Is There a Place Where the World Stops and Mystery Begins?
We’ve been in the back country. Hiking to a few mountain tops. Resting in the valleys in between. Funny how time in the wilderness can fit in the category of vacation – meaning something like leave everyday life behind.
Go for the escape.
Take a break from the mundane.
But only for a few days. You know, duty calls and all.
Walking across the lap and shoulders of wild nature, our imaginations were only exhilarated. If anything, the ideas populating our thoughts these days were only stoked. Every step a reminder of wild nature’s ever-present, totally reliable instructions. It was all Full Ecology all the time.
Ever present, even in the procession of one step after another, nature just can’t help but be logical – perfectly sane in its construction, its variety, its efficiency, its mystery. It’s that natural logic that is presence – the moment that spreads across all time and space according to sources as diverse as Jesus, the Buddha, and contemporary physics.
Gravity, boots of reliable leather, air thinner but still enough, clouds to keep us cool, sunbreaks for warmth, and that damn wind. All of it present. All of it connected. Stopping to purify and drink water – often – efficiency, resilience. At one point led forward by a flock of a dozen or more blue birds. Relatives. Later we’d be truly graced by the voluntary gesture of a hefty rainbow trout, latching onto a bass lure and giving itself to our dinner. Then one night, we both awoke to a symphony of coyote song – unusually complex and coordinated – stretching far longer than usual into the mountain sky, silver behind a nearly full-moon.
Nothing about the trail, the summits, the views, the lakes, the birds, the coyotes or the moon had to try. Every bit of it was inspiring, just by being.
The trip was magnificent.
Now we’re back home. Both places we’re people, like you, devoted to the wellbeing of the natural world and with that, drawn to reviving our own true nature – ourselves as nature.
Again and again, no matter where we look, we never find a place where nature stops and we start. A spot where everyday life stops and uncertainty starts.
Nonetheless, we work at identifying the humanly practical within all of this – within Full Ecology. Over recent months we’ve seen four behaviors that are natural yet particularly human. Behaviors that may help us revive our full kinship with the natural world. Acknowledging the barriers between our psyches and the natural world, inquiring into the habits of thought and behaviors sustaining those barriers, and acting – engaging in reflective and instrumental ways to both remove the blockages and fortify the health of the whole of nature – everything.
Arising from these three, as naturally as from the circle of earth and sky in the mountains, is the fourth behavior – inspiration. Finally, none of us can help it. When we live our human nature – when we honestly cycle through acknowledgement, inquiry and action with the weave of nature’s kinship as our ground, we naturally inspire.
Whether or not we feel entirely comfortable with all of this, it’s some pretty powerful evidence for holiness, for spirit in the mundane, for consciousness of consciousness of consciousness.
As ever, check this out for yourself.
For us, it’s looking like it’s here, in the middle of uncertainty and dismay, that human nature and the mystery of wild nature meet. At least for now. Right here at the intersection where we humans have the astonishingly good fortune to reside.
My friend texted me these words about this article, and as a fellow writer/creator I felt you would appreciate reading this:
These are beautiful words that express something that you and I have talked about before. This is truly how nature has brought me to a knowing and understanding of something bigger;
God, oneness, whatever we want to call it…
Thank you for this, Matthew. It’s so reassuring to hear echoes in each other’s words of what we know to be so.