Today I want to tell you a story about a 90-year old woman who remembered something.
And a nine-year old boy’s curious encounter.
Both stories happened during Postcards to the Earth workshops I led in the past month. In these workshops, we spend time outside following practices to behold nature, connect to our bodies, and communicate with Earth. Here’s more.
Jeanne, age 90, has had 5 concussions. Her mind doesn’t function quite right, and she rarely remembers anything from her past.
During the workshop, a beloved memory returned: she remembered playing in the mud as a young child while her father was fly-fishing. She spoke of the memory with such passion!
She had believed that her memories were gone.
“These memories are everything. This experience will live in my heart. Thank you.”
And then there was Jake, age 9, who encountered a single purple flower amidst a bush of pink ones. He tried to follow its long stem to find its source. When asked to write a message to the Earth, he wrote:
These stories remind us of how powerful memory can be as it enlivens the past, and the spark of curiosity that teases us forward.
Memories of favorite nature spots... wonder with what’s in front of us - especially in relationship to nature - connect us across generations. No matter our age, this interplay between past and future weave us into our place in the universe.
In this next month, ESPECIALLY if you are in a place where it’s getting colder and darker, here’s your challenge:
Once a week, set aside 15 min to be outside alone. No texting, facebooking, voice commanding, list making, note taking, phone talking, etc. Dress appropriately for the weather so you don’t lose stamina.
Ask your heart, what are you drawn to in this environment? Focus on choosing something in the natural world. Behold it. Be held by it. Observe it. Touch it.
Notice your breath. Notice your skin. What part of your body does it remind you of?
Stay with it past your first impulse to move on. What do you notice? Then move onto to another element.
If you accept this challenge, you will try this 4 times before I write again.
Rather than think of it as another thing to DO, know this practice as a place of respite. As a time to NOT DO. It will ENERGIZE you. It will HEAL you. It will OPEN you.
Are you in? These experiences are private, yet our human connection with nature is universal.
Would you be willing to share about your experiences? You can email me about your 4 practices here, or you can post directly to the Postcards to the Earth Community on Facebook.
Do you want to be in but are nervous about your ability to commit to this practice? Find a buddy and hold each other accountable. Sometimes this is the only way I can follow the changes my heart is pulling me towards.
If your buddy is from a different generation than you, you get bonus points :)
Have a BEAUTIFUL, soul-nourishing month!
PS – Know anyone who would enjoy this letter and practice challenge? Have a buddy in mind to whom you could be accountable? Please pass this along!