Feel the silence within
Towards the beginning of this week, you were challenged to come to know a natural object and to love it unconditionally.
We often love the thoughtful gifts that loved ones give us and hold on to the object like we’re holding on to that person. Sometimes, it is because we love it, other times, it is because we feel we’d insult the giver if we did not treasure it in our possession.
There are times a relationship has moved on, is dissolved or is immeasurably severed. Often, the objects are passed on, dispossessed or even destroyed. As we let go of the person, we let go of what they materially give us. The object’s value is the value of the relationship.
More destructive relationships are often based on implicit notions of possession. We talk about the person as ‘mine’ and behaviourally act as if they are ours to own. The extreme form of this is jealousy. Jealousy is not love, it is based on a sense of ownership of the person.
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days.
Aye you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness.
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give on another of your bread, but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone.
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and they cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
Kahlil Gibran (1923)
“Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping”? How often do lovers do just that? And how often are hearts claimed?
Similarly we do not possess, own nor can claim nature into our keeping.
So, today’s challenge is:
Return your treasured natural objects to the place from where they came. I’ll be interested to know how well you remember where you picked them up!
We are beyond sustainability in nature, nature needs to be regenerated. As I heard someone once say: If you asked someone how their relationship was going and they answered “It’s sustainable,” I think you’d question the value of it. The needed task is the regeneration of Nature, and how can that happen unless she is loved unconditionally, with respect for the inalienable truth that we do not own her?
I hope that you’ve enjoyed connecting to the silence within. If you’d like to continue being an Eco-Warrior, next week’s challenge is going to have the theme of ownership and possession. Naturally!