Saturday, November 06, 2010

Protecting Time in Nature

Writing about children, Richard Louv says:
It takes time -- loose, unstructured dreamtime -- to experience nature in a meaningful way. Unless parents are vigilant, such time becomes a scarce resource, because time is consumed by multiple invisible forces; because our culture currently places so little value on natural play.

What's true for children is, I think, true for all of us. It's difficult, for example, to head out to a park on just the Dark and Full Moons and expect to have a deep experience of nature. It's different if, in between the Moons, you've had what Louv talks about: time -- loose unstructured dreamtime -- to experience that same park in a meaningful way. Then, when you rush there from work on the Friday night of a Dark Moon, and hurry to the tree that you've come to know on a first-name basis, a few minutes of grounding may find you ready to practice your nature religion, to have a deep and meaningful experience with the object of your religion: nature, your landbase, your watertable, the Goddesses/Gods/Spirits of your place.
And as Louv says of children, we have to be vigilant about protecting our spiritual practice, about ensuring that we have loose, unstructured dreamtime out in nature. Otherwise, a million different "shoulds" encroach upon the time. Otherwise, you look up and realize that you spend hours a week watching tv and no time at all in nature. And the next thing you know, you say that you're practicing a nature religion, but you don't have a regular, intimate relationship with any specific part of nature, you just kind of like Capital-N-Nature in a vague, general way. Which may be OK, but it's a lot less than you're entitled to.

Picture found here

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