I had never been to a “post rain” rain dance til recently. Actually, I had never heard of one. I always thought you were supposed to do it before the rain. But the rain dance is not quite what I wanted to share about yet. The recent rain has brought a distinct close to an old paradigm of thought and relation with nature for me. It has planted new seeds and begun to water them with passion and curiosity. I feel fortunate to have been having fertile dialogue around the topic of how nature and humans relate. Some meaningful insights are seeming more perennial than ever. I really think there is a fundamental difference between intelligence in humans and intelligence in nature. If we can come to terms with the difference, we can realize where and how a productive relationship might begin. Human intelligence operates with an element of free will. The fundamental element at work in natural intelligence is Inherent balance. Reality in nature does not contain free will. Likewise, human consciousness reality does not contain inherent balance. For me, these few sentences had to be repeated a few hundred times before the light bulb really kicked on. Fortunately, some of you are not as hard headed as myself. If we hold onto this realization about the elemental differences between man and nature, I think we can imagine even more wisdom from it. Although human reality, by nature, is not inherently balanced, we crave inherent balance. From our deepest levels. We are at our best, when we are in a state of inherent balance. For me, this understanding somewhat sets the stage for the beginning of a productive relationship. We can begin to visualize what the bridge between us and nature would look like. We can even imagine the direction that the intelligence would flow.
Something keeps circulating in my mind. It goes like this…..When it comes to nature, it is never what you think. There is a quote that I heard when I first started gardening. It said something like…Humans seem to think that a garden is an expression of nature. But if you ask nature she will tell you that a garden is actually an expression of humans. I find a lot of truth in this. And if most people sat down and actually asked nature what nature wanted from them, they would be astounded at what nature might have to say.
Most of us, including governments, want to do the right thing for the planet. And we think we know what it is. So we go about supporting nature in the way we “think” nature needs to be supported. But did we ask first? Do we really understand her enough to do well by her? I think of women’s rights and the recent evolutionary shift in how women express themselves in relationships, families, communities and the world. This expression has not come about from a group of men getting together and “thinking” about how to support women so they can have better lives. On the contrary, has it not been more of a case of women naturally expressing themselves. And ideally, does not the meaningful support for this shift come from all people being receptive to what is being naturally expressed? The same goes in nature. Thinking that we can trust nature to conform to our will is one of the perennial follies of mankind. But to stop there as if there is no space for understanding and growth and meaningful relation would be unproductive.
I do look forward to sharing some of the particular experiences that have helped me along as of late. Some of them might prove quite interesting to some of you. But for now, I will say that one of the most valuable tool I have learned is that intellect is not the bridge. Rather, receptiveness, being present and accepting things as they are in the moment, seem to be the best foundation for opening a dialogue and begin to understand in a way that does not lay our expectation, fears and judgements in a heaping pile on the bridge between ourselves and nature.
I was lusting for rain for six month straight. I blocked my bridge between myself and nature with fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of losing control. “As if I am in control” Ha. And I also blocked it with misplaced care and concern. I missed out on 6 months of teachings and insights. Finally, I snapped. I could not handle the weight anymore. It is good to snap once in a while. Especially when you are being a hard head. What a relief.
A few days later, I went for a hike behind the ranch on the El Capitan Space Preserve
It was as if I was seeing the land for the first time. Not how I needed it to be. But, as it was. I was finally in the moment. Just witnessing. Being receptive. No agenda. No expectation. No timeline. Just receiving. I saw how dry everything was. Even some of our own majestic coastal sage natives were dying. There seemed to be less birds. Less of everything really. Yet, I sensed life. The life that was present seemed animated. Like it was charged the way it always has been. I thought..how is this? It was as if the only thing different was some slight shifts in form of things as I had been previously used to. Like, the colors and the density of the plants and the number of animals. Yet, beneath the mundane physicality of the space was also nature. A different level. Maybe it is the level we do not see until we have no agenda but too experience? But beneath all the physicality , beneath my emotional filter, was a humming radiance. Something I have been lucky enough to tap into from time to time in my life. A humming radiance emanating from all around and everything including myself. In it, was a calmness. A peace. But most of all, an inherent balance. I realized that nature was not one bit worried. Never was. And that the current state of the physical form of things was exactly what and how she was expressing. And that no part of it was an accident. It was as if the entire landscape. And the clouds and the air, all the way to the horizon were in on it’s own current state of being.
A few days later, it rained. A lot. I was present to it. It was nice. And I was in awe at what was being expressed. Because it was what was being expressed.
Another expression of nature. Hurricane Tocayo! “Destroyer of Narcissus flowers”. Just doing what he does. A joy to be present to.
Here is the list
bunch of carrots
big bag of 5 lettuce and spinach salad mixbaby bok choy
a few baby Squash
butternut or spaghetti squash
chard or kale
Indian Spiced Grilled Baby Squash With Red Onion
Apple and Pomegranate Quinoa and Kale Salad with Feta in a Curried Maple Dijon…
Holiday Kale Salad With Persimmon and Pomegranate
Swiss Chard and Avocado Tomato Salad
Tex Mex Spaghetti Squash With Black Bean Guacamole