Can Intimacy with Nature Ease Sadness?

By: | Posted in: Connection with Nature, Grief Emotions | Monday, Jun 13, 2016 - 9:24pm

Do emotions like sadness ever erupt unexpectedly for you, with no seeming trigger?

For me, the tears and sadness seemed to come out of nowhere.  This disconnection from my brother, my last close relative, hit me in the heart, instead of just my mind. I miss him so much, but there is little I can do about it.

So what do I do with this feeling? I decide to go for a walk to the forest and the waterfall.

Letting Go

The falls are just roaring these days. I feel their power. I am mesmerized by it. The water is a swirl of snow and caramel, or that is what it reminds me of – taffy on snow.  I feel like throwing myself in.  Not because I want to die but because I wonder what it would feel like to just be a drop of water in such an immense community of drops and just hurl myself along with the rest, over the rocks and on down the river.  The water doesn’t worry about where it is going or about the rocks it is going to hit. intimate nature sadnessIt just follows the route, with joyous abandon and power. Sometimes I imagine the water flowing right through me. And the tears flow down my face, from the water inside me.

Love

On my way back, I visit a spruce tree I have connected with recently. I lean against the tree and say “I am so alone.”  It replies, “You are not alone.” I feel it supporting my back and relax into it, to feel its energy and what it is like to be this tree?  I crouch at its base and feel the broader roots embrace me. The tears flow, and I am comforted.

I look around and realize this tree is not alone. It is part of a forest.  I ask it if it has friends here.  It says yes.

I touch it’s rough bsadness intimate natureark. I feel like I am touching the skin of a lover. Even though it is really rough, I touch it gently and feel a response of love and send it back.

Is this not what lovers do, ideally? Support and love each other? Touch with gentleness and reverence. I have recently read how we should call this planet Lover Earth instead of Mother Earth.  Lover Earth imagines a partnership of love and union. Mother Earth may imply that we are children looking for her to look after us, with no reciprocal responsibility. Just take, and expect to be taken care of. I like the lover version better, although the mother version is comforting, and she does nurture us. In the end, it is about love.

So if we were more intimate with nature, if we opened up all our senses and gave and received, how would that change us?  Could it take us out of ourselves to a larger self, a more non-personal self? And does nature appreciate our concern?  I feel it does.

What do you think? Have you had experiences like this? Do you feel an intimate connection with nature? Do you feel better after a journey like this?  I did.

I’d love to hear from you.

 

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3 comments

  1. I love the term “Lover Earth” — hadn’t heard it before — and the two-way relationship it implies. Your writing has inspired me to be out in nature today and to connect. Thanks!.

    Comment by Marguerite Webb on June 16, 2016 at 10:39 am
  2. “Lover Earth” is new to me, too, and really resonates. The two-way flow of genuine caring and responsibility for the well-being of the lover and the beloved is so warming and healing. I feel this way when I go out into my backyard, put my arms around the redwood tree there, feel the reddish-brown platelets of bark under my fingers, look up at the filtered light from the upper branches, and feel I’m in a cathedral. Spacious, spiritual, enduring.

    Thank you, Maggie, for your authentic posts that capture your feelings in the moment and bring a touch of nature into our hearts.

    Comment by Eve Siegel on June 16, 2016 at 12:15 pm
  3. Thank you so much Eve and Marguerite for your comments. I’m glad that this post resonated with you.

    Comment by Maggie Marshall on June 16, 2016 at 9:17 pm