I recently visited one of my favorite places in the world, Muir Woods National Monument, a magical place. The first time I visited I felt I'd stepped into another world, and with each subsequent visit I come to know the forest more and love it more deeply.
However, during this visit I felt strangely separate from the trees, ferns, flowers, and banana slugs. My grief acted as a wall blocking the gentle love that flows from the majestic redwoods. It felt uncomfortable, this separation. The magic couldn't penetrate my defenses and I left feeling numb. I'm so used to having my heart wide open to nature that this nearly broke my heart again.
As I write this, I wonder if this dynamic is what keeps so many of us from connecting more deeply with Nature. We've all been hurt, some of us to our cores and multiple times. The constant crises happening around the world cause us intense grief and sorrow. Although Nature provides powerful healing, our hearts must be open to it before the healing will work. I see that now with an understanding I didn't have before.
Perhaps if I'd had more time (and I'm talking a few days here) the wall might have given way. I know if I'd been there to sit, relax, rest, and listen to the fresh green life growing all around me, that would have made a difference. Instead I hiked for more than two hours, and although it was slow, it was near-constant movement.
Action gets in the way of being. It gets in the way of absorbing and restoring and healing.
I have decided here and now the next time I visit Nature I will have the intention to sit, listen, and heal.