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Baptism by Nature

Added: Sunday, February 26th 2012 at 3:49pm by SAUSAGE-PANTS
Category: Health > Mental Health
Related Tags: nature, philosophy, religion

I posted this a few months ago....I REVISED IT!

This past week has been like crawling through yards of sandpaper to reach skin lotion. My pile of procrastinated school work has been harassing me, rasping orders angrily lest I fall behind and disappoint. Two weeks before this I decided to undertake an intellectual excursion into personally uncharted land, discovering caves of knowledge that had nothing to do with Fall semester courses. Now I’m trying to balance catching up and keeping up. Being on the Garden Hall I’m required to work a certain amount of hours in the garden each week. My nerves are eroding, chafing under the tasks as menial as weeding a flower bed, or watering the plants. I just think too much, I worry.

I have been looking for some kind of refreshing, so I walked alone to the Organic Garden at midday and wandered aimlessly, looking for breathing room. I found myself nosing the edge of the fenced perimeter at the rear of the garden where wilderness starts and civilization ends. Thoughts began to bubble up: “I shouldn’t, I have work to do, I’m wasting time”. But I couldn’t turn back to the rote routine of work without a refreshment, a cleaning, a forgetting. I pushed through the gate and walked, without destination, straight into the spider and tick infested forest. There was a spot lower on a slope that I felt pulled to, so I went down to see what was there.

Lo and behold a nature-bench, with foot rest. Two trees had fallen, one thin and one thick, and they together provided an elevated place to watch over the rolling hill. I was sitting there, trying to relax myself , trying to forget. I let my eyes dart and wander, not even allowing a whisper of purpose driven activity emerge from my body. Slowly, as the blinds from my industrious eyes parted, I began to see-- to sense an invisible undercurrent of vitality. I could feel a difference; a different, thicker, more ancient air. Less…preoccupation.

Tall trees in the distance swaying patiently, rustling of leaves was the only sound. Wind rolling up and down the slope, caressing the hill.  A life force was dancing, Nature was talking. In my mind the noise began to bubble again. “Where do you come from, Nature? Do you have a source, a mind behind the face? -No that’s stupid, the wind is a lifeless natural phenomenon caused by the rotation of the earth or something like that. - Wait, don’t be too quick to doubt it, Kevin. There are theories out there that say something like that... Gaia theory? -Hold on, you’re doing it wrong, Kevin. Why rely on theories from detached, high minded thinkers? You’ve got to experience it.- But then who will credit me with any sanity if I say that I feel God in the wind?” I started feeling that pressure, the exacerbating, frantic contemplation growing like an angry child rising from the dark recesses of my gut. I wassinking into my head again. I didn’t want to contaminate nature, my sanctuary, with mental pollution. I started worrying, thinking “How am I going to stop thinking?”

 But then a bird sang, up above and to my right. It almost seemed like it was speaking words, words with meaning- to me- but I couldn’t comprehend what they meant. I just felt a communication. I couldn’t even see the bird. But I could visualize it. It has a bright red breast, and it sings tall and proud on a thin vine bridging two trees and swinging lightly. A fresher air distinct to higher, less congested elevations coursing up there like a river of spirit water. The song inside the little musical puff ball was a sunny golden glow invisibly illuminating like a sweet nectar descending from an anonymous above.

I let my rusted heart strings settle. The bird bailed me out. Maybe mother nature takes care of us spiritually, as well as bodily? Maybe spirituality is born out of a consciousness pervasive like the wind, a mother in nature, in our nature.

I breathed the air, I let my eyes wander again. To my left was a tree that must have been an angel. I hadn’t noticed it until now. It was thin and gangly, tall with a tuft of leaves on top, and choked by a vine. The sun hit it, it looked pure, indescribably pure, like the innocence, the oneness native to a child’s nature. Was it contact with God, the tree like a medium? If not God, then contact with the thing that people have called God throughout history?

I kept my eyes on it, I couldn’t allow myself not to. I felt like that tree resonated with something inside me, a memory or a truth that was forgotten and buried under guilt and facts. Was it a communication? Was it a communion?

A wave of rose scented air washed over me when I walked back to the rear entrance. I looked up from the soggy ground, Everything looked startlingly new, foreign even. Despite the fact that I’ve been working in the Organic Garden for two years, it all seemed like a wilderness. Like strange territory. The place I came from, sitting on the tree chair next to the image of an angel,  that was home. And I’ve been away for so long.

I am refreshed.

User Comments

' I worry.'  When you worry you spend time in the future and don't deal with the here and now--and, of course, a lot of things we worry about don't come to be.

Yeah I hear that. It's hard to stop though. 

Easy if you want to--I did at 31 and life immediately got easier and better even when it was rough!

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