Earth communication — slow down to perceive nature’s language
Do you ever have special thoughts come to mind when you are gardening or making tea with your herbs? Do strong feelings ever come up while you are walking somewhere in nature? Have you ever been moved to tears by the earth’s beauty?
We have the ability to communicate with nature and receive information from the rocks, trees and plants. It is for us to slow down enough to be able to perceive nature’s language and to recognize the earth’s effect on us. One of the missions of my school the Living Awareness Institute is to cultivate the art of earth communication. I wasn’t raised in a culture that taught me the specifics of talking to the earth but somehow I have been inspired to find my way.
I had a powerful experience in my early 20s that provided a template for learning how to communicate with non-human earth inhabitants. My grandfather was an avid fisherman. We grew up fishing in the Sierras and the Ocean and I loved being in nature with him. When I graduated from college he gave me the gift of a fishing trip with him to the Arctic Circle. Definitely not your average destination.
The Arctic Circle is at the top of the globe and it is frozen there most of the year except for about eight weeks in summer. In July there are lakes that thaw out and you can fly small planes into several freezing cold remote lakes. The Arctic Circle is full of bears and eagles and the most beautiful wild life. Because it is so cold, the fish have a slow metabolism which allows them to live for a very long time. Because the fish live so long, they get very, very big. The largest salmon in the world live in the lakes in the Arctic Circle.
On the first day of our two week stay on top of the world I caught a giant salmon that fought me for forty five minutes before I got it into the boat. Once I saw this incredible creature I began crying, I had never seen such a wise and ancient fish. I said, “I want to put this fish back.” Of course everyone in the boat thought I was nuts. I proceeded to spend the next ten minutes holding this fish with my arms in the freezing water, resuscitating it back to life after it had given everything it had in its struggle with me. Just when I thought I couldn’t do it any longer, he opened his eyes, looked at me and swam away. The spirit from his eyes penetrated my being; I can still see them in my minds eye to this day. I could feel the spirit of this being, how old it was and how unnecessary it was for me to take it.
This experience was so profound that I could not fish for the rest of the time there. My grandfather thought I was being such a girl, but I felt a deep respect for the fish and was not given permission to take them. I ate fish that others caught and it was the most delicious I have ever tasted, but it was not for me to catch them.
So that meant that I had 13 more days out on a boat in the middle of the lake. The boat went out at 6:00 am and came back around 6:00 pm. That is a lot of time to sit on a boat. What did I do? I laid on the hull of the boat and started watching the clouds. The sky is beautiful there and the clouds are endless. After hours and hours of just being with the clouds I began to really perceive their presence and felt an energetic transmission from them. I started to speak to them and ask questions and then they would answer the question through the movement of their formation. It reminded me of reading tea leaves. I watched the clouds for what was days on end in the crisp north air and fell in love with them. Each day I received different information about my life and life in general. They were so beautiful and I enjoyed being with them, it was like making a new friend.
To this day I have a special relationship with the clouds. I stop and watch them, ask them questions or just look at them until I receive a message. As I look back on my experience in the Arctic Circle I estimate that I spent about 100 hours just observing the clouds and learning their language. Not much else was there to distract me. I had time, empty space, a willingness and I enjoyed being with the clouds. I think these are basic components for developing our relationship with the earth, the rocks, the plants or people for that matter.
The next time that you are somewhere that you love in nature, just sit or lay down and relax and hang out with a tree, rock or plant. Take your time and just be with the earth without having to rush. You may just be surprised at what she has to say! Next month I will talk about more techniques for enhancing your earth communication.
Kami McBride has taught herbal medicine and women’s health since 1988. She is the director of Cultivating the Herbal Medicine Woman Within, an experiential herbal studies program where women are inspired to reclaim their heritage as herbalists and healers. Kami is the author of 105 Ways to Celebrate Menstruation that is available on amazon.com Kami teaches Women’s Wisdom workshops for women to experience optimum health in relation to their body cycles. For a schedule of upcoming classes or for an herbal consultation Kami can be reached at (707) 446-1290 or sign up for her free herbal enewsletter at: www.livingawareness.com