• Austen Hayes

Accepting the self as nature

"You must not know too much, or be too precise or scientific about birds and trees and flowers and water-craft; a certain free margin, and even vagueness - perhaps ignorance, credulity - helps your enjoyment of these things, and of the sentiment of feather'd, wooded, river, or mature Nature generally...don't want to know too exactly, or the reasons why."

~ Walt Whitman (1819 - 1892)

Without knowing the habit of every creature, the name of every flower, the age of every tree, miles to the sun,...we are free to enjoy Nature as it is - to feel its warming, hear the symphony of a million raindrops falling, to know the wild odors of earth and bark, to be healed, refreshed and made hopeful again with a new, wondrous season.


To be receptive to the nature of self, must we have the answers to every question? Will we, can we, accept the contradictions - positive and negative, light and dark, courage and fear, our wish for autonomy, the need for intimacy - without knowing the why - realizing finally we are sometimes this, sometimes that. That what we do, how we feel, is never one thing.


I read a comment on nature as 'never straight'...always curving, changing, circling and winding...If we are nature, why must we be straight? Why must we never change our mind, always know where we're headed, how we feel, exactly the right thing to do, to choose and be. Life doesn't go as we thought it would. We survive, even flourish, when we hold less tightly, when we bend and turn and flow - dormant, then blossoming, then, dormant again, asserting, then letting go, freed from the need to be one way.


Taking ourselves and others as we are, not as we think we should be, not as someone's words in a well-written book says we and they, ought to be - by listening and not always saying, by wondering, not always knowing, being quiet, paying attention, cherishing what is - a new kind of knowledge will come.


A walk through life, as a walk through nature...a lovely adventure full of wonder and curiosity.

© austenhayes.com

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