15th September 2021

While out walking today it occurred to me that so many of today’s problems of being human stem from a lack of respect for the natural world. Over the years I have discovered that while out walking you start to develop a sense of peace as you gradually re-connect with nature, bringing yourself gently and smoothly back in line with the natural rhythms of life. In that peace and as you start to re-connect with nature you begin to see everything in a new and fresh light. 

cobwebYou start to appreciate the beauty of absolutely everything around you in its natural state. For example, a dewdrop delicately poised on the edge of a cobweb in the early morning sun is enough to instantly bring a smile to my face which I can then feel warm my heart. And I know that it’s a spontaneous smile generated by genuine pleasure that I tangibly feel emanating from the very core of my being. A few seconds of contemplation is enough for me to realise that what I’m experiencing is a genuine appreciation of seeing something so simple and so beautiful. And yet I’m acutely aware that so many people would take that poised dewdrop for granted or most likely not even notice it in their busy, urban lives.

Appreciating the beauty in something so natural and so simple helps us to deepen our respect for everything in nature – the dandelions, the crows, the dead leaves, the dung beetles. And the more we do this – appreciate what we see - the more we see and the more connected we begin to feel with all this beautiful nature around us. The longer we keep this appreciation going or the more frequently we allow ourselves to be in this exalted state, we can keep expanding these truly uplifting, inspiring and heartening feelings until we finally come to the point of realisation that all those things we may have once considered a nuisance we now observe in a highly different and deeply appreciative, respectful light. In this context, love is no longer too strong a word.

Having discovered this new respect for nature and having observed ourselves making this observation, we realise that the respect reflects back within ourselves – in other words, as we send respect out to nature, it comes back to us and we actually start to find a new respect for ourselves. And it doesn’t end there.

beeOver the years, I have periodically walked down a nearby disused railway line to walk off-road between two villages. When I first used to walk it, I had to carry a pair of secateurs with me in order to cut down the brambles so that I could pass through. It was slow and difficult going, and I often got scagged but would still give blessings out to the land and all who lived there. It used to be that on that particular stretch of land, the energies felt dark and heavy to me, even loveless and foreboding, and I had the distinct feeling that something terrible had happened here in the past. But each time I walked it, I would forever be asking for love, light and healing to be sent to that place and space and all who dwelt there. 

Ten years later (2017), while following the same path, I had an almost unconscious prod as I suddenly and quite tangibly became aware that the energies had changed. They were lighter and brighter and I noticed that someone apart from me had been cutting back the undergrowth and maintaining this place better than I’d ever seen it before. And it was about the same time that I recalled reading about a regional plan to create a pilgrim’s path around these parts, emanating from the Canal du Midi and climbing up to Montségur, one of the Cathare towns in our region. It occurred to me for the first time that my prayers had been answered. The pilgrim’s path was passing right through here and hence all the work that had commenced on clearing the path.

meadow flowersNow in 2021, the path is virtually complete. Walkers and cyclists alike are using the path as was never possible before. And, just as I spent years sending blessings down to that place, more and more people are using it and sending out their good intentions, their love and their enjoyment and pleasure at being able to freely use it and avoid the busy main roads. The energies of the land have since shifted again and the good vibes of the land are raising everyone’s spirits as their good spirits raise the vibrations of the land.

 We should know by now that we are all one. What we send out comes back to us. What we give, we receive and the more we give, the more we receive. All over the world, thousands (I would pray for millions) of people are sending out love, light and healing to the places where they walk and visit. The universal law of reciprocity ensures that for all those who send out love and positive vibes, more positive and good vibes are what come back to them. This is the natural world at work.

badgerWhen we start to take notice of the observations we make, i.e. when we recognise, appreciate and respect the beauty of the natural world, we evolve our emotional state to a higher level as we re-connect with the natural world, deepen and heighten our sense of belonging and understanding, and ultimately become more able to deepen our sense of love and compassion for all that we see around us. And now that we are in a state of appreciating and respecting, loving and caring, giving and receiving for the natural world, we observe once again that we are now able to give a deeper kind of love and compassion to even the smallest and most common aspects of nature.

We may find ourselves smiling at the floating clouds, a dirty puddle, broken twigs, wild thyme and mint. Our awareness will have expanded yet again, our love and empathy continue to grow, and our elevated emotions amplify and intensify to accommodate this new and beautiful way to experience the natural world as we find ourselves now marvelling at just much a part of it we really are. As our awareness and appreciation deepen, we then come to realise that we are not simply a part of it but that we are in fact giving everything we give out simultaneously right back to ourselves. We reap what we sow and so what better thing to do than to give out all of the good stuff, right? Lots of love and compassion, patience and tolerance, understanding and caring, courage and strength. The list of elevated qualities could go on.

And we don't just stop there, sending it out to the natural world. We need to start sending it to each other.bee

In terms of the human healing process, doing the above means that we will naturally start to feel calmer, happier, less stressed as people. Over time this means we inevitably develop a higher sense of inner peace, acceptance of ourselves and others, deeper tolerance of ourselves and of the foibles of others, better able to value ourselves and others, more loving, more caring, more giving, more everything …. And rather than getting angry and impatient with things that we do that go wrong and things that others do which may normally annoy us, we start to be able to relax and laugh even, and just accept what is for what it is and move on, working with life as it ebbs and flows and unfolds before us.

sunriseAnd the potential of all this this just keeps growing a little bit more each time that we go out showing gratitude for the beauty of everything in the natural world.

In recognising the magic of the natural world around us, we may even start to recognise the magic that is inherent in each of us. And if everyone could do that, wouldn’t will all be having the most magical time of our lives?

One of the best things that always raises my spirits, makes me smile and opens my heart in an instant in early summer is the sight and smell of the early broom in flower. Another is the dancing of myriad butterflies right before my eyes. When the two happen together I always ask myself: ‘how can you not feel good about life and good about yourself and all things natural in the world?’