Nature always wants to play with you|
This morning She called me out to play before breakfast. I was still in bed, writing, on my third cup of tea. Yes I write in bed and drink buckets of tea and forget to eat when I am really gunning it, well penning it I suppose you’d say.
Standing at the window waiting for the kettle to boil, wondering how I was going to get my protagonist to meet the bad man in my story, I was looking out at the mist rising from the moist white landscape. That light of autumn that comes in quietly in the mornings, a slight shiver over the earth waking and turning, the way a lover turns to you half asleep and wraps their arms around you, half-dream-half-waking, and you are held in love, that stretches through white mist to eternity. That’s how these Autumn mornings feel. I was drinking it in.
The arms of Nature, the earth, Her wide-open beauty that holds me so close I can hear my own heart, has turned out to be a love wider and more constant than all my other loves. She is always there when I turn, always waiting to play, calling me to come out and play.
So, I’m standing at the window watching the morning sun caress the earth with that tender kiss of light, letting my skin and eyes and teeth drink it in when I saw something hanging from a tree. At first I thought it was something the kids had left behind in the park yesterday in their squealing play. I looked closer and realised it was a spider web, and it was covered in dew from the mist that was rising like a veil as the sun strutted his stuff onto the day’s stage.
I turned and looked back at my bed, it looked so warm and cosy and I had to get Ella (my protagonist) moving again. She was stuck on the side of the road in the desert, because her car had broken down, without a hat and only half a bottle of water, and it’s a long walk back to town.
I turned back to the spider web and it was shining out to me, calling me over to come and play, tickled by the soft breeze of morning breath, like a lover’s breath against your neck as you wake. I pulled on some tights, threw a coat over my nightie, grabbed my camera and went outside to the tree. I lost myself in that moment. My camera let me focus on the moment of dew bejewelled spider web, a dancing miracle.
I am me-and-not-me, lost in that forever moment opening me up, dissolving me, drinking me into itself, so that I am no longer separate from the world, the world comes alive in me through the senses. These are moments of enlightenment, as raw and wide open as any moment of enlightenment I have ever met on the meditation cushion.
It is Nature that wakes me through Her beauty more than anything else I know, and it feels like love. Not the kind of love that makes me cling to someone or something, want them in my bed or life. But a love that is free and open-hearted and dances with the moment as it arises, turning to face the next moment as it comes, and the next, each moment, a new dance as lovely and singular as the last. Oh yes this is my heaven, my divine lover, as I dance with the morning.
But words are too feeble to wrap around and hold this moment that opens me to love and life.
I’m trying, really trying to find the poetry of that moment to share it with you, but it is only in that moment, laughing in the morning light with the sparkling spider web dazzling with sun, birds calling out their glee and ……. yes, the feeling swells in me, I can smell and taste it in my skin and eyes, and I want to write it down. I will my words to bend and stretch, but they are too tight and small for this ….. holy moment, and I can only write the memory of it.
For me these moments, my deepest, widest, highest moments, where I can look through to eternity, are always in Nature. I can hear you argue that some of your sweetest moments have been with people. Yes it’s true. Because in some moments, people open their hearts and we can see their true Nature, and expose our own true Nature. It is the same Nature that was hanging from the tree this morning, alive in each of us.
But often that beauty that dwells in our heart is hidden by our fears, and defences, and so many thick membranes that keep us separate, that it is hard to touch the true Nature in each other except in rare moments. And it begins by listening to, and touching our own true Nature. It is only then that we can see and know it in others, and in the world.
Nature has always been my teacher … my greatest teacher, and through Her I have discovered the largeness of my own human Nature, with all its twisting turning wildness, the ugly places like stinking swamps where I’ve fallen in a thousand time, terrain so tough and desolate I need a survival team to get me through to the other side. And also the raw beauty of wilderness that takes my breath away, dreams on the edge of dawning over a perfectly still ocean, the butterfly wing so delicate it breaks my heart open, and spider web glistening in the sun are all within me.
She is inside me, always changing, emerging into some new wonder. Every child knows it and is awake to that wonder. It is where we are most alive. Perhaps it is the only place we are fully alive, in our body, through our senses, and of course, our brain.
Sun sips the dew until there is nothing left, and the dazzling web of art is no longer visible. That is the miracle of Nature you have to drink her as you find Her, because a moment later She is different, that is Her language, always calling you to some new wonder…. come and play, come outside and play.
Some people find Her in a garden, or their chooks, children laughing, or sweet, slow Sunday morning loving. For others it’s the pure delight of birdsong, or painting a river, walking along a bush track, running with the wind in your hair….
She is the child alive in you, the wild nature in you, calling, always calling to come and play. And she is your home – your home place – through your body and your senses, and into your own warm heart. May you find yourself there today, resting in your own true Nature.
Photo taken under a tree, Armidale – April 2016. Other photos can be seen on my FB page for anyone who is interested.