Love alone is capable of uniting living beings
in such a way as to complete and fulfill them,
for it alone takes them and joins them
by what is deepest in themselves.
~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
We are part of everything we see—
this is the love that keeps moving us back
into wholeness when divided.
To love by admitting our connection
to everything is how we stay well.
~ Mark Nepo
We spent last week on a retreat in the strangely and wildly beautiful Sonoran desert pictured above. I had no idea how many living beings I would encounter in the desert!
I was struck, over and over again, how what looked like inhospitable earth—rocky, dry, severely lacking the the lush green carpet I am familiar with as an Easterner living in the MidWest—could not only endure, but encourage such hospitality!
Every day, we participated in practices to connect us with our earthly selves, in particular, our wild, indigenous nature and deep instinctive, and imaginative soul. These included yoga, dancing, dreamwork, ceremony, council, and long wanders on the land.
We gathered together, united in our love for this precious eairth.* Our practicing was to come into deeper communion with eairth and the other-than-human beings living in the desert, as well as to see the ways we get lost and forget this primal connection, this original love.
There is no wasted energy in the desert. As a cactus passes from life into death, it slowly allows its outer skin to fall away or decompose to create nourishment for the next being to grow. The generosity and nobility of each being releasing its life to the next joins them in an unending cycle of death and birth, and, dare I say it?, Love.
Love unites, completes,
and fulfills them, joining them
as outward emanations
of eairth’s love,
as we humans also are.
On this Valentine’s Day, I invite you
to engage in presence practice
on behalf of eairth.
Something that joins you to this deepest uniting, wholeness-creating power of Love that eairth and all her beings so generously express, even as we pollute and ravish her/them.
- Thank the water as you use it—for washing, drinking, flushing, cleaning—the wood as you burn it, the food as you prepare and eat it, the gas, oil, and electricity as you heat and light with it. This is being present with and appreciating in the moment, the gifts of eairth.
- Sing to eairth, her creatures, and her other-than-human (and human) beings.
- Engage in a ceremony to acknowledge and honor your commitment to being in deeper relationship with eairth’s love.
- Or try a practice we did on retreat: Take a praise walk and appreciate, bless, and praise all the other-than-human beings you encounter (plants, trees, animals, rocks, snow, sunlight, rain, fog …).
What are some other practices
you can engage in to live
your deepest Love today?
* eairth = earth and air as one
2 thoughts on “to love”
Beautiful Katy! Where I live there is a great poverty and lack of knowledge or understanding of our relationship with the land. The people suffer, and so do all living and nonliving manifestations of creating Love. It births a deep sadness within.
I think the same can be said of us here in the US, Johanna. We have become entranced by our powerful minds and forgotten that they, too, are connected to the land and the earth and all beings… We suffer from a lack of deep embodied wholeness and deep, embodied love.