Remember

What nourishes your spirit? What lifts you up, brings you more fully into yourself? Now...do you actually spend time doing that which feeds you?

Sometimes I forget.


Being in the natural world fuels me like none other. And though I spend a lot of time immersed in it, I sometimes forget to be fully and utterly there.


If I get caught up in counting bird species to record for the eBird database, I have to remind myself to stop, just stop. Slow down. Watch. Keep watching.

Notice the temperature of the air I am breathing. Smell what is blooming.


Photography helps. I linger with the bird, wanting to get the best images to share with "my people" in my Daily Nature Email. But, there is still a lens and camera between the bird and me.


This poem, Stone, by Danusha Laméris, is a perfect reminder for me. It brings me to what is most important: ...getting closer to it...


Stone

~Danusha Laméris~

And what am I doing here, in a yurt on the side of a hill

at the ragged edge of the tree line, sheltered by conifer and bay,

watching the wind lift, softly, the dry leaves of bamboo?

I lie on the floor and let the sun fall across my back,

as I have been for the past hour, listening to the distant traffic,

to the calls of birds I cannot name. Once, I had so much

I wanted to accomplish. Now, all I know is that I want

to get closer to it—to the rocky slope, the orange petals

of the nasturtium adorning the fence, the wind’s sudden breath.

Close enough that I can almost feel, at night, the slight pressure

of the stars against my skin. Isn’t this what the mystics meant

when they spoke of forsaking the world? Not to turn our backs to it,

only to its elaborate plots, its complicated pleasures—

in favor of the pine’s long shadow, the slow song of the grass.

I’m always forgetting, and remembering, and forgetting.

I want to leave something here in the rough dirt: a twig,

a small stone—perhaps this poem—a reminder to begin,

again, by listening carefully with the body’s rapt attention

—remember? To this, to this.


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