- Flower Essences
Gratitude is the starting point for all my work with Nature. No matter how I feel about the day to come, my first words in the morning are “thank you.”
Why thank Nature? In the simplest terms, no nature, no life. Here we are upside down hurtling through space, given the essential gift of gravity. Although freely given and our lives depend on it, how often do we stop to truly thank that which gives us our next breath or holds us firmly to the Earth?
To me it is a miracle that we don’t have to do or be anything to earn the gift of life, nor do we have to understand how it all works. We can trust Nature to be in charge of the vastly complex web of life of which we are a part.
In a DVD created by Canadian scientist David Suzuki, he talks about the cost of “nature services.” If we had to pay Nature to filter our water, irrigate our fields, warm the earth, generate energy to create the tides, convert carbon dioxide to oxygen….well, you get the picture. We simply could not pay for all that Nature does for us.
Many cultures have daily rituals to acknowledge the air, earth, water, fire and love that sustain life. Each morning in Bali someone representing the household or business makes floral offerings, blesses the entry way with holy water, lights incense to carry prayers to the spirit world, rings a bell and chants prayers. Up to a third of a woman’s time is spent making offerings and doing ceremonies.
One of my favorite authors, Martin Prechtel, talks about “feeding the holy.” There is us, and the unseen forces of Nature, and in between this thing we call LIFE. The unseen forces keep us alive, and we have to feed them to keep the balance. Shamans and those that go between the worlds have always been in charge of feeding the holy. Through prayer, ritual, offerings, art-any expression of gratitude for life no matter how humble-we can maintain a healthy relationship between humans and the unseen.
At my mom’s memorial service her best friend of 55 years told me that when I used to visit as a young child, she would find small Nature altars everywhere in her yard after I left. My heart smiles at this forgotten memory.
One can not help but wonder when looking at the world how deeply this balance has been disturbed. The devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan earlier this year prompted me to dialogue with Nature about the events from her perspective, and what we were facing with potential radiation contamination. I began my first blog at that time and was amazed at how widely it was circulated and that so many people resonated with the positive messages and practical suggestions from Nature. When I mentioned this idea of expressing appreciation to Nature, many wrote back telling me how they implemented a simple practice in their lives. Whether it is lighting a candle and dedicating our daily efforts to benefit others, or putting a small portion of food on a separate plate in honor of the spirit world, or walking down our favorite trail and stopping to caress a plant, or dressing with style to please the forces that love our expressions of beauty — it is not the form but the heart and intention that are behind these gestures that matters.
Thank you for your reverence for life. I would love to know how you offer your appreciation to Nature!!!
“May you allow the wild beauty of the invisible world to gather you, mind you, and embrace you in belonging.” — John O’Donahue