Wednesday, April 20, 2005

thinking and walking

My friend Brian Lamb, over at Abject Learning, had an interesting post about his mid-day walk in the woods and thinking about too most of us these days. He poses some interesting questions about the nature of information overload and the status of intellectual 'objects' in the digital age.

Had my own little thinking walk today... I was humming with excitement about some good news and was floating around about six inches off the ground and feeling a bit jittery. Now, anybody who knows me well will tell you that this is not a common state for me. I am usually pretty well planted. Our dear friend John, who is embarking on a co-living experiment with us, took note and took action. "Go for a walk. You've got 15 minutes."

(For those of you who don't have three children under five...that's a LOT of time--and opportunities like this don't present themselves very often--oh the burgeoning joy of co-living! ) So off I went, so glad I live within steps of wild places. I came back to earth so literally. The minute my feet went from tarmac to soil. I felt all the jitters just drain away...

I am one of those people who gets sick in cities. About two weeks is the max I can handle--less if I have to eat restaurant food--that lasts about two days...

I have always considered the earth my third parent. I don't mean this in any new-age kind of way. As a child I grew up in nature, spent most of my days exploring her infinite variety and beauty...learning her ways and lessons--respecting her power. My year was a constellation of buddings, bloomings and foldings. I knew the progression of spring flowers...where to find the fiddleheads, the first blood root, violet and mayapple, where the jack-in-the-pulpit grew and the ladyslipper...where the snakes first emerged to sun and glide on the still pools, watched the litters of fox grow up and the groundhog pups, when to gather puffballs for frying and wild grapes for juice and jelly, where the wild cucumber vine would be twining...where the crayfish lurked and when the suckers ran...and endless days lying stretched out on the ground feeling the pulse of the planet run through me...hearing her voice in my veins...I knew her as a physical and spiritual presence. The land where I came from is a huge part of who I am. Losing that land has cut me adrift in so many ways.

I have made what peace I can with it. And I know that a lot of my adult searching is to reconnect once again to a place in that deep and essential breathing.

As I walked back down the greenway, the sun was backlighting the leaves of the maples making them glow, and the hundreds of little flying creatures bobbed and wove about like a host of fairies--pale silver lights dancing spring in once more.

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