Moving feet over the earth is a sacred act of relationship. With it we honour the time and pace of the land, the flora and the fauna which surrounds us and which we are a part of.
We are no more a part of the landscape then when we are moving through it in its time, taking note of the natural formation of its roots and soil, its waterways and animal tracks. Not wearing a badge which states ‘Ranger’ or ‘Friend of…’, but simply as a fellow animal.
This is what it is to be in relationship with something. To honour what is, without changing it or accelerating past it.
My practice is to daily run the same track, though as I increase my tolerance I increase my distance and get drawn deeper into the Australian bush that I envelope myself in. I get to know new spaces, but only once I have earned the right to take myself further in. With my own two feet.
This morning I found complete silence and stillness. I heard no other voices or the crunch of any shoe or wheel in the forest around me. It was miraculous. I was in perfect unity with the pre-dawn plants and animals (kangaroos popping their heads up above the grass to see this visitor) without a thought to either use this landscape or ignore it in order to pursue my own purposes (there is a different relationship when we just assume use of the land around us, no, a relationship is a different thing). I was simply noticing and allowing it to “speak” to me.
A natural landscape like this is simply: perfect peace. All operates cyclically, as it should, in fine balance. To be in this place is to be content with oneself. One’s animal body is satisfied.
This is an important part of being human. To be alone. To be in silence. To be in silence in the natural world and to stop and stand and watch and love.
This is how love for our earth and its individual components is fostered. This love is the strongest motivation to address human destruction of nature. We must preference it before ourselves sometimes and that requires love.