The Myth About Nature-Dwellers.
I recently heard some comments on a video clip I was watching that seemed to lack awareness on nature-dwellers, somewhat critical in nature, which inspired me to write this.
I love nature. I always have. It’s my home. To me, there is no difference between a tree, a rock, an insect, an animal, a human, or myself. However, we have created this reality of separation where there are certain norms. There are specific rules we follow for pretty much everything. We socialize, participate in certain rituals, and have chronological orders to things that we don’t dare to step out of. There are prefixed ideas and notions on what is right, wrong, fun, social, etc., and everything outside of it we tend to judge. We all do it.
Being around other people and being social, which seems to include only humans, is considered healthy. Is being social not the same as being in nature? We are always surrounded by so many living beings. How is that not being social? Apparently, being social only means being around many people and speaking verbally out loud, even if you have nothing of interest or value to say. But that’s what we have labeled as such; we must not step out of it or the sky will fall upon us! This is what most people like or practice because they are taught to,but that does not include everyone. The non-everyones are deemed weird and antisocial. You can look at it from a point of view of extroverts vs. introverts even though I don’t like to give people labels. One is deemed appropriate, and the other not so much because we have labeled it so.
I am going to focus here on nature-lovers, as I am one myself. Here is something I had written at an earlier date:
I ‘love’ spending time with myself. I could never get ‘bored’ or have a lack of attention span. I crack myself up, I have fun, I laugh, play, I get to choose whatever I want, whenever I want, I create anything, do anything — how great is that? Especially in nature, it is a never-ending fascination. There is so much to do, see, observe, and just be!
On rare occasions, I could get ‘bored’ around people, and it is not because they are boring. It is just that the energy between us at that point in time is not correct, and there is nothing wrong with that. It is just not where I am supposed to be. In fact, the only time I could get bored is when I am doing something I do not really feel I would like to do.
How many times in your life do you spend time with people out of guilt, because it is expected, it is customary or proper, something you are supposed to do, otherwise you will be considered rude or judged?
It can be wonderful just to spent time with yourself. I understand those who like to be around other people all the time. I choose and just love to be ‘alone’ most of the time. It might not be the correct word as we are never ‘alone’. I have spent most of my life in solitude, and never felt alone. Actually, the times I have felt ‘alone’ are when I was in big crowds of people.
How could you be ‘alone’ in nature? There you have the biggest crowd and amount of life imaginable! There are trees, plants, flowers, rocks, insects, the earth. It is crawling with life! How can that be considered being alone? We humans sure are a weird lot!
Spending time with humans can be equally as satisfying and beautiful, however, there is no difference. It is all part of the same thing. So is being with yourself, and therefore I enjoy it!
I remember always being criticized, since I was a child, by others for spending so much time in nature or having fun and enjoying time alone. However, what they did not realize is that I was not alone. As I mentioned above, being in nature, which is crawling with life, is not alone. It’s quite the opposite. Do you ever stop to think who made up this rule that we have to be around humans at all times? How many times do you hear that being in nature is escaping reality? What reality? There is no such thing!
What makes a going-to-a-café-to-sit-and-drink-coffee life the reality, but going on a hike not so? It’s all part of the same thing. How many of you wish to spend time in solitude or more time in nature, but don’t out of fear of being judged or because it’s not what people do? How much does your body long to do so, though you’re not allowing it out of judgment? Some people like apples, others papayas, others watermelon. Is the apple the reality and the papaya not so?
I have always respected those who love to be around other people. I do too, though not all the time. Everything is a part of life. For those of you who get criticized, it’s perfectly okay, and beyond okay. They are both two sides of the same coin — one is attached with judgment, and the other isn’t. What if we get rid of these ridiculous ideas about what is right or wrong or social to do and not to do, and just be? Instead of judging other people’s choices, why not accept them with an Okay, not my choice, but it’s cool?
When it comes to nature, if we open our minds, are we not aware that it is purely a notion we have created of separation? We try to cling to what is the same, or what we perceive as the same, because we are all different. Do you see all insects and animal species gathering in groups for group activities all the time? No. Some animals are herd animals, some are not. Do you see the deer going over to the cougar, and saying, “Aren’t you supposed to be in a group?” No! Is one animal living an incorrect life and the other isn’t? So let’s get rid of these judgments, and be aware that these are purely a social construct we have created to live by.
Be who you are. Get rid of these ideas of what you should or shouldn’t be doing. I hear so many people say they would love to go out in nature more, or that they just went to an event because they had to. Well, what if you didn’t have to? What if you can choose to do what you would like to do? I don’t insist that you have to go out in nature since it is fun and relaxing, just because it is for me. Go do what you find relaxing.
Let’s get rid of this superiority complex that humans are better, and that nature is somehow beneath us. That we are more intelligent , knowledgeable, aware. Who are we kidding? Who are the unhappy and unbalanced ones? The trees? Is nature not the one functioning to its full capacity, ability and joy? But yet somehow we know better? What if nature just is, and is not trying to prove anything? What if that is the only thing that separates us? How are we more valuable than a tree or the ocean? If all of nature had that idea or stance, we might not exist. All creatures in nature would be warring among each other like us humans do. Do you see squirrels attacking raccoons, and saying they are better or correct? So let’s get rid of this myth that dwelling in nature equates to not having a life, when in reality all of nature is nothing but Life, and let us surround ourselves with more of it.
Gaia (Γαία) Giakalli is a therapist, writer, photographer, dancer, cultural anthropologist and nature-dweller. She loves creativity, and nature, especially trees. Her passion is connecting people with nature, in which she has spent most of her life in solitude, contemplating and enjoying its wisdom, and empowering people to be their authentic selves, reconnecting them to their true essence and calling in life. You can connect with her on The Tree Mouseion of Creativity, Gaia Giakalli World Productions, Facebook or Twitter.