April 28, 2021
People have their things, their loves. Nature is one of mine.
In previous iterations of self I felt the need to direct my adoration for nature and creation into Christianity-sanctioned worship for the Creator. My beliefs at the time couldn’t account for non-dual thinking. Creator was always separate and above, not fundamentally belonging to and with, Creation.
One of the outcomes of my faith shift has been the freedom to love things, as is. I can now unapologetically, and without qualifiers and re-direction, allow myself to attend to and indulge my love for nature. (This loving - as-is and without qualification - applies to people also.)
I studied biology in university with the aim of becoming a high school science teacher should I not become a mother first. I became a mother first and happily long-term shelved the idea of teaching science in a classroom.
I ended up “teaching” science after all as a homeschool parent. I was less concerned with formal science curriculums (ok, I wasn’t concerned at all) and more concerned with nurturing and developing my children’s love and curiosity for the natural world. They received a biased education in this way, as all children do swimming in the waters of their own upbringing.
Looking back at my young adult interest in teaching biology, I see shimmers of what is now a reverence, love, and devotion to nature. In my youth my enduring interest in the natural world found expression in a theoretical and academic perspective. In midlife it’s more relational.
yellow Forsythia for contrast
There are so many things to know and love in the world.
It overwhelms me sometimes and fills me with a sort of grief. (Some much does these days.) All the beauty of this world I will never experience, never know. So I soften the loss by narrowing my scope to knowing and loving what is around me - my backyard, my neighbourhood, the trees at the park.
I have this insatiable desire to know the names of the trees, the plants and the birds. What a delight it would be to spend my days identifying, loving, and nurturing living things.
As I typed this last sentence it occurred to me that this is exactly what I did as a mother. Who are you? And how can I love and nurture you into the fullest expression of that? It’s no wonder I’m feeling the need to channel this energy somewhere!
I am hoping to do this in my work, but it’s going to take time to grow this in a realm outside of my home. Naming, knowing, and nurturing plants is readily accessible while my others dreams and goals gestate.
A couple weeks ago now I took this photo of the larch blossoms. Everything is blooming early this year because of the unseasonably warm spring weather on the heels of a mild winter.
I’ve never paid attention before to larch blossoms. This is the first year I’ve noticed them. Maybe it’s a mast year. More likely I just wasn’t in the right place at the right time to take notice. There are no larches in my immediate neighbourhood.
I used to live in a beautiful river valley, on the side of a small mountain and there were lots of larches in the area. But I only really paid attention to them in the fall when their brilliant yellow needles/leaves were in stark contrast to the surrounding evergreens and grey-trunked deciduous trees. I had never noticed these tender purple flowers that eventually become the brown and brittle cones.
In my desire to know and name my physical and natural environment I am delighted to observe and learn new things. Spring is a fabulous season to do this since new shoots and blossoms are bursting into life all over the place. I encounter so many things each day, not just in nature, but also ideas, that invite me to dig further to understand.
I can only indulge a fraction of my desire "to know" because the world holds too much for one being to comprehend and to carry.
After I took this photo, walking with my friend, I indulged my need to know by researching larch blossoms.
What I don’t know (about plants, people, ideas) far outweighs what I do. But I added a tiny bit of knowing to my being the week I investigated the larches. It’s nowhere near the depth I would like, but it has to be enough.
Enough for one day at least.
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