Image from Patrick Nerai

“It takes boldness to be kind. You’re wide open, vulnerable, when you display kindness. This is why so many of us hide behind humor or silence when we know we should do something, reach out, help. But once you submit to the kind nature, which I think is the dominant one in most of us, there is freedom, protection. The world alters entirely.”
Marian Seldes

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“All the flowers talk to me and so do hundreds of little living things in the woods. I learn what I know by watching and loving everything….If you love it enough, anything will talk to you.”

~ George Washington Carver

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The missing half of our psyche is the Divine Feminine, the Collective Unconscious we call the Interconnecting Soul which speaks to us in dreams, visions, synchronicity, and in an intuitive inner voice. This is our longed for shamanic healing and recovery of the wholeness that teaches us about our Divinity and its Oneness.
‘As scientific understanding has grown, so our world has become dehumanised. Man feels himself isolated in the cosmos, because he is no longer involved in nature and has lost his emotional “unconscious identity” with natural phenomena…No voices now speak to man from stones, plants, and animals, nor does he speak to them believing they can hear. His contact with nature has gone.’

— C.G Jung

When we moved to France it was to a small village in the east between Burgundy and Switzerland. Its tourism is not well developed compared to Provence. There were very few high end tourist accommodations and the distinctive wines and cuisine were practically unknown outside of France and Switzerland. When, after twenty years of working on our house, we put it on the market, the tourism agents who came to see it were rushing from room to room exclaiming they couldn’t believe it existed in the Franche Comte’.

It’s a region of forests and rivers. If you climb a hill near our village you can see the Alps. We learned a lot from watching nature and how the people related to it. We planted a lot of trees and learned to garden. We settled into the northern rhythm of the days, the frequent rains and the strong perfumes of the earth. Summers were short but glorious. We saw animals and plants we had never seen before.

Coming from Texas, everything was new to us. I grew up in the country but it was a very different country and climate. We grew to love it and to know what to expect. Our Texas cat thrived there once she decided to move inside away from the feral felines that wanted to kill her.

Sometimes in summer we would leave the windows open when it rained because it would rain straight down. In winter we would build a fire in the big fireplace and open a bottle of local bubbly to go with the Comte cheese.

Not having light pollution allowed us to see all the stars that crowded the heavens at night. Beautiful white owls lived in our attic. We could hear them leave at night to go hunting because they always gave a cry as they set out. The moon had a strong presence on clear nights. Sometimes we saw families of wild boar leaving their tracks in the snow. Everything we planted grew at a prodigious rate.

The people who lived on that land understood it and had been wedded to it for a millennia. We were reminded that we were descended from Europeans who had overrun a continent they still didn’t understand or know how to care for, who had invented a lot of poisons to suppress what they couldn’t understand.

The French resisted that system at first but after considerable arm twisting were now employing the same methods. It was disappointing to see that same disconnect happening in a traditional society that had lived a thousand years in balance with nature. The French political system, pushed by American business interests to “modernize” had shamed the French into destroying their ancient ways with the land.

Still, a lot of the old traditions held. They were well rooted, time honored. Americans don’t have that cultural compass. We haven’t been on our land long enough. The “savages” we displaced managed to preserve it, a task we seem incapable of. I wonder how long it will take for Americans to learn to love and respect the land they live on. Only that will keep them from poisoning their rivers, land and food

It was a life of creativity, nature and culture. We became healthier, more robust in that life. Coming back to America brought me down a couple of notches in health. I’ve learned that equilibrium with nature is important for nature but it’s also essential for our own mental and physical well being.

Now we’re in Mexico, where nature presents a very different but no less fascinating expression. We hear that Mexico doesn’t want Monsanto any more. I hope the world is learning to be skeptical of Americans and their methods.

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