Life is the art of drawing without an eraser. – John W. Gardner

I wake to the sound of jays, not roosters,  announcing the day. Last night the moon was a blaze, and she will get brighter and brighter until the Harvest Moon on Friday the  13th.

Yesterday I saw Obi Kaufman speak.  It was like being in the presence of a young John Muir.  If he doesn’t walk/hike 100 miles a week, specifically in CA backcountry,  he gets depressed. He arrived outfitted in hat, jeans, and hiking boots.

I love his book The California Field Atlas. His latest is The State of Water. It’s smaller, more focused, and more accessible to all ages, specifically the youngsters we need to reach.  His plan is to write a book on each of the elements, says we humans are fire, and yes, we know the positives and negatives of fire.

He says we should call it “climate breakdown” as there’s always been change but this is a breakdown.  On the other hand, it’s not to panic, but to work with ourselves first, to bring ourselves to unity and peace. We are being divided by those who benefit financially from division and fear.  Before we can address the environmental issues of the day, we need to address ourselves, as we too, are the natural world.

Therefore, find a stream, take your shoes off, and dip in to quiet, to the sounds and songs of birds, water, and trees.  

The following is from his article “How to Get the Most Of Your Time Outside” from Sunset Magazine’s article WILD GIFTS.

First, get out of your car.   “The more you look, the more there is. Nature is magic like that.”

Second, read a book.  “Books are trails that uncover the nature of thought itself.”  He lists authors to read.

Third, watch for patterns. “Widen the lens, investigate larger trends in the ecology around you.”

Fourth, join a Land Trust.  Volunteer on a piece of land that matters to you.

The fifth comes first though. Don’t panic and add fear to the already frenetic energy of the world. Several times a day, rest in nature, your own nature, shoes off, breathing deeply.  Recognize and honor that we ourselves are the natural world.  

His website is here: https://coyoteandthunder.com

My mantra lately is this haiku by Issa.  It allows me to slow, receive, and taste, each moment divided into petals even as it’s held in a bouquet.

This morning I rose, received the touch of feet meeting floor. When I slipped off my nightie, then allowed a blouse to flow over my head, shoulders, and arms, I was showered with bliss, and now I wear a magisterial cape. I am a law unto myself. I know how to live and integrate. I float, carried, a cricket, singing.


On a branch

floating downriver

a cricket, singing

Kobayashi Issa 

The tides flow in and out of the bay


One thought on “Nature

  1. Authors Obi Kaufman suggests to read. You choose the order.

    David Rains Wallace, Gretel Ehrlich, Terry Tempest Williams, Rebecca Solnit, Gary Snyder, Naomi Kline, Barry Lopez, Diane Ackerman, Wendell Berry, Robert Macfarlane, David George Haskell, and Edward O. Wilson.

    He doesn’t mention Annie Dillard but I believe, years ago, after Thoreau, she was my first. She led me to Gretel Ehrlich. I think now of all the books I’ve read on nature. Dip in and breathe.

    Like

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