In the year of the virus: Nature Can Be Our Salvation.
By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate
In the words of Edward Abbey…”I am not an atheist, I am an Earthiest!”
Earthiests are people who literally need to plug into the planet to recharge. Whether sitting on a rock warmed by the sun, or face planted down on the sand at the beach, standing on a mountain top arms spread with palms up to gather energy, or resting against a tree, I am gathering energy from the earth.
Some people think nothing is happening when they are sitting still because their minds are too busy to feel anything. But, they are receiving nature’s gift just the same.
An earthiest consciously makes themselves more receptive to the bounty by quieting their minds and will not miss an opportunity to plug into the universal gas pump.
Thoreau, our nations’ first self-proclaimed nature nut, walked four hours each day. He sauntered through the woods and over the hills and fields of New England so that his thoughts were “absolutely free from all worldly engagements.”
I have sold Real Estate in the city of Los Angeles for thirty years. Without my daily sojourns, I would not be able to divest myself of the inherent stress generated in this most worldly of professions. My walks allow me time to digest the constant stimulation of urban life and the opportunity to reflect and recycle thoughts in the format that is hopefully satisfying to readers.
My connection with Mother Earth began in my teenage years in Southeastern Alaska. Lonely walks along misty shores allowed tumultuous adolescent thoughts to settle.
According to an anonymous source who etched the following into a cliff wall at Anza Borrego Desert, “Solitude is not something you hope for in the future. It allows a deepening of the present and without it you will never find it.”
The desert landscape supports this theory. From a distance it looks barren, but as you come closer and examine it in silence, you see creatures scurry at your footfall and plants spring to life from parched soil.
None of this is new:
- Through nature, the Navajo people strive to achieve HOZHO, a harmony and balance within themselves and their society.
- Ancient Hawaiians lifted their fingertips to the sky in hula in an attempt to pull mana or spiritual energy into their being. They received powerful energy from Moana, the grand and vibrant sea.
- The act of lying on the forest floor in order to absorb the energy of the earth and the trees called “Forest Bathing” is now popular in Japan.
- Moderns are practicing “Earthing” that is walking barefoot to re-balance with natural forces to counter act the effects of the eltro-magnetic fields we are exposed to through our phones and other devices.
I find sustenance and solace in nature. My daily walks are a meditation that allows my mind to relax and wander freely.
I don’t wear earbuds. I leave distraction from my thoughts behind. I want to hear the sounds of the birds twittering and the wind whispering through the trees. I want to let thoughts bubble up from the well of my subconscious. I want to digest all the input I receive each day.
My overstimulated molecules settle into place and I find answers to my questions in my writing and in life this way.
Yes, I believe nature can be our salvation. It is for me.