Something happens when we step out of the cities we live in, where we’re constantly blinded by the rules and judgment of society, and constantly insulated from the earth by concrete, asphalt, floorboards, and more.
Constantly disconnected from our planet, and from ourselves.
It’s different for different folks, but for me, finding solitude on a mountaintop, stream-bed, or meadow makes me feel far more alive than in the hustle and bustle of any city or town.
Free of the pollutants of civilization, the air smells, tastes, and feels like it should. There’s a difference to it, a difference that is nearly inexplicable, but it can be felt.
The dirt and rocks under my feet, the leaves I touch with my fingertips, and the river water I scoop into my hands confirms to me that I am here, I am part of this earth, and I exist in this particular moment.
I am the dirt, rocks, leaves, and water. I am the fish in the river, the bear on the ridge-top, the chipmunk on the tree branch, and the moose in the thicket. We all come from the same star stuff.
We’re just different parts of one big, living, breathing planet. To accept this conclusion is inexplicably liberating.
Today we’re alive, and someday we’ll be dead, this we can be sure of. There’s comfort in that. Accepting that one day we’ll all be dead frees us from our fears, and helps us to not sweat the small stuff, and unshackles us from the arbitrary strictures of society.
Being in nature reminds me of these things, and confirms them for me. I need this reminder when I’ve been in a city for too long, or am worried about what someone thinks of how I look, how I live, or where I am in life.
Out here, I know I’m alive, at least in my own consciousness, and one day, I’ll be dead, just like every other living thing around me will one day expire.
I am the trees dancing in the wind, the water babbling in the brook, and the beaver building the dam.
I am the star stuff. I am the earth. I am alive.
And so are you.
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