Seems just a few months ago, it was so easy to embrace nature. To walk or bike along a path and become rejuvenated by it. To decide when and how I wanted to be in the wild. To be able to go back to my city or suburban lot after a hike and keep the natural world in a neat little box to enjoy when I felt like it. But now, out here, on this rural piece of land, I am surrounded by wildness and feel less in charge. Nature basically decides what happens around here, I don't.
Its funny because nature ultimately decides what happens in a city too, but we as humans just feel more in control there. We groom the wild to our satisfaction. But in the process of grooming, we lose something. Our street lights dim the stars in the sky. Neighborhoods filled with homes destroy the habitats animals need to survive. Rainwater is diverted into gutter systems sending it raging into our rivers rather than allowing it to nourish the land.
Grooming nature gives us a diluted picture of it. We decide how we want it to work for us and what we want the natural world to look like. Maybe it becomes a wildflower garden in our yard or a tidy bike ride along the river. I have enjoyed nature in this diluted form up to this point in my life. It has felt easy and safe and I have felt in control.
The folks that have lived around here for a long time accept mice in their houses and ticks in their midst. They have figured out how to be in relationship with not only these things but also all of what nature brings their way. I need to learn from their examples and begin to understand how to connect with the natural world in a new way myself. To lean into nature and learn to see ALL of it as something to be cherished.
The bright stars in the sky, the vivid sunrises, the raccoon paw prints on my breakfast window, the baby squirrel zipping along my deck, the bird calls, the deer siblings playing near the pond, and yes...the ticks looking for a meal. The good with the bad. My time here will bring me closer to wildness than I ever imagined and I look forward to this new relationship and the discoveries I will make.
The sky is burning red out my window as the sun sets into the horizon, nature's beauty on display, coaxing me into its fold.