Our phenomenal combination of a physical body built for ingesting myriad sensoral stimuli through our every touch, sight, taste, smell and sound, is intrinsically connected to our poetic observer that lives within us, making sense of all we take in.
This relationship within me is really what I feel has changed most subtly and significantly since I moved to a quieter life in Yzerfontein.
Our mornings begin simply with walking our dogs, hand in hand, as a family - and becoming quietly engrossed with the delightful changes that have happened overnight. You see nature is relentlessly showering every available corner of this planet with new life each day. So the robust scent of spring buds here, new vole tracks there, the tickley touch of tall grass and the busy chatter of bird song all changes dramatically with each expansive canvas of a new sunrise. What this does is simple and profound. My sensually hungry form gets to slow down and get subtle, and my bossy internal narrator gets to whisper quietly in wonder at how awesome this planet is.
From this quiet meditation of awe, our day begins.
What I have noticed over the years is how I am able to access more and more wisdom by simply finding this connection with nature every day. Navigating life’s challenges from a feeling of being truly intimately connected to this planet - supported by it - has revealed a broader more expansive perspective I didn't access while I was swept up with "doing" rather than "being" in the city.
Our cities are sensoral kaleidoscopes, and I love standing on Long Street immersing myself in the cacophony of taxis, graffiti and edgy self-expression. But I have watched too many of my friends, and more worryingly, their children, get their life-giving connection to our pulsing planet severed so they are left being buffeted about in the high rises and noise of the urban jungle with no lifeline to restore their balance.
We as a society have never been more medicated, over weight and addicted. And as I sit in a sunbeam eating my lunch, watching the patterns of bark weave up a tree, I am certain that it has everything to do with us trying to fill the void of a nature-less life. The buzz of busy living gets us resonating at such a frenetic level it looks a lot like adrenaline, and the thing about this fast pace, is that although it can really only be sustained on coffee, its addictive. I know, I lived it for years - a day whizzing about your life getting stuff done is one hell of a way to justify your existence, but what if what we had accomplished wasn't the point?
I don't know why, maybe I'm getting older, but when I am walking on our farm and I catch a glimpse of the bronze glow of summer grass at sunset, I stop and soak it in until I feel like crying with wonder. Because if this was my last day on this planet, living in this physical form, that would be how I would like to have spent it. Slow, sensual, and intimately present to this planet.
Yes, feeling present, connected and walking more slowly on this journey has been a result of moving to the country. But the location need not be the catalyst, rather the awareness that we are children of Mother Nature, and should seek out her comfort, wisdom and nurturing, just as we do with our human families. This could be taking your laptop outside and working under a tree, rather than in your office. Running along a mountain path rather than inside a gym. Taking your child to a stream rather than a mall, and drinking a glass of water rather than a coffee. Swim in the ocean, hey, swim in a pool - just feel nature on your skin, in your senses. You'll sleep better, you'll wake better. Natures everywhere - go find her.
*Guest blogger Cathy Clark moved from Cape Town to Yzerfontein with her enterprising husband and two small children, to start a farm with absolutely no farming experience. They refer to themselves as ‘Google Farmers.’
To experience further joy from the Clark family, check out the video her 9-year-old daughter Ray created to promote recycling