I was on my knees, in the garden. If she was a person, we would have been forehead to forehead, and I would be whispering my sorry into her skin.
But she was not a person.
She was a plant.
One that was alive before I left for twelve days of holidaying, and dry as a crisp when I arrived home.
I could have cried. I’d planted her and one other, just before Christmas, forgetting that we’d be going away and there’d be no one home to water them. I thought about them often while we were gone, just hoping. They both died. It was too long in such dry hot conditions.
In the moment I sat with her whispering ‘sorry’, I felt her. It was a sacred sorrow in the air, beautiful and sad, slow and soothing, one that only a few years ago I wouldn’t have been able to feel.
There are many who would laugh at me for loving, connecting and understanding nature as deeply as I do. To me, everything is alive, and I try to treat all the living beings in my care with as much love as I would a human.
It is my way, to love those who cannot speak for themselves.
I had to write. With my heart open wide and my energy flowing, I had to write because writing is what my soul does when it needs to breathe.
My soul needs to breathe.
I stood beneath a tree in my front yard the other day. I was gardening, but gardening has become so much more than just a word, to me. How about caring for, nurturing gently, cherishing life as it grows beneath my hands? That sounds about right.
I was always going to love like this. Always going to be the one to love that little bit more. And where it often hurts a great deal to live with my heart wide open, I can’t imagine any other way of being.
A bug caught my eye as it crept up a branch. It was my baby daughter. Of course, it wasn’t my actual baby daughter, that would be insane of me to consider. But I knew in that moment that I loved this little beetle. That I would protect it. That I cared so much more deeply for this little life than I ever thought I could.
I have only just allowed myself to feel this deeply again. It was often unsafe to be my fullest self in this world, and many have hardened beneath the hardness of generations before them. My culture was not built to tolerate a soft heart. It is a culture of jokes at people’s expense and arguments over petty things. I reject it entirely. And it rejects me.
But I stand under trees and I love them with all that I am.
I’ve changed. My goodness I’ve changed. And although the change has been gradual, I am living a version of my internal life I have never lived before.
It all has to do with my heart, and maybe (probably, absolutely) hormones. You see, the thing is, empathy for humans has always come easily to me. But now, empathy is changing the way I see the entire universe.
Once, I would have seen a cut flower and been very pleased to have been given such a lovely thing. Now, I feel for the flower. It has been cut to make me happy, and yet it is dying in my hands. Is this the way the world was meant to be?
Once, I would have read a book, held the pages close to my face and inhaled. Oh, the smell. It would have brought me such pleasure. Now, I think of the trees and all the animals who’ve lost homes because of the glorious romantic story I’ve called books. Is this the way the world was meant to be?
Once, I would have seen a spider on the wall and swatted it, killing it instantly. Now, I deliver it outside and onto a bush (if I can). I think of my children and wonder how I would feel If someone swatted one of them just because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Killing for convenience? Is this the way the world was meant to be?
And lastly, I would have gotten a pet and loved it as my own child. Those innocent, melty puppy eyes, how they would capture my heart and soul. Now, I connect to the primal core of its mother, and I hate myself. Taking her baby (or the baby of any living being, without permission) to meet my own needs. Is this the way the world was meant to be?
I am not at all saying that anyone who has a pet, kills spiders or reads books is doing ‘wrong’. I am one of you. I do these things, too. All I’m saying is: I see this world anew.
And because of this, I fear I see too much to go back.
I’ve been getting to know myself through music again.
I wanted to go a little further into this idea because not only does music tell familiar stories and remind me of people and places…it also becomes me. As in: I embody it. This is the most magical phenomenon I have ever known.
I read a theory, once, where it was said that the mirror neurons of the brain are somehow responsible for this sort of mega feeling capability, and I only wish there were enough hours in the day for me to truly explore, and come to an understanding of, it all. I wish more people talked about their subjective feeling experiences so we could all pool our individual authentic truths and perhaps come up with a better, more holistic understanding of the nature of reality. Maybe one day people will open up fully to each other, even about the stranger things in life. Maybe.
I’ll start the ball rolling.
The other day I was driving along listening to a song where the singer was expressing a feeling of complete and utter freedom; a gorgeous energy that felt fun, wild, curious and sexy all at the same time. What a beautiful feeling it was as it surged through my body. I was alive.
While listening to this particular song, I recognised the essence of the singer as seperate to my own, and yet…her feelings had become me. I was feeling her freedom within my body. I was feeling her cheekiness and sass. It was as if I was her.
What-on-earth. If nothing else, I came away from the song understanding that this was clearly an energy in my life I am needing to explore. But on a more out there note, I had to wonder. What might humans truly be capable of if we removed the stigma and shame attached to the more, umm, left of centre traits of human nature?
We haven’t even begun to seriously discuss this sort of phenomena without attaching it to the words ‘disorder’ or ‘disease’. What if…we changed our story? What if we framed high sensitivity in humans as exactly what it is: high sensitivity in humans. Nothing more. Nothing less. I think you could guarantee that far less of us would suffer from the anxiety that naturally arises from being perceived as different. Or, worse, broken.
I suppose I know the problem in a nutshell. You only need to look at events where the human ego has completely rejected any sort of difference perceived as weird or threatening in any way. In 1692, for instance, hysteria swept through an entire town in the U.S.A and condemned many women (women who, by the way, very likely perceived themselves as normal) to death if they were discovered to be witches. These women were probably just highly sensitive women, who very likely had been born a little different to the rest…and yet.
So it’s not surprising to me, then, that humanity has taken quite a long time to truly own the more eclectic parts of ourselves. No one wants to be kicked out of the pack. No one wants to stray too far from safe and secure. You know. Just in case. (Cough: no one has been burnt at the stake for quite a while now.)
Perhaps I am different, but really, who isn’t? We are all unique in our own way, and I believe with just a few tweaks in perspective (for instance, we might do well to dismantle the damaging cultural narratives that seperate people) humanity might be onto something really very special.
Perhaps I am here to write. But at the core of that, at the core of my words, at the core of my message…I’m here to love. I always have been, and it’s more clear to me now that I’m allowing my love to be seen.
I can’t help but feel great waves of empathy, particularly for those who are struggling in life. Those who are scared. Those who are being unfairly treated, by those who don’t even recognise the wrongs they perpetuate (as a result of their own messy humanity.)
It’s all a bit of a mess.
It’s all a bit of a mess.
So maybe I shouldn’t waffle at you about love.
Maybe I should be writing something of substance: something about the politics of what’s going on with the floods in eastern Australia, maybe, and how they’d want me to say it’s got nothing to do with the way we treat the planet (when, actually, I believe that Mother Nature was the very first woman who learned to powerfully speak her truth.)
But I’m not going to talk about natural disasters, or about who believes what.
I’m going to talk about love, and how I feel it, and how I feel for everything and everyone, and wish that more humans did.
Because underneath every natural disaster, lives love. The rescuer rowing a family to safety while their own home—a home they have loved and cared for with everything they have—drowns behind them.
That’s not politics.
It’s not who made the wrong choice about dam management and should be fired because of it.
It’s not who is right and who is wrong about the effects of climate change on a struggling earth.