I’m in the final hours’ countdown in preparations for leading a group, representing nearly a dozen countries, ‘into the woods’ for three days. We’ll spend Friday on the rocks rappelling and in a ‘base camp’ that night. Saturday, participants will go out for a 24 hour ‘solo’ camping experience before coming back in on Sunday for a celebratory meal and reflection sharing.
But we’ll be only a few of the folks in the woods this Fall weekend. This is the time throughout the Rocky Mountain West and in the Mid-West and North Eastern Seaboard states where people are flocking in a mass migration into the woods to witness the changing of the seasons, the turning of the leaves.
We are hungry for nature, and rightly so, not only because we too easily live lives isolated from it, not only because we love beauty… but also because we too are nature. We are not separate from it and to witness the beauty of a tree’s leaf turning from green into a blazing red or orange or flaming yellow… well, it feeds and nourishes our souls.
Whether we are cognizant of it or not, our bodies too ‘turn color’ and drop from the tree of life. And every day I am awake anyway, offers me the opportunity to let go of and drop that which no longer serves me.
Such gifts from nature are why I’m offering for free next Wednesday, October 7 at 7PM in Santa Fe, a version of a keynote/conference presentation I give, but as an annual public gifting. And on Saturday October 10 I’m offering a ‘hike into the Aspens.’ (CEUs are available for social workers, therapists and counselors.)
The theme this year for both events is, Aspen’s Ancient Wisdom: An Inquiry Into The Heart of Resiliency. We’ll weave a provocative and inspiring poetic tapestry in both events, speaking the languages of poetry, ecology, biology, resiliency science, psychology, mythology and just a dash of quantum physics for spice.
The Aspen grove and tree, as the world’s largest known individual life form, offers us a primeval and imaginative window into our own deep identity and nature, and into a dynamic vision of a world of thrive-ability. As medicine for our time, aspens reveal the dimensional nature of the Self. They invite us into the vigorous experience and knowledge of our wholeness; this is a radical affirmation of the heart of resiliency. It is the moist intimacy of relational intelligence, of existential courage and of our Oneness in celebration of diversity.
Proceeds from this years ‘aspen hike’ will go the support the work Fyera Foundation does with the needy “Sunflower Kids of Nicaragua.” And should you ever doubt the difference your own love and care can make in the life of another, whether you are ever able to witness it or not, watch this inspiring video of Sheva Carr‘s story of the Sunflower Kids of Nicaragua. It is a reminder, as are the aspens and all the trees and forests across the globe: there is always a heart opportunity knocking at our door.
So if you are not able to join us in Santa Fe, NM, USA on planet earth this next week for either of these events celebrating our hunger for nature, for our selves, go take your own hike into the wild. Your soul will thank you for it.