My landlord recently asked me if I’d like a potentilla. What I heard (and saw) was “Would you like this dead bush?” I encouraged it, sang to it and nourished it with water from the kitchen (if I didn’t get a potentilla, I figured I’d get a potato plant. Or coffee beans). Lo and behold, this week, three tiny flowers appeared! I know all you talented gardeners are like “meh” but to me it is nothing short of miraculous!
I recently watched “Earthing” about how, if you go barefoot in nature, you become grounded through Earth’s electromagnetic currents thus healing your body of inflammation. Attestations were made by several doctors, celebrities, and people crippled by disease who believe they have experienced relief. I know a couple of gals who swear by walking barefoot (you know who you are!) So, I figured at best, my lower back pain will be relieved and at worst I’ll get dirty feet. I’ve definitely experienced the positive effects of being in nature – feeling the sand and ocean between my toes, gardening!, and hiking. My feet are protesting but, while the jury is still out, I’m getting a “charge” out of the experiment (pun intended!).
Last week, I hiked with a group (one of them barefooted!) in the shade forest of the Gray Creek Watershed, to learn about logging plans for the area. At times, it felt like a steep climb on marbles. When we stopped for lunch and I looked around, it was sobering to imagine it striped of trees. Plus, I had to look out for “predators.” Bears? Cougars? Nope. Wasps! I had been on a hike in Connor Park the week before, when several gals and I got stung; my left hand was swollen like a baseball glove for days!
Lastly, I’d like to ask Facebook users, before posting judgemental comments, to take time to consider the consequences. Judgement is our hard-wired safety mechanism and there was a time when judgement was self-preservation. When it surfaces in our modern-day interactions, we comment, often harshly, without considering the impact of our words.
I heard this story years ago: “An adult fish, as he passes two young fish, asks ‘How’s the water?’; the two young fish look at each other and say, ‘What water?’”
Like these fish, we can be unaware of our surroundings and of what others are experiencing in their lives. While judging is our “default setting,” the problem arises when we believe that our impressions are the truth. We need to choose to think differently, to choose to look beyond our first impressions. When my judgemental self surfaces, and it does, I try to pause and remember: “This is water.”