Is This The End of Wild?

Trees and Snow

Taming Nature by Nancy Lankston

I like to spend time camping in Rocky Mountain National Park. I love that place. But the last time I camped there, I came away sad. The hiking trails at RMNP are badly damaged from too many hikers. The campground is stripped of every bush and flower; only the hardiest old pine trees still survive. There is very little natural life left anywhere near the campground. I was haunted by the nagging thought that humans destroy Nature wherever we go.

People have been trying to manage and control the beautiful wild places on earth for generations. But we always seem to end up destroying huge pieces of Nature in the process of trying to preserve and micro-manage it. Environmentalists preach about man’s destruction of Nature all the time. It is sad to realize that a tree hugger like myself can add to the destruction without even realizing it.

I believe that we lost an important connection between humans and Mother Nature when we stopped sleeping on the ground and hunting in the forest every day for dinner. We lost something valuable when we got “civilized.”  And now, with every piece of wildness that we pave over or fence in, we lose even more connection. With every choice we make to ride in a car instead of walking, and with every streetlight that we keep burning all night long, we lose our understanding of the value of wild places.

Somehow we forget that every drop of water we drink and every bite of food we consume is a gift from Nature. We forget that Mother Nature provides everything that sustains our lives. We forget… Is this our proverbial fall from paradise, this act of forgetting?

I look around at everything humans have done to our Earth in the name of progress and I wonder. We seem to have a terminal case of amnesia; we forget that humans are intrinsically a part of Nature. Is this a Christian oops, this idea that humans have dominion over this planet? Where did we come up with the notion that we must tame and subdue and manage every other creature on Earth? Whatever happened to the Christian concepts of kindness and sharing? Apparently those ideals don’t apply to plants and animals.

I shouldn’t pick on Christianity. It’s not like Jews, Buddhists, Hindus or Moslems have a history of being any kinder to our Earth. Most religions act like the human body is a necessary evil rather than a divine miracle. Is it any surprise that those same religions view the body of Mama Earth like a necessary evil to be tamed and controlled?

Can we stop trying to tame Mama Earth? Can we just STOP?  Instead of seeing life as a battle of humans against Nature, can we wake up and connect with the wisdom and wonder of Nature? It is the wisdom and wonder of Nature that makes life on Earth possible!  When will we realize that destroying Nature is as dumb as cutting off our own arm? Are we wise enough to finally choose cooperation over domination?

I know in my heart that I am not separate or distinct from Nature.

This single simple idea feels so critical to me.  But what will it take before I start living like I believe that? When will I start working with Nature, actively listening to Nature, looking to Nature for my answers?

I wonder, what else is possible? Can I learn how to partner and work with Mama Earth rather than doing things to her? It is time to try. Because the truth is, I cannot survive without Nature. Nature and I are one.

Healing the Feminine

The Face of The Mother
The Face of The Mother

There is a sacred ground that is calling to us to heal now; it is the ground  of the feminine that holds and nourishes all life. This feminine ground can be found in the dirt of Mother Earth that holds and nourishes a tiny plant seedling. It can be found within each woman who holds and nourishes a human embryo in her womb. Both plant and human require the sacred ground of the Mother to hold and grow new life.

I read of a young woman being brutally raped and left for dead on a bus in India. I turn the page and read of Mother Earth being raped and polluted in a search for oil in the tar sands of  Canada. And I feel the same energy in both acts; a hatred and a dishonoring of the feminine.  It is the male warrior energy run rampant, forgetting the sacredness of the feminine body.

The feminine body has been objectified and mistreated for generations. Both the female womb and the dirt of Mother Earth have been dishonored and defiled again and again.  Entire cultures and religions curse and blame the feminine for our human fall from grace. Those that don’t understand the gifts of the feminine have tried to stifle her wisdom and annihilate her power.

We fear what we do not understand. But how can we possibly kill what holds and nurtures each life?  If we kill the mother, we kill ourselves. And even when we deny the sacredness of the feminine, the mother quietly continues to perform her sacred magic, holding ground for every new life.

Mystery of Mother Earth

Mother is so quiet, dark, mysterious and yet so nurturing; the feminine gifts look and act nothing like the male energies that are prized today. These feminine gifts are so misunderstood, and yet so necessary to heal this world. The power of the feminine lies within an expansive holding, supporting and nurturing energy that is difficult to pin down; visualize the warm safety of mama’s lap; feel into the quiet stability of the earthy ground and you will be on the right track. Knowing the feminine is best done on a visceral and emotional level.

It takes a quieting of the mind and a wondering heart to grasp the gifts of the feminine energies.  Watch a mother with her baby; sense her gentle nurturing and quiet loving presence. Or go outside and sit with Mother Nature; just sit and be still. Breathe, watch and listen to Nature.

The divinity of the feminine whispers in the ripples of the water and the gentle opening of a flower. It is there in the growing tree limbs that arch toward the sky and the roots that burrow into mother’s dirt. Our Earth Mama holds a quiet space of wisdom, always there beneath the surface of life. She is a mysterious, flowing and constant presence.

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The ground of our Mother whispers that it is time now to heal the feminine. The Mother is quietly, yet insistently calling to us. She is demanding that we remember her gifts and honor her sacredness or perish. It is time to heal our relationship with our Earth Mother.

Originally published by Nancy Lankston in July, 2013