The spirit of the forest speaks in her own special language – a language that the natural world is fluent in, but that many humans seem to have forgotten. In this unique tongue, she whispers a secret that’s so powerful it guides all the creatures of the earth as they turn along the great cycle of give and take that balances and sustains life.
When we uncover this secret for ourselves, it takes us through a perceptual doorway and into a new world – a world unchanged from the one we know and yet somehow entirely different. The mundane is suddenly steeped in mystery and magic, the world bursting with playful little expressions of beauty, ripe with spontaneity, and packed full of possibilities.
After crossing this threshold, a fog of uncanny familiarity settles over everything, arising from the wispy memories of early childhood. It harkens back to a time when we were still well versed in the language of the forest, the time before this world wiped the fairy dust from our eyes and sucked the stars from our veins.
In childhood, we speak the language of the flowers and we understand the whispers of the wind. We’re in tune with the subtle songs of the forest; we can listen to the trees, interpret the chatter of the rivers, and intuit the meaning of each sparkle of sun.
Like the small spark of a fire that once was, that child who could hear the forest and could see the magic of this world still lives within us all, waiting only for the right breeze to blow through and set it aflame once again. And to relight that fire and unlock the ancient secret hidden within its heat, all we need to do is remember. We need only find the stream of consciousness that we splashed around in as children and allow ourselves to be carried off on its current. We have to tap into that simple awareness, the playful curiosity, and that spontaneous creativity that flowed so easily when we were young.
And that simplicity, that beautiful and inherent freedom, is the secret.
It’s what the animals understand and the oceans know; it’s what keeps the rivers flowing and the tall grasses dancing. The secret that the forest is trying to share with us is that it’s okay to slow down and just drink in the miracle of existence, to find contentment in simple consciousness. She’s reminding us – through the songs of the birds and through the wind as it plays through the fingers of the trees – to take the time to appreciate what it means to be alive, not making a living or building a life.
She’s telling us to remember. Remember what it’s like to get lost in the tiny complexities of a single dandelion flower or to search for tadpoles only to watch them scurry away. Remember how to focus completely on, to be utterly consumed by, the magic of a single moment. She’s pleading with us to let go of the mental constraints and social constructs that keep us running in circles, to let go and notice the color of the sky, listen to the birds, appreciate the warmth of the sun, and get swept away on the stars.
This is the secret that keeps this beautiful living sphere in balance, because this is what inspires creativity, what prompts deep appreciation; it’s what we’re really here for. It’s the understanding that it’s not about building and doing and going so much as it’s about being and seeing and loving.
What the spirit of the forest wants us to know is that there’s nowhere more significant that you need to be and nothing more important that you need to do than to sit still and marvel at the patterns the sun paints on your skin as it’s filtered through the leaves, or allow yourself to be enraptured by the spectacle of a bee pollinating a flower, or lay on your back and look for shapes in the puffy, white clouds.
The spirit of the forest is showing us her beautiful palace and asking us to step inside and look at what it’s made of. The trees don’t rush to get to the sky and yet they rise anyway, creating the most exquisitely detailed canopy under which her community dwells. The mushrooms don’t envy the flowers their color and thus take on a unique beauty of their own that feeds the soft, cushioned floor of her domain. The rocks don’t work to become bigger than what they are and yet together they house an entire civilization beneath their bellies.
This is her language. It’s the whisper of the willow trees, the laughter of the daisies, and the screams of the lightning. Listen and hear what they’re trying to say; watch and see what they have on display. Slow down, they’re saying, slow down and be here with us in this miraculous moment of magic, mystery, and music. Let go, they plead, and remember to live before your life and your chance fades gently away.
©2016 Cristen Rodgers
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