Friday, April 23, 2010

Connection to the Earth

Because we're so focused on ourself and the core of family and friends that is the nucleus of our physical existence, it's easy to become so wrapped up in living life that we miss our surroundings entirely. Yet our physical surroundings greatly influence who we are. In order to accomplish those things that we set out to do, we choose the setting that will best assist us.

When you find yourself questioning the path you're on or you're dealing with a particularly difficult situation, by shifting your focus from what is bothering you to what is around you, your physical surroundings will automatically sooth and comfort you. This is part of your make up that you probably don't even realize.

At one point in my life, I had to move to central Canada for work reasons. I went there with an open mind and even a sense of excitement to be moving to a bigger center, rife with culture compared to the area I was born in. After less than a month I was filled with longing for the sea. The Great Lakes are huge bodies of water, but when you stand on the shore, the smells and sounds feel nothing like standing on the shores of the full blown Atlantic Ocean. I realized with wonder that I needed the ocean, it's actually a part of me. Even one of the world's biggest lakes couldn't come close to taking the place of the ocean in my soul.

The earth is a part of each of us, and we are the Earth's keepers. Of all the creatures that exist, we alone, except for perhaps the whales and dolphins, are actually aware of the earth and its part in our lives. This week, a day was designated as Earth Day in order to remind us of our duty to look after it, as it looks after us. I would encourage everyone to think of everyday as Earth Day, and remind you not to overlook that this Earth is an important, integral part of your being.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Physical and social structure

Sometimes we choose our physical environment to assist us in our journey to understanding because we want or need to experience a particular climate or culture, and other times we choose it just because we lived in the same area before and for various reasons are drawn to it. (See posts on February 14 & 15, 2010 about affinity for places.) Some people are born into an area and remain there, while others leave their childhood neighbourhoods because they are drawn to another area that will better satisfy the tasks and experiences they've set for this particular lifetime.

I'm drawn to the ocean - maybe because I'm a water sign (Cancer) - or maybe for other reasons. I love the harbour city where I live on the east coast of the Atlantic Ocean just the way it is, but shortly after moving here in the 1980s, I became aware that I'd lived here before when I unexpectedly "remembered" it as it once was.

I was born a couple of hundred miles from here and came to this area because my husband's work dictated we must. We bought a house not far from the seashore and the road home passed right along a rocky stretch of beach. One evening as I was driving home from work I came around a bend in the road and suddenly had a vision of that same beach, but in another time. In my mind's eye, I saw long wooden racks of fish with smokey fires burning beneath them. Adults were working busily catching and gutting the fish and laying them on the long racks to dry under the billowing smoke while older children tended the fires. The younger children ran up and down the beach throwing stones and waving their arms at swooping seagulls to keep them away from the precious smoked fish that would help carry them through the long cold winter. My vision lasted only a moment, but in those few seconds I stepped into another time. Then the beach reverted to it's current state of barren rocks, waves and water and I was back in the modern world of supermarkets and speciality stores, where I'd never even thought about how fish was caught and preserved long ago. That little glimpse of another time was so clear and detailed, that I have no doubt I'd lived it myself and I still think about it often. I obviously have an affinity for this part of the world that has brought me back.

Along with the physical environment I enjoy so very much, comes a social structure that allows freedom of choice in almost every aspect of life. As long as I pay my taxes and live within the confines of our legal system, there are no religious or political restrictions in this part of the world that inhibit me from persuing whatever path I wish to follow. It is because of these freedoms that I can develop my own theories and religious belief systems and share them with others. This might not be the case if I'd chosen to reincarnate into a some other areas of the world. In my next post, I'll discuss other types of society and the importance of cultural diversity.