this, what could be the benefit of more people having nature connection? What could be the benefit of all of us feeling the love that comes from nature connection? Whether that be through sound or any other of the senses generally deemed scientifically possible and otherwise?
As dire as the times are right now, I have become strongly taken, following that experience, by the thought of how powerful and important nature connection for the world at large could be.
My reasons why, it is because nature connection goes beyond all the logical reasons for projecting the the Earth (such as providing us with resources and opportunities for scientific discoveries, or even the ethics behind animal welfare and wildlife conservation).
Put simply, we NEED nature so that we can connect with her. We need nature so that others can have experiences like I had in connecting with that owl. We need nature for our own sanity and well-being!!!
For this reason, I plan to continue my nature study. Whether that be formally, such as through continued study with my outdoor school. Or even just personal study and observation.
I know I am just one person. But it is all I can do. With the largely uncontrolled mess that is playing out in many spheres and sectors of the world right now, I have no choice but to just focus on what is possible for me.
Even if my efforts amount to naught, I would like to share how much glad-itude I have to the little Saw-whet owl for sharing its song with me! For my teachers on showing me how to catch it’s song! For the caretakers, both past and present, of the land upon which this bird lives, so I could have a chance to hear its song!!!
Beautiful little owl, I love you. I love you, and I feel you love me too. Somehow that brings me a feeling of peace, in even times like these.