Losing Touch with the Ground at Our Feet

Memories perpetually collapse into new thoughts, but I do remember so keenly and so vividly you and I beneath the willow trees. Our cathedral, our house of worship. The willow trees greeted us with open arms and offered us salvation.

The cool summer breeze of Upstate New York glides a million fingertips across the gloss of our eyes. Sitting under the willows we can feel everything: the slivers of grass poking gently through our clothes, the knowing that we are not alone. Do you remember that incredible sound?

The magnificent whirring of cicadas, louder than you’ve ever heard it! They would be dead in a week, falling without grace on the heads and bodies of persons and dogs, but in this moment they were experiencing the great climactic moment of their existence. We won’t hear of them again for another seventeen years.

Within the willows, our buzzing cathedral, we become so pure that every insect dies for a taste of our blood. Our blood is our tithing to nature for providing us shelter this evening. We medicate ourselves with what is grown from her soil and enjoy her that much more.

But why is it that now we must go so out of our way?

Civilization has conquered this earth and there is nothing we can do about that but, why must our minds depart from nature as well? On top of the concrete, we see nothing but separation, borders, boundaries, exclusions and limitations: everyone and everything existing in the pursuit of definition.

The natural order of life is nothing more than particularized energy. Do you remember when I told you this as we gathered wildflowers growing between the roots?

Nature is nature, and always will be, but reality as we humans have grown to understand it exists as a mega-conglomerate of representations, everything you do or see becomes a symbol. Do you remember when you thought life felt like a movie?

When moments in life cannot be comprehended, as a result of the limiting criteria we apply to reality, we assign it to symbols that have been fed to us like starving dogs in an impound lot.

What I mean to say is, there beneath the willow tree, that was life and we were living it. We were us and everything was everything else and there was fuss over what was what it just was. Do you understand? Nature is not a front lawn, it is not a bouquet of roses or straight line of palm trees running down the avenue. Nature is the moment. It is a sensation yet nothing defines it, and it make no attempt to define itself.

In the arboreal temple we needed not collect ourselves, we obliterated the individual, we came full throttle into the infinite source, filled the creases of our toes with the mud of a northeastern swamp and we lost our definition, along with all that we could tangibly perceive. We were free.