For the past two days there has been a lady bug on my laptop. I let her, or him walk across and stay upon the device just to understand what message she/he had brought me. I already knew that Spring had arrived more than one moon early, but what I did not realize was that the fly away home part of the children’s rhyme is perhaps part of the message that I am supposed to be listening to.When I first began to listen to the world around me, especially the natural world, I knew not the language of the spheres, nor the language of the trees, nor did I understand the rumblings and grumblings of the Earth or the bubbling voices of the river, stream or rivulet. Even now it may require intention and from time to time, whether I like to admit it or not, I ignore the great gifts that the world around me offers without thinking. Most often my ignorance comes at a dear cost and if I just take the time to listen to the ancient ones, speaking their unique language, my days take on the richness of the ages and I gain insight beyond my own experience.
Some may call my ooga-booga “games”. I think that it is not. some “pray” to a lord, or Jesus, or whatever Gods and Goddesses they have come to know and understand. I prefer to think of my conversations with the places and creatures I encounter as building relationships. Think of your own feelings if a friend would only come to you to implore you to assist them, or who would lavish praise on you for things that you could not help doing. I’m pretty sure that those relationships would become tiresome pretty quickly. The power, or energy that flows through me when I allow the messages of Earth, the Sky, the Water or any of the creatures who inhabit Starship Earth to flow through me is every bit as important to my own path as sensibilities and awareness of spiritual issues are for others who believe, in their own way, things that are quite different from what I understand to be true.
The biggest difference between my own beliefs and those of others, as far as I can tell, is that within my own world view, the results of actions based on our beliefs are far more important than the beliefs themselves. I have never heard a tree complain about the strength of a rock, or about the fickleness of the wind or the rain. I can’t even say the the language I have learned from listening to the environment includes concepts such as could have would have or should have. I have never heard a tree say, “I wish I had grown over there!” Every element within nature has a great deal to say, if we take the time to listen. Choosing to have a relationship with our co-inhabitants, our co-creators of life demands that we use our propensities, our abilities and our insights to guide and inspire others to their own best possible realization of their unique nature.
My work here on the planet has included helping to raise more children than I can count, most of which were not even my own. My efforts to plant as many trees as possible has inspired not only the next few generations of children, but many of my friends, family and readers as well. I do not offer this as a boast. Much like nature that inspires me, it is just my way. I do what I do regardless of the cost, without regard to the effects. I will continue to do what I can. I humbly submit to the will of my guides and the spirits of whatever place I inhabit. It may sound odd, but the less attached I become to my own desires, my own creations, my own perspective, the more clearly I see the actions I take as reflections of my own true nature.
Whatever a tree, or a breath of wind, or even a tiny bug undertakes is not for us to dote upon. These things are to be revered, yes, but not worshiped in a strict sense. Just as a baker would not describe the biscuit as a creation of the baking powder, we must begin to understand that each and every element within the environment has a part to play in the creation of life on the planet. Even the lowly bacteria and fungi that inhabit the soils are essential to our continued existence here on Earth. Learning to understand their gifts can help us to create paths toward sustainability, just as surely as listening to a lady bug can help create a path to understanding.
There has been great attention paid to the idea that a butterfly flapping it’s wings in the Amazon Jungle could touch off a chain of events that leads to a hurricane or monsoon on the other side of the planet. What we need to understand is that there is no relationship between desire, ego or intention and any of this. It is just the way it is.If we do not live out our lives as functioning cogs upon the great wheel of life, or if we work at cross purposes to our truest nature, we do it at our own peril. Humans are uniquely suited to behave in ways that support and affirm life, or destroy it. We have created chemicals and devices that allow us to multiply our strength a million fold, yet we often ignore our own power to create, heal and support life.
What has always confounded me about the little song that we choose to sing to the lady bug is that we are in the bugs home and have forgotten that. We choose not to sing the same song to the spider or the fly, yet we are in their home as well, otherwise we would not be seeing them. we seem to have no problem setting arbitrary limits on our giving, how much we take, and the ways that choose to interact with the world around us. The organisms and elements around us do not set these limits on their behavior or activity. By learning to do what we do without question, without the filters that our society places upon us and certainly without presupposing our nature or influencing our ideas about who we are with old schematic approached to developing culture, we can find a path to sustainability as surely as the rivers find the sea, as surely as the tree seeks out the sun and sky, or the root finds the resources to feed the trunk and leaf.