The news this summer has really made me think.
Where did we go wrong? How can it be that we, in our so-called enlightened and abundant society, are creating so much pain and terror?
Now, I’m not implying that you are responsible for this. That it’s something you did wrong or something you should have done, but didn’t. But it’s becoming more and more obvious that something in our world is not right, and I think that has a lot to do about how we have removed ourselves from nature.
There is not one single species that I’m aware of that fares well when removed from their natural habitat. Nor is there a single species that will thrive when too many individuals are crammed together in a too small space.
There are too many of us. There’s not enough space. And many times, the space we have is just off.
We, amazing creatures as we are, are still primates. We still have primal needs.
There is a reason behind it when we paint beautiful paintings of deep fjords, lush riverbanks and endless waterfalls. Water and greenery makes us calm. It’s the primal instinct in us that says “this is a nice place to live and to thrive, look at all the natural resources available – here we can rest peacefully!”. Almost every man I know knows about the healing and release that takes place when you go on a fishing trip somewhere. Almost every woman I know knows about the sense of joyful accomplishment when a particular flower blooms or when a garden yields.
We know. Hidden and almost forgotten parts of us know. Nature makes us calm. Nature means life.
But then, on the darker side, nature isn’t always abundant. We have droughts and heat domes – which, to our primal hearts, means danger and possibly impending deaths. We get anxious and upset. But we have forgotten why. We don’t connect the dots, because our brains know that water will be coming out of the faucet anyway, or we can just get a bottle somewhere. But we still have this uneasy, stressed feeling of impending something.
Our inner primate doesn’t know that water will be coming out of the faucet.
Our inner primate needs to actually see the water supply, or to know where to go to see it. In a place where it makes sense.
I’m sitting here right now, in my living room. If I look out the window, I can see green, wild forests. There are deer and hares living there. Right up the street from my home is my parent’s garden, which is now filled with berries and vegetables. I know that if I walk 5 minutes, I get to a river with cold, clean water. If I walk a little further, 15 minutes, maybe, I get to a deep large lake. There are trouts and salmons to be fished. I have never gone fishing. But just the thought of them being there, in the clean fresh water surrounded by forests on both sides of the valley, makes me calm.
If this makes us calm…
What does a lack of these things make us feel?
I believe that this is what’s going on in many parts of the world these days.
I believe that the drought in USA is doing more harm than we can comprehend, to the people living there and to the system.
Unnamed anxiety can too easily be channeled by people wanting to profit from it somehow. This is where people like Trump can be the ones taking control, telling people that they have solutions and that they will make a change no one else can make. Because no one has ever dug deep enough to meet the actual needs: safety for our inner natural being, who haven’t quite figured out that food and water will be available even with no natural resources in sight.
We don’t know this, of course. We only know that something’s not right. Our inner alarm system is ringing, and we need to make it stop. And then comes a guy with radical views when the others have failed to calm us down, impersonating the inner turmoil. He is the face of the chaos we feel. We need to feel powerful and in charge, and what’s more: we need to have that inner rage validated and acknowledged. We need to know that we’re not wrong.
So we go with that guy.
But imagine if…
Imagine if we knew just how much nature impacts us.
Imagine if we could connect with a lush and green environment and sit by a lake of fresh water before we went to vote.
Imagine if the most hidden parts of us were already calm and felt safe before we started thinking about society and politics.
Imagine how different we would act then.
And imagine how a democracy of calm and connected individuals and communities would impact the world. How terrible leaders no longer would be able to channel our unnamed rage in all the wrong directions.
So today, my dear reader, I urge you to find ways to get connected to nature wherever you are. Seek out the life giving resources available to you, and immerse yourself in them before you act on anything. Buy green plants to have in your living space. Give some of them away, too, if somebody you know has a lack of green in their lives.
If you can’t, if you are struck with drought and heat right now, I urge you to go watch a YouTube video of water – your primal heart hasn’t quite figured out that screens and reality isn’t the same thing yet. Listen to a nature’s sound album on Spotify.
And please, please spread the greenness wherever you go. Share calming nature imagery on Facebook, on Instagram, on Tumblr, whatever you have at your disposal. Bring a green plant instead of a bottle of wine next time you visit someone. Get your sick friend a living green plant instead of cut flowers. Invite people over if you are one of the lucky ones with access to abundant nature. Create a green haven in your living room, and have people over for fresh lemon water and fruit in the heat.
Just do whatever you can to calm yourself and others down by connecting to the life force of nature again.