To see the forest for the trees

Last night, Samim said something on skype that has completely changed my perspective and focal length. He pointed out that ‘the system’ is vast and beyond our comprehension. That it is nature who runs the planet. Life on earth is a complex and complicated interdependent dance of balance and harmony. And, we, humans, are simply one part of this immense natural system. We mustn’t forget that. To imagine we can understand, and then control this system is a reflection of ‘man’s’ hubris.

Immediately, this made me take a step back – in space and time – and see the whole in my mind’s eye. Humanity and its concerns shrank to its proper perspective, when seen from the point of view of ‘life on earth’. None of this would be surprising or new to our ancients and our ancestors, as well as those peoples still living far closer to life in nature.

What is different, to me, at this point in time, is that this shift in focal length came at a time when humankind is dealing with a worldwide pandemic – a human sickness – and one cannot escape the numerous and varied examples from all over the planet that provide evidence of what has become a meme – “nature is healing”. Samim said we do not know the full power and capability of nature and the planet, yet we imagine we’re in charge. He’s right.

Acknowledging this by sitting back and letting my embodied sense arrive at its own conclusions led to this reorientation of perspective. Humanity’s concerns felt petty against the backdrop of life on earth, and the great and small cycles of the planet. This humbling awareness has been a powerful and positive feeling, rather than one that diminishes. One’s problems and concerns find their proper place, and being alive and breathing in the air in the forest outside my home becomes the most important thing to evoke a sense of joy and bliss.

That which I was seeking to find since late March when I began exploring my writing and thinking on the blog – the change of perspective, the refocusing of the mind’s eye, the withdrawing of the distant vision to recenter on the domestic – suddenly came into clear focus. I feel empowered when I’m made aware that I’m part of a wilder, vaster, natural ecosystem of life on this planet, and not simply a cog in some pile of big data somewhere unnatural.

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