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.
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.
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.
The eucalypts are alive, here. For whatever reason, this part of the world seems to be windy more often than not, and I’m so very pleased about that. Life seems to flow more with the wind.
I wonder, sometimes, if you all wonder where I disappear to when I’m gone for a few days without any hint as to where I might be. In this case, I’ve escaped the hustle and bustle of the city, with my family, and we are enjoying the most beautiful post-lockdown deep breath.
This morning, as I meditated by the pool, overlooking the giant swaying gums ( sigh ) I felt at ease. The wind on my skin was refreshing and, rather than distracting me, seemed to bring me into a deeper state of peace. The birds and their jarring squawks seemed at odds with the peace I sought, and yet it all became me. Each squawk felt no different to other thoughts or feelings that float in the air around me, daily; and that, to me, seemed so profoundly beautiful. To feel the world as a part of me. It was all the lovely things.
Now. If you’ll kindly excuse me. I have some more lovely deep breaths to catch.