“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”
~ Mary Oliver
This week exercise is about re-connecting…
Try these steps:
- Visit a few places close to your home, school or workplace
- Check for places that have something wild. It doesn’t have to be a forest: it can be a park, a trail, a garden or even your balcony, a window or a house plant if nothing else is available. The more wild and nature is on it the better
- The best places are places where you will be able to go on a daily basis without too much rush. So even if you have a favourite hiking trail, if you won’t be able to be there every day, it may not work
- Sit there for at least 20 minutes: no cellphone, no TV, no laptop, not even a book, a dog or a friend: just you and this spot
- You may feel a bit agitated, confused, even frustrated; don’t try to do anything special, just be there and observe what happens inside your mind/heart and body
- When you go home, write a paragraph or two about your experience: emotions, sensations, perceptions, thoughts…
Next week I’ll share some other activities, for now, try a week of just disconnecting from everything else (social media, commitments, bills, schedules, entertainment, relationships, stress) and rediscover the essential connection with the natural world and your Self.