So I have been preaching about the need for those of us raised in western capitalist countries to listen to the peoples who live closest to the land and regain the human connection to the rest of creation, to embrace that we are part of creation, not apart from it. Apart from climate change the other reason for this advice comes from the constant refrain of stress and exhaustion I hear over and over and over. It’s no surprise this ailment plaques us, we are the most efficient, productive, success-driven, materialistic culture known to humankind. It’s no wonder we eradicate diseases and whole species of animal and plant life. We are the most creative peoples ever in developing techniques for constructive and destructive behaviour.
And so as we work harder, smarter, longer to acquire more and more things we find ourselves tired; physically, mentally and spiritually. Which brings us to the peoples who live closest to the land, who know the land and have an intimate relationship with all aspects of the land. Peoples of the land in all of these western capitalist countries have unique ways of sharing ritual, of relating to animal and plant life, of healing, of finding bliss and joy, of understanding their places in the cosmos. This clarity may not have helped them reap the benefits of a capitalist economy (not as yet) but it does provide a kind of peace of place and time many of us are grasping to find.
Generally I am a very optimistic and positive. A former colleague once told me working with me exhausted him, that it was like arriving at work each day to encounter Tigger bouncing up and down the hallway. I plead guilty. But every once and while I have a bad day and feel like crap. Yesterday was such a day. It wasn’t anything about my family, nor my health or my work. It was just becoming aware some folks around me have found their way into a situation that will not end well. Sitting with this, knowing the consequences, wanting to fix it and knowing it is largely out of my hands, was downright miserable.
I know I am blessed and I will not wallow in this misery but today, my day off, I will take my own advice and not try to fix my mood by hyper-activity, trying to pull myself to a better place with work and good deeds (my usual technique). Instead I intend to sit on my back deck and look at the high grass and dandelions, the warm sun and the blue sky and let creation warm me up from the inside out, remind myself I am part of a larger whole, the Creator’s divine need for relationship.
If advice is worth giving it’s also worth taking.