by PAUL AYLING, The Shaman
As I look out of the window there are signs of Spring. It’s not here yet but I can feel it coming and so can all my relations who share my surroundings. I’m talking of course about the trees, plants, birds and animals, all of whom we consider to be family. A huge family that connects and bonds us with all of creation. A family so beautiful it makes my heart leap every time I look upon one of its members.
They are all preparing for Spring, the snowdrops are in flower and the daffodils are up and budding. The birds are suddenly very active, singing their songs each morning as I walk in the woods. Squirrels chase each other through the still bare branches of trees and underground the first badgers are being born. It will be a few weeks yet till they surface into daylight but the preparations are being made. Each one of them getting ready for the busy time ahead.
We as humans seem to have largely forgotten our connection to the seasons as they no longer affect us nearly as much, with our centrally heated houses, cars for transport and food transported from around the globe, regardless of season. Not so long ago it wasn’t so easy though and we would have had to prepare for the hard times of winter and make the most of the abundance of Spring and Summer.
People would have to observe their surroundings all the time to see which foods would be appearing, whereabouts, when and how abundant they would be. This would also mean watching the weather closely to gauge it’s affects on the various food sources. The birds would lead people to crops of fruits and berries which in turn would lead them to foraging prey animals. In order to thrive it was vital to know and understand all of nature; plant, bird and animal. Hence the close affinity to all of nature, to the point where all living things were considered to be family, our cousins, united by our shared path towards survival and prosperity.
Our technologically advanced lives mean that we no longer need that bond and in many ways we are poorer for it. Not least because it reminds us who we are and of our place in the world. Living in time with the seasons isn’t easy but it shows us how much we rely on this beautiful and amazing planet for everything. Literally everything! Technological advancement means that just about everything we need is readily available.
At the touch of a button or click of a mouse (not even a real mouse) it is on its way to us regardless of day, time or season. This availability disconnects us from the origins of what we are buying. Even the plastic products are made from oil which comes from the earth. As I say literally everything we have comes from the earth, yet we act as if we don’t need her. People all around the world have called her Mother Earth for she is the one who nourishes, nurtures and provides for us in the selfless manner of all mothers.
All the things I see out of this window that are burgeoning with the joys of impending Spring depend totally on the abundance of the earth and the activities of each other. We are the same but we are the only species that doesn’t seem to have realised it yet. Or maybe it’s just been forgotten.
Whichever, it really is time to look again at nature, not just as something pretty but unnecessary but as something beautiful and vital to our very existence. Springtime is the time of new beginnings. What better time to rekindle our love for all our relations?
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