From talking with you, I have discerned that many of you have similar sensibilities to mine, that have been made wrong by the dominant cultural belief system that nature and the animals are a commodity solely here on this planet for us humans to "use", hence there is written "land of many uses" on our National Forest signs. We have been told early on that "they do not feel like we do and they do not matter". We have been separated from ourselves and our connection to everything on this earth that way, from our intuitive faculties that lie dormant and are just as strong and potent as our brain power.

My whole life, ever since I can remember, the animals and the land/wilderness held a special pull for me. I feel, what they feel. When somebody hurts an animal or does something to the land, I feel it in my own body as if it where mine, which it is because we are all related on this earth. Just a few days ago, I felt a difference in the air when I lay in my tent, ready to go to sleep after a long day. I checked in to see if there might be an animal in distress, but all was calm in that realm. Since there were not any humans in the vicinity, I concentrated on the earth instead and her well-being. I can sense, when she is in distress, when she is ill in certain areas from too many pesticides, too much fertilizer and too much extractive industry. It feels like she has pneumonia sometimes and she cannot breathe. Or, on the other hand, I touch on her general state of wellness and being unscathed in certain wild and untouched areas on this earth, on her breathing freely and joyfully.

This time, I discerned that she was shifting, that a change was in the air that had to do with her. Even the birds were singing a different tune. In fact, only a few of them sang their regular evening song, the others were quiet or chirped a tune that seemed to carry more stillness than usual, almost as if they were waiting for something to happen, as if they relaid a warning. The usually industrious and ubiquitous ground squirrels were nowhere to seen or heard. The stream murmured, but her song, too carried a chant ofinternal knowing that I was not privy to. All I knew was that she did not sound like her happy and carefree self. She was preparing for something that was hidden from me. Yet, even I, the enculturated human, along with the animals, could sense that something was off. I just did not know what ... 

It took me a long to go to sleep and I was soon jolted back to a waking state. It was not a dream that had brought me back from my deep sleep. It was the earth herself that had woken me up. She was moving and so was I, my tent and everything in it, the trees outside and the air ... Gentle ondulations moved the tent, the little mattress, and myself cocooned in my mummy sleeping bag. I would not have been able to leave the tent, the zipper was stuck and most likely broken and I knew it. I had been wanting to deal with it in the morning, during daylight. But really, I did not want to move. I felt held and cradled by our earth, gently swayed back and forth like a child in a bassonette. It was absolutely still around me, every body knew what was happening and bowed to its unfolding with their own innate reverence for the design of life. It felt like I had been falling asleep on a sleeping giant who woke up and was stretching herself. 

The earth was truly stretching and reaching and moving. She is a living being, sometimes called Gaia, an immensely intelligent and perfect organism who takes great joy in creating new life forms. Can’t we just work in tandem with her? Co-create more beauty to complement the beauty and perfection that already exists, create and design graceful and LIVING designs that are sustainable and regenerative like the ones she comes up with, not like my tent in its last throes with its finite zipper life. That moment in the tent, in that gentle embrace I knew that I was a part of it all, that there was nothing to fear. Yes, earth quakes can hurt people, but mostly it is our structures that hurt us when they go down, our what some native people call “hard houses”. I sense it is time for some “soft houses”, meaning for on open heart, for gentle treading on the earth and for honoring her and her daily bounty in gratitude. I am ready to go deeper with this kind of “embodied living” as I call it. Not just talking about it anymore as in “would’nt it be nice” but actually living in a way that nurtures All Life, that honors our interdependence and interconnection. The time is now and We are It.