Sunday, 13 May 2018

A pocketful of wild

The sun came out and I moved into the garden. There has also been re-decorating inside, on the not so nice days, but mostly I have been outdoors.

This is, for me, a continuation of the healing process. As my hormonal changes begin to settle I still get waves of physical and mental issues. These are still cyclic. They are also getting smaller and gentler, and I have learned to surf rather than land smashed on the rocks.

There's been a realisation - typical, I'm told - that I'm now looking at the second half of my adult life and as long as my health stays good, I get to decide what it looks like. Of course this was also true of the first part but my early adult years were A Bit Rubbish. For a very long time I was damaged and living purely reactively. I never had a plan or a goal; I just lived day-to-day. Eckhart Tolle talks about the power of now in a positive way but it also has a less shiny version and I lived it.

Anyway. That was then. #irony

Over the last decade or so I've slowly built my own philosophy. I've found what works for me and what doesn't. It's not something I've ever been able to express eloquently but I feel it in my bones. Last week I listened to an interview with writer Michael McCarthy (Tracie alerted me to it after listening and realising that my brother-in-law, Nial gets a mention!) and he managed to sum it up perfectly. He observed that for 500 generations we have been 'civilised', but for 50,000 generations we were wildlife.

There it is. And we are still wildlife. I have always had a deep awareness of this and it gets deeper and more powerful with every year. We live in a very fancy zoo that we've created for ourselves - and I love it, for the most part - but to be healthy and whole we need to let that wild part of ourselves out. Let it thrive.

It was this not-so-tidily-expressed knowledge that brought me to know that this next part of life would be centred on my place in the natural world. Where I am in it, how I fit, how I care for, protect and work with it. How I communicate with and about it. It seems to me that women of a certain age have this as a kind of superpower. We are really good at reclaiming our wildness, and that wildness is alchemical in us.

I feel that my relationship with, and place in, the world starts right here. In this little garden and our neighbouring fields and copses. That I can express my wild nature just as much within these few square metres as I can on a mountainside, in a forest, or at the edge of the ocean. And when I relax into that relationship, I heal.

There is plentiful science to back this up and I'll share some in other posts. I love it when The Science Bit tallies with my personal experience. For now, I'm heading back outside.

1 comment:

  1. wonderful thoughts on maturity, wildness, and the healing power of putting ourselves back into "nature"...

    here's to the second half of life!