I have lived in both the country and the city over the years, and have found that the healing powers of nature are beyond compare. I can see why so many mystics and yogis enjoy living in isolated places. As a child growing up in the Seventies, I was blessed to have flower children parents who decided to move our family to the mountains of New Mexico right next door to a commune known as the Hog Farm. This was owned by none other than Wavy Gravy, spokesperson for the Grateful Dead and breakfast announcer at Woodstock, along with being the leader of the SEVA organization, which works with impoverished children in third world countries to help bring vitamin K shots to prevent blindness, and glasses for those who need them.
On our little farm, we raised goats and chickens, a pig named Agnes and a beautiful Thoroughbred Arabian horse named Lady. Living on our farm and helping my mom in our large organic garden not only made me strong, it gave me a real sense of appreciation for nature and the cycle of life. During the long summer days, my sister and I played outdoors all day once our chores were done. Our mom took us foraging as well, for she felt eating local wild herbs along with that which our farm produced was key to keeping us healthy.
I felt deprived at times that our family life was so different from the Bead Bunch and that my mom refused to let us eat McDonald’s or very much sugar. I see now how lucky we were. For I learned instead how to chop wood, tether the goats and milk them, gather the eggs of our chickens and feed them, clean out the chicken coop and work in
the garden. Participating actively in this work which brought us food to the table gave us a life long appreciation for healthy, organic living.
I first discovered the incredibly healing power of nature on a deeply personal spiritual level one day when I was around ten years old . The sun was about to set, the chores were done, and the day had been glorious. I was standing barefoot in the middle of one of our fields of alfalfa, looking at the majestic snow capped Sangre de Cristos mountain peaks to my east, our small adobe house to my west, and the small forest of piñon trees across the road to the south of our land. The clouds had just begun to turn to shades of gold and hints of magenta, and the beauty of it all took my breath away. I twirled and whirled with my arms spread out, as if I could lift up into the atmosphere if only I could twirl fast enough. A deep sense of peace filled me up and I suddenly realized that all the beauty that surrounded me was part of me. That made me feel both loved and loving. I was on top of the world and felt for certain that I came to this earth for a reason.
So whenever the hustle and bustle of the big city gets you down, find a bit of earth – a park, some healthy trees, some flowers, and sit up against a tree to soak in its nurturing and grounding energy. Fill your home with oxygen giving plants. Even if you only have a balcony, you can have a little garden. I had one last year and it gave my place such a wonderful feeling, one which was appreciated by my neighbors.
And whenever possible, get out of the city. Go for mountain hikes, go camping, visit lakes and rivers, take wilderness refuge hikes, go foraging. This Earth is our mother, and we need Her, for she gives us Life. And she needs a lot of love and healing Herself because of the extreme damage human beings have been inflicting on her. So whatever each person can do to reduce their carbon footprint and help clean up the Earth is one step closer to our creating the New Earth together.
Each of us is here for a reason! Each of us counts. Each of us can make a difference, no matter how small. The ripple effect carries good work and intentions forward, onward and inward.