It was an octopus mum, to be specific, a mum just like me. And my mum, and yours, and his mum and hers.
I wouldn’t say it was the octopus herself I fell in love with, exactly…
It was the love.
The love I somehow absolutely knew she felt for her little tiny octopus babes. It was grace in motion, the way she bundled her precious little ones into the ocean, the way she held them with her soul.
Maybe it’s because I’m pregnant (29 weeks, not that I’m counting down or anything.)
Or maybe it’s just because love is what connects every living creature on this earth and I think that is the most beautiful miracle, regardless of the motherly hormones surging through my veins.
I think it’s the miracle thing.
The love thing, the complete and utter mind boggling beauty of it all.
I am so saddened it took me this long to connect to all of life, truly I am, but I’m also beyond grateful to have had a chance to know this depth of connection with my fellow planet dwellers. It really is the most magical, wondrous thing.
Now, If you’ll excuse me…there must be another adorable octopus video on the internet somewhere. I mean, surely.
I sat beside the river and smiled. It seemed a little funny to me that us humans believe we are the stars of this Earth show and that nature is here for us, rather than with us. What if we are here for nature? I think it’s more likely that we are all just here, to be whoever and whatever we are.
Last night as I sat beside the river, an epiphany that’s been growing within me grew a little more, so I thought I’d share it with you guys, just in case you’re interested.
I’ll start with the trees. Trees begin with a trunk. As they rise (grow) they branch out, one branch at a time. Each branch thickens and solidifies over time, and as it does it gives birth to new branches, which then give birth to new branches and new branches, until finally we reach the climax: the leaf.
Flowers. All begin with a stem which grows and, in time, becomes a beautiful little bud, bursting for change, bursting to open. Petal by petal it reveals itself, until eventually we have a fully open flower. It doesn’t happen over night, the growth process. But perhaps that’s the whole point of all life. The journey.
We know roughly what will come of a growing tree/flower because we’ve seen it so many times before and so the expectation is to look toward the finished product. To wait for it, even. But what if we’d never seen a fully grown flower? What if we’d never seen a fully grown tree? All we would have is each individual moment to watch the flower bloom. The same is true for the tree.
A flower/tree has never experienced itself, or this life, before, so how would it know how to grow but to simply let the process be and to experience whatever may happen along the way?As the flower blooms, as the tree branches out, as the human lives and ages…all there is is the process. Living. Experiencing. That’s all there is. For all of us.
And so it could be said that nature is here to live and experience life as consciously and fully as we humans are. Each flower is here to find out what it is like to bethat particular flower in that particular environment, in every moment it lives. Some flowers live to be picked or destroyed. Some live their whole lives to wither and naturally die. The same goes for trees. Some tree branches may be jumped on by a child and broken, leaving the tree injured and in need of renewal and repair. Some will mend on their own. Some will need help. Some, as nature and all things go eventually, will die.
These processes the natural world go through: they are really no different than the processes we go through, as humans. Growth. Challenges. Being loved and cared for. Being abused. Nature goes through it all, right alongside of us, and none of us have any clue what the journey will be until we are in it, living it, being it.
This will likely sound a little (cough: really quite) crazy to those of you who are absolutely not on the nature train, so perhaps I’ll leave you with a little piece of homework, if you’re interested in diving deeper. When you are next outside, go to the nearest tree and hold your hand up beside a leaf (palm facing you). Look at the leaf carefully. Then look at your hand carefully. Look at the leaf and your hand, again.
When you see it, you will smile, I guarantee you that much. And you will know, without any doubt, that you are not at all alone in this universe.
Have you ever stood in an angry ocean and fought to keep your balance?
Have you ever been out walking in a gale and desperately tried to continue walking in a straight line?
Have you ever mowed the lawn and realised the hills in the backyard were absolutely not made for lawn mowers (more specifically, humans with little patience, with lawn mowers.)
Opposition everywhere. Challenges of control, everywhere.
Why did you fight what was, do you think, rather than going in the direction the opposing force was taking you?
How did it feel when you were fighting?
There was resistance in the body and the mind, wasn’t there. Your muscles were tensing, and your mind was fighting the natural way of things because your mind told you that the ‘right’ way was for ‘you’ to remain in control.
Your mind told you that you were the centre of the universe, in those moments, didn’t it. That if the force wasn’t with you, it was against you, and omg how dare it be against you. (cue anger, frustration, pain, and probably all the f*#@s.)
We’ve all been surviving for so very long in a way that goes against the natural way of things. Who could blame us for fighting, though, when we haven’t even been aware of the whole earth/universe/human connection thing.
We say things like ‘go with the flow’ because we hear that sort of thing in childhood, but no one really explained what it meant, because no one really thought about it for too long. Go with the flow? But what does that even mean?
No one knew. Until they finally did.
Until they had no choice but to surrender to the ocean that was. Until they’d stood against the windy backdrop of life, been knocked off their feet, and realised, finally, that there was no point in fighting for control of the ocean, the sky, the sun, the rain.
Or, you know, the back lawn.
Over the past twenty four hours, the universe has taught me a lesson that’s been in the making for a lifetime (I’m 37, lol, how dramatic am I?) and even though I’ll go back to being the forgetful muffin I was yesterday, today I see the lesson and I know the truth of it down to my bones.
It feels much nicer to become the wind that blows you, rather than to resist the flow of what just is. However frustrating the wind, the sea, the back lawn. It just is. And if it was going to be any other way…it would be.
Today, I saw the ocean I’ve been battling, the one that’s tossed me around for so, so, so long. My first instinct was to fight it. Instead, I became aware of the wave, and then I became it. I let go of what if, and I surrendered to what is.
And though it meant that ‘I’ wouldn’t be getting ‘my’ way…I somehow knew there was no point in fighting the natural way of things.
Who even knows what is going on with this July energy, but if you are diving deep into the guts of you, or kind of feeling a little bit like there is a thick layer of mud painted onto your skin, too…that would probably be because—drum roll— July-kind-of-sucks. Just today alone I have failed to even start anything I’ve set out to do, to the point where the day will be gone soon and I will still be wondering when it is going to start. (Disclaimer: this could also just be a ‘me’ thing, but I’m going to say it’s an everyone thing. It feels like it’s probably an everyone thing.)
Guys. I’m just here to say that it’s totally okay to eat all the doughnuts if July is, in fact, having its way with you, too. Go on— the sugary ones with jam inside are particularly awesome, as long as you don’t heat them up to the point of tongue burning. (Omg. Ouch.)
That reminds me of a fun story, and I reckon I need to tell it…if only to lighten us all up a bit. 🙂
It was when I was about eight, I’d say. I was an only child at this point, and my wonderful, fun-guy Step-Dad had taken me to Lunar Park (an amusement park) where we were plonked on a picnic bench, gobbling up hot jam doughnuts.
Everything was going well until he dropped the sugar bomb:
‘Right. Here’s a challenge. I dare you to eat an entire doughnut without licking the sugar off your lips.’
I could have died.
The way the story ended is kind of vague to me now. I’m pretty sure it ended with me meeting his challenge successfully but coming to the conclusion that, because of the amount of concentration needed to keep me from licking my lips…I didn’t enjoy the doughnut one little bit.
So, essentially, I won.
But I also lost. So mega big time.
And that was the day I realised I will never say no to that kind of sugary goodness ever again.
Happy July-ing, everyone. And happy weekend, too. xx