Thankfulness is an important part of our routines of awareness. Since they were in those little baby back packs I would ask my children, “Hey, the sun is coming up. What is it asking you to do today in exchange for the gifts of light and warmth?”. When they were too young to answer I would answer with my own responses. Sometimes I would explain as I weeded the garden that I would make a wild crafted salad for my family while making room for the roots of the tomatoes. Another time I might explain that today I would honor the gift by learning about the deer through their tracks. Each day we did our best to start with thankfulness and an activity to demonstrate it. As they got older we shared these things before the bus arrived.
These are exciting times. Pockets of folks are popping up all over the world yearning for our ancestral wisdom. For many, it begins with wanting a connection to the living landscape. They are finding much more. Many are finding their purpose, their passion. It’s like an awakening. Hunters, herbalists, trappers, fisherman, bird watchers; from all walks of life folks are gathering around campfires and sharing stories. Awareness is growing and a deep appreciation for nature is growing with it.
We work thankfulness into our Routines of awareness, not because it is easy, or makes economic sense. We do it because thankfulness taps in to a more primal voice within us. We want to be connected.
In the midst of the madness of the world it is all too easy to get swept up in a massive tide; a sea of folks who, it seems, are lost and searching for something. Their rhythm mimics the rhythm of nature, but at a more frantic pace. The nine to five push and pull of commuter traffic can be beautiful to watch. Bird alarms are replaced by the explosion of red brake lights indicating a predator in the turn around, radar gun on, ready to pounce. Grazing has replaced foraging, but the body language cues and subtle positioning for dominance still remain in tact. These primal forms of communication allow the salad bar to resemble the watering hole.
We have only forgotten. These are exciting times because people are beginning to remember. While we blame nature, ignore, her, and pave her, we cannot separate her from us because we are nature. The shallow misery that comes after four days of on line role playing is cured by climbing a tree, splitting wood, tracking the deer, or gathering food off the landscape.
Unlike pop-music icons, or bell bottoms, this “new fad” sits rooted in our ancestral memory. Once you turn it on you cannot turn it off. It has been yearning to be reactivated since being contained and tamed in our youth. In today’s world I see new youth coming up who have their wild spirits in tact. They can walk away from the institutions or play in them. These kids know who they are and don’t feel broken or subjugated by fifth grade. They also know what is important to them and treat artificial constructs with a brave mixture of irreverence and caution. As kids we handled hornets nests the same way.
This energy welling up is the excitement of a child opening a gift. The gift is each new day. As we get older we realize the excitement is the gift. It is delivered by a sense of thankfulness and living a hard perhaps, but always-meaningful life. This is good. Dependency is melting away as we mature toward something more exciting, more participatory, more authentic. How many of you sing songs in the car on the first day warm enough to roll down the window. How many of you allow excitement to rush in at the first snow in spite of assuming how you may feel about it in March?
These are exciting times because people are realizing that the forecast is always depressing but, once out in it, the weather never is. It is cold, wet, rainy, but it never makes you depressed. Being out of it seems to though, huh? Good morning. I pass on to you as it was given to me the energy of a rising sun so that we can share in the gift of a new day. Thank you for being around to share in it. Now go out there and shine. Change the world with your gifts. Have fun doing it. See if you can get away with being amazing and holding good space in your heart without getting caught. Hey, misery is easy. It has us completely outnumbered and totally surrounded. In other words, we got ‘em right where we want ‘em.