• Sally Smith

nature teaches us time

We’ve created a world around ourselves that has weathered the tie to our eternal teacher and our best advocate. As a human being, we’re lucky because our evolution has allowed us the ease of technological advance as well as the gift of inspiration and awareness. This awareness, however, has lead us to encapsulate ourselves in the restriction of time and space. We think about our past, our future, our status, our mental and emotional state of being, all of which definitely benefits our individual and collective productivity, but has also distanced us from the force that yielded these abilities; the mother that nurtured our growth.

Nature has been here long before ourselves and will survive the last of our kind. Rather than seeing it as a force separate from ourselves, remember that we are a part of nature; it created us. Rather than opposing the its universal law, we can simply accept our place in this glorious cycle and work with its currents. In time, by mimicking this force, life becomes simpler. Nature is our roadmap; a patient and implicit teacher. Resistance breeds chaos. Flow breeds ease.

There are a few fundamental principles present in Nature, and in turn present in ourselves. The law of duality, where everything is created in existence to something else. You can’t have one without its polar opposite. Second, within nature, there lies pattern. Third, by definition, pattern will repeat. By acknowledging Nature as an omnipresent force akin to God, and maybe even an earthly manifestation of Source itself, we can discover much, much more.

Here, however, I want to talk about Nature as the basis for an easeful life. Start with the foundation, the day-to-day, and then bounce up to the esoteric and let nature teach you what piques your curiosity. Imagine the seasons, not as passing time, but as a cyclical force that neither begins nor ends; then, because time is a construct that shapes this realm, we can image the seasons as indicators of where we stand in time and how we move through different stages of this one cycle of life.

The lesson is easy, because all it takes is an observant eye. What happens in the spring? The groundhog peaks its head out, seeds sprout, trees begin to grow their leaves, the weather is fresh. Spring is a time of re-emergence; re-birth. A new cycle begins: spring cleaning for a fresh start. Summer brings heat. The days are longer, flowers are in full bloom, and there is the sense of activity and excitement in the air. Late summer, although a shorter season, brings change as we transition into Fall. We reap the seeds from Spring and nature is in full harvest. The leaves begin to change, and the weather begins to cool down. With winter comes shorter days, longer nights, and cold weather. Bears hibernate while Nature goes to sleep. Spring reawakens and the cycle continues.

In working with Nature, you can use the idea of duality to integrate nature into your life. Summer brings excitement and energy. The sun allows for longer days so that you can go out, stay up late, be active and have fun. With this high energy and hot weather, however, we as humans within nature, must learn to cool down. In Idaho, where the sun stays up until 10pm, the most active time of the day for many is before 10am and after 8pm; we cool ourselves down when the weather heats up. In winter, we rest. In the cold, we seek warmth. We eat heating foods and we go inward to reset. In winter we give ourselves the techniques for survival; cozy nights with family and fun days playing in the snow among friends. With duality, where any two things work in opposition to one another, there is always a third, implicit piece. Fire and water, together create steam. In working with the seasons, we seek balance. We develop systems that work for us, we find our own patterns of doing and being. That way, when the cycle of nature inevitably repeats itself, we’re even more in-tune with ourselves as we flow through time. Flow is the balance and simplicity of ease.

By returning to Nature, we make things less complicated. We don’t resist this force that underpins our entire existence. It seems so apparent, but our world has a way of veiling and distracting us from something so natural. We may get lost and detached every now and then, but the beauty of Nature is that she is always there, our patient and implicit teacher, to welcome us home.