“Away, away, from men and towns,
To the wild wood and the downs, —
To the silent wilderness,
Where the soul need not repress its music.”
—Percy Bysshe Shelley
Last week I felt heavy, isolated, lonely. And then I felt bad for feeling bad. Not helpful I know, but that’s what happened. But today I came to my senses and connected my heavy heart with the heart of Mother Earth.
With Sabre, my trusty Golden Retriever and all-around yes man, I took a wander in the forest. Not a hike or a power walk or anything goal oriented. A true wander. As we weaved our way through the trees, I consciously connected with each of my five senses. I saw early spring green grass shoots poking out of the snow and a fat robin on a branch. I heard chirping birds above my head and the call of wild turkeys in the distance. I felt the crunch of pinecones under my feet and bursts of wind ruffling my hair. I smelled the chalky scent of my favorite boulder and chewed some pine needles that tasted like gin.
My heaviness already lifting, I decided to build a nature mandala—a little altar of sorts made from what I could find on the ground. Next to my crude heart-shaped creation, I lay down, pressed my heart to the ground and visualized connecting my heart to the Heart of Mother Earth. I expressed my gratitude, asked questions and received healing.
I was reminded of the cycles of nature, each one moving seamlessly into the next, every death followed by new life. I was reminded that the earth is us and we are the earth—we are made of the same stuff. I was reminded of the beauty of my own wild heart.
That a heart that holds sadness also holds compassion. That restlessness breeds creativity. That we are always powerful because we have the gift of choice, and we can always choose to follow our hearts. I hope you remember these things too.
This Wednesday is Earth Day and it is also the rising of the new moon in the sign of Taurus—an earth sign. I encourage you to take some time this week to connect with nature. Maybe you don’t have easy access to a forest, but how about a back yard, a balcony or a neighborhood tree? Attune to your five senses and let your wild heart wander. Feel the healing begin.