Rumi is quoted as writing, “There is a voice that does not use words. Listen.”
Listening to that voice is easier for me when I am away from the hustle and bustle of life and spending time in and with nature, Walking through forests and summiting peaks is an opportunity for me to connect with myself and the divine; to open my heart to oneness.
Today as I meandered through forests of pine and aspen with fields of wildflowers humming with the sound of bees, I realized that oneness is not sameness. In the quest to become I often find myself quietly comparing myself to others. My physical body, my intellect, my strength, my bank balance. You name it, I’ve compared it. Yet what nature taught me today as I dropped in and listened to her wisdom is that I can no more be Linda Evangelista than a scrub oak can be a Ponderosa Pine. It’s just not in the DNA of the seed. And when I walk through the woods I never hear the Aspen lamenting or comparing itself to the pine. Nor do I hear the butterfly comparing itself to a dragonfly. Each of those creatures knows what it is and becomes it.
Our world is rich in diversity: diversity of flora and fauna, diversity of color, diversity of thought, diversity of choice. And I think sometimes on this quest to be happy, to find our purpose (it’s a thing now) we too often listen to the cacophony of the world around us telling us who we should be, what values are important, how we should feel, and we get lost in the noise. An apple tree does not ask why it’s not producing cherries. So why do we ask ourselves to be someone we are not? It is such a tremendous waste of time and energy to wish we were different.
A more loving use of our time and energy would be spent being still, getting to know ourselves. Allowing our own purpose to reveal itself to us. Recognizing that we have a contribution to make that can’t be made by any other living creature. When we contribute our uniqueness that is when we find connection.
Nature carries with her the wisdom of all creation. We can learn everything we need to know about love, generosity, oneness, and ultimately ourselves simply by being present in her embrace and listening.