If it is true, as many of us believe in our hearts, that only a stronger Love of Nature can guide us out of the extractivist nightmare we find ourselves in today; and if it is also true, as indigenous cultures and this website take for granted, that our human relationship to the Natural world must furthermore be ‘personal’ (whether we wish to live ‘as one with’ Nature or ‘together’ with Nature); then it is a matter of the gravest urgency that we seek to bring this love to a brilliant focus within ourselves and others. Now.
The view that Earth is our Mother underpins the choices of all hunter-gatherer cultures even today — that is, when their choices aren’t forced by contact with, and exploitation by, corporate interests from ‘outside’. And I’m sure we can all agree that this is the kind of love — for family, best friends, even sexual and romantic love — that we’re thinking about when we say a love is ‘personal’.
But personal love, unlike love of philosophy, science, and other conceptual ‘ideas’, is also complicated. So how does a burgeoning global population of humans, who live mostly in cities now, transpose this personal level of passion to the whole of Life on Earth? To Nature, as a ‘system’? I think these more restricted experiences of love, especially when sex is involved, have confused many of us adults who now hold the fate of the Earth in our hands. And when we are required to look beyond the ‘persons’ in our immediate tribal group, we sometimes lose sight of love altogether. In a culture of ‘rugged individualism’ love might even be reduced to love of power, money or possessions. At least this seems to be the collapsed shell of passion that is feeding the ‘disease’ that’s been raging across our planet since tribal traditions began dissolving into broader and less personal media!
So if we are going to make this transformation, if Love of Nature really has the power to save us, then I suggest we must start in the only way we can: from where we are. We must stand in the most passionate place, even if it’s a narrow place, that we can imagine, and then we must take a journey from here: a journey outwards, until we can finally see the vast cosmic, biological, and cultural expanses from whence we came. For only then can we let go of our self-serving assumptions. Only then can we know what Nature is, who we truly are, and where we are going.
Such a Rising (or Love Lets Go)
Such a rising of sensation
To the presence of a woman
In the silence.
Such a blossoming of stories
For the body to tell.
Image, scent, movement,
Oh what if?
From a very little distance.
It doesn’t take much, if any distance
But I am connected by distance,
By this framing
Of a person,
In another story, place, relationship.
Silence makes room,
And love lets go.