– Body

A spindling mass of intricate fibres,

bundled together to create what resembles “human”.

A creation of beauty in all its robust and unwavering strength.

The shame comes from my audacity to pick, poke and prod at those “unsuitable areas”.

After all, you were not birthed to be looked at, but to enact movement, energy , the very nature of life itself.

You are here to take up space, with arms wide, to run with reckless abandon, disturbing, waking up the planes of this earth.

Agitate the stagnant air with the careless yell of your inner child – listen to them, often.

Expel what does not serve you – everything you need is already within your reach.

Breath in the howls of the North wind and let them come home.

Hiking in Los Guájares – How To Experience Nature For Healing & Growth

Stillness is disrupted by hazardous steps on the matted, pine needle floor, discarded by the canopy overhead.

Murmering crickets pause at my passing, a wondering wombat in their midst.

Here, nature is both constant and temporary; welcoming and foreboding, alive and dead.

Another paradox exists: a desire to observe nature and a will to document, record and articulate it.

Nature evokes a staggering awareness of ‘the self’, so much so that my restless mind feels out of place.

In the past I have, admittedly, avoided time in nature because it fills me with existential thoughts – I don’t have to say, do, or be anything in nature.

No expectations or standards here, and this is incredibly disarming.

Nature asks nothing of me.

Humanity & Nature

The notion of The Sublime, was one explored extensively by Romanticists in the Victorian era; captured by the sentiment that nature is magnificent, filling us with awe and terror, in equal measure.

In Shelley’s Frankenstein, Victor’s description of the blasted tree always stuck with me:

I beheld a stream of fire issue from an old and beautiful oak […] and so soon as the dazzling light vanished, the oak had disappeared, and nothing remained but a blasted stump.”

In nature, we are forced to confront the wild condition, the ever-changing fragility of things. We are positioned in dualities of comfort and danger – a thorn in my foot, or a new scratch on my ankle.

Comfort & Risk

In modern society, we create for ourselves a supreme value of ultimate comfort, security and safety. In turn, closing off the destabilising nature of risk and the inevitability of change.

We can curate nature with a simple potted plant and refine the garden to our liking. We can make the wild thing more palatable and acceptable for human consumption.

But by entering the mountains, we can reach a level of awareness, freely provided, where we can decide whether we are satisfied with ourselves, the way we lead our lives, and our current path.

By sitting on a rock instead of a comfy sofa, the sharp, craggy edges prod and poke us into the realisation that we are in a constant state of being.

Life is constantly in motion, but it’s only at the moment of pause that we can reflect on the journey thus far.

Take-aways

Thank you for taking the time to read this article, I really appreciate your support.

This article was a little different to my previous ones, so do let me know what you thought in the comments section below.

If you weren’t previously, I hope you are now feeling inspired to venture into nature! 

A Wandering in Time

How is it to wander through the inner workings of the universe?

Whom should I ask about the order of time?

Is it the steadfast oak who collects rings of time, 

watching on undeterred by the most violent of storms?

Or perhaps, it is the unrelenting, cyclical flow of water, 

patient in its weathering of entire coastal landscapes – 

It is everywhere and nowhere on this vast earthly expanse,

and never for a second wondering where is home?

Should I take a seat in front of the Mirror Erised demanding a vision of the future, 

simply because I am as fearful and vulnerable as a child, 

whose entire reality rests upon the present moment. 

Or should I become one and the same as the pines, 

who have no choice but to rise with dignity each day,

regardless of humanity’s fate. 

I know this much. 

Aside from arbitrary measurements: day and night, 

Love and loss, months on months, 

when the wandering mind looks upon the starry expanse, 

as many scholars have done before, 

that thing we call time is felt when it ceases to exist altogether.

A Natural Encounter

A poem written while experimenting with nature writing.

Nature is exalted by the sun’s rays, 

bright and unwavering, 

in its brilliance. 

Naked toes impress upon mossen pastures, 

lush and inviting. 

Bugs and crawlies seek out waxen legs in shorts and skirts – 

humanity and nature become indistinguishable. 

Magpies, crows, creatures of the forest, 

watch on eagerly from the forest canopy.