What Happens in a Meadow at Dusk?

There are a few big, wild, real, living places left on this planet…a few places where the song of nature prevails and the din of industrial society is forgotten…a few places where the ancestral soul lives on in the movement of wild water and the dance of the insects on the breeze.

Far from the lights of civilization the BiG skies are saturated with stars.

Far from the effects of industry the BiG trees are teeming with life.

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These are the places I feel most comfortable…where I can let loose and BE…where I can unfurl my subtle layers like the petals of a flower…releasing my animal body and my wild cosmic soul. Here, in the wilderness I find myself and my true human nature.

Sleeping under the stars and watching the moon transit the vast expanse of black sky. Waking to the pale light of early morning. Feeling the trees breathe. Soaking in the intricate melodies of birds and the song of the breeze dancing through aspen leaves. Bathing in cold mountain creeks while singing praises and thanksgiving.

This is the richness of LIFE that awakens my human soul…that reminds me of the power and beauty of being alive on this planet with human consciousness and a healthy body.

“What happens in a meadow at dusk?”* …is it everything or nothing?

…and how do we even know if we haven’t taken the time to unfurl there…to open our senses and truly BE there. 

This planet is vast and expansive…and the forces of nature are powerful beyond measure but I say there are only “a few” places of true wilderness left because the tentacles of industry have twisted themselves into astonishingly remote nooks and crannies around the globe. 

The story of Midway Island is a deeply disturbing yet perfect example of the far reaches of these tentacles. Way out in the North Pacific, more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent, this island is inhabited mostly by birds. To the casual observer it looks like a pristine natural environment…but that’s far from the case. The bellies of these birds are literally FULL of plastic trash. 

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Wherever industry weasels its way into the natural rhythm and flow of life there is a long chain of cause and effects that throws off the whole system.

Disruption to the food chain and the intricate balance of predator, prey and symbiotic relationships…chemical pollution and industrial waste that interferes with longevity, reproduction and genetic integrity…the removal of trees that eradicates vital habitat for a complex weave of life forms…these are some of the most common ways that industry interferes with essential natural balance every day, all over the planet…ways that often go unnoticed.

Over the past 15 years I’ve traveled back and forth across the US several times and have witnessed, first hand, the steady progression of logging, ranching, fracking, mining, monocrop and GMO agriculture…the increase in factories, processing plants and suburban sprawl.

The domestication of this wild country continues year by year, bulldozing right over the delicate balance of life. As industry is allowed now into our federal lands no place is off limits to them anymore. 

And, of course, it’s not just here in the US. The devastation of the Tar Sands project in Canada, the astronomical air and water pollution in China, the radioactive waste pouring off the coast of Japan and the oil fields burning in the Middle East are some of the more dramatic examples we all know about in our global scope.

Several years ago, I also journeyed to what was once part of the Amazon rainforest in Peru to a humble little village that had been clear-cut over a decade earlier. The indigenous people whose families had lived on that soil for thousands of years were subsisting in poverty in a place that had once been a paradise of nourishment.

The loss is pervasive, wide spread and devastating beyond what we can actually perceive…beyond what we even know to grieve for.

Those truly wild places hold secrets that we desperately need in these troubled times. They hold the signature of LIFE undisturbed…of billions of organisms from the micro to the macro dancing together to the rhythm of primordial lifeforce energy…feeding each other, housing each other, living in the deepest form of community. In these places, untouched by industry, the culture of life is intact…the original instructions are being lived out…the ancient wisdom prevails.

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And these places are dwindling…they themselves are an endangered species…their intricate purity and unfathomable richness is being crowded out and replaced by city parks and managed forests…two dimensional approximations of what we perceived “nature to be.

But nature…true, wild, raw nature…can not be understood or duplicated…it can not be replaced…it can not be managed and calculated.

It is the incalculable magic of LIFE, itself.

 

* “What happens in a meadow at dusk?”…a question from a poignant dinnertime argument in the movie “I <3 Huckabees”…If you haven’t seen it, check it out…

 

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