breathe

me 3

I woke to the day, crisp and bright, the sapphire sky a stunning drape for snow spangled trees, freshly adorned in a late winter coat. Sparkling would indeed be an appropriate word to describe that early morning brilliance outside my window. Honestly, it’s the first time in quite some time that the beauty out there has lured me so eagerly out of doors. Sensing how fleeting it would be on a day like today – the brilliant sun and gusty winds were already encouraging the trees to shed those coats, one plopping tuft at a time- I wanted to get out to walk with that beauty before it dissipated into the warmth of midday.

It felt good to breathe that fresh air.

Later in the afternoon, I finished reading the book, The Invention of Nature, the last chapters exploring the breadth of Humboldt’s influence on other early thinkers of environmental and ecological thought – Darwin, Thoreau, Walsh, Haekel, and Muir. An unexpected gift came wrapped in the last lingering pages of that book for me. Sitting for hours with those kindred spirits, the resonance I experienced was not just in their understanding of the wild world out there as one whole, inter-relational, responsive and vibrant organism, but more surprisingly one that validated and honored the world within me as equally rich and broad, fluid and dynamic, and ‘inner’-relational.

Here were hearts and minds, as wide and as deep as is the earth herself, who were dabbling in poetry and art, science and literature, physical adventure and intellectual curiosity, mystery and facts, not at all able to define themselves – or the world around them – as one individual thing or the other. No specialists were these, but ‘polymaths’. I mean, who knew there was a word such as that?!?- whose exuberance and curiosity overflowed into abundant gifts for us all.

For so many years I have thought myself lost, desperately searching -as if trying to find myself- because I’ve been unable to pinpoint that ‘one thing’ that I excel at, unable to separate out that one thing I’m passionate about, trying to claim the unique gift I am to bring forth. All of those western individualistic ideals we were taught to reach for, which revere the specialist and expert over the round and full.

I’ve labeled (de-fined) myself as fickle, as ‘jack of all trades, master of none’, as lazy, unmotivated, unfocused, or uncommitted. The truth is I am terribly curious about life, and the energy of that curiosity is what drives and excites me more than any particular thing. I ‘contain multitudes’ within, as does this wild world without, and all parts belong, indeed, are vital to the whole of who i am. I cannot cut a part of myself out, nor give dominance to one over the other, perhaps without upsetting the natural balance. I am a wildly diverse, wildly curious, wildly alive, interdependent innerbeing.

As are you.

It feels good to breathe that fresh air.

A few weeks ago, I read in the description of a course about which I have been curious, intrigued by perhaps on the same way as i was drawn to that sparkle of light on the fresh snow this morning, these words. “…our eyes may see differently, we may hear underground waters… (and emerge) with our satchels filled with peculiar treasures that somehow we recognize as gifts for a hungry world, if only we knew how to offer them’

I could feel the resonance of that rising from the depths in me too, coming up at last for a breath of fresh air.

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