Monday, July 17, 2017

Remembering Who We Are

Whenever I talk to someone about connecting with our roots, folks always seem to think that I'm talking about our ethnic roots, our connection to our maternal and paternal ancestors. When I moved out of the city to live a small town life, and replied to people who asked why by saying, "I want to get in touch with my roots," they were always mystified because they knew that my family lived all of their lives in New York City. So if I wasn't talking about logging on to and doing a DNA test, what was I talking about?

What I'm talking about is finding our way back to the time when we were connected to the natural world just like the birds, the insects, the plants, and everything that lives on this planet. That connection came with instinctual knowledge, a wisdom of how the world worked and our place in it. Every species on the earth has that wisdom. Birds just know how to build a nest. Fish just know how to swim. Turtles know where to lay their eggs. Perennial flowers and bulbs know when it's time to go to sleep for the winter and when to wake up in the spring. Trees know when it's time to drop their leaves, store up their energy, and push out green buds when the time is right. Just like all of them, we had a knowing, a way of living that connected to the seasons and the cycles of life, and we flowed with them.

Somewhere along the way we decided that we weren't one with nature and separated ourselves from all that we knew. We got the idea that we were the masters of the natural world and believed that we could control it. As time went on, we lost our connection to our true nature. We lost our roots.

Is it any wonder that, at some point in our lives, we all come down with a case of restlessness, a feeling that there is more to this life than money, possessions, power, and the constant need for validation?  We don't know what it is, but we know what it isn't: we're not living our true, authentic lives. It goes by so many other names, like "mid-life crisis," or, "empty nest syndrome." It doesn't matter what we call it, what matters is what we do about it.

We need to reconnect to our roots. We have to dig deep into our inner knowing to rediscover the wisdom that was always there but that got buried underneath our mistaken notion that we were somehow separate from the rest of the world. We need to become reacquainted with our authentic selves.

So maybe that's why I find such peace and connection when my hands are in the dirt, or when I sit and watch my squirrel neighbors scampering about, or see the blue jays playing air tag and wish I could soar with them. Maybe that's why I feel my body change it's rhythms as Mother Nature changes hers with each passing season. Maybe, just maybe, my body remembers who I really am. It's up to me to help my soul remember, too.

And so it is.