Nature Is Healing   Leave a comment

“When I would recreate myself, I seek the darkest wood, the thickest and most interminable, and to the citizen, most dismal swamp.  I enter the swamp as a sacred place – a sanctum sanctorum.  There is the strength, the marrow of nature.  The wild-wood covers the virgin mould – and the same soil is good for men and trees.”

~Henry David Thoreau

From “Excursions”


We are funny people; and quite contradictory!  We loathe an overly (a relative term) emotional man; yet will plunk down $82 to witness Charlie Sheen flail and spit expletives, and we will walk away thinking we were entertained when we were simply robbed!

The majority of us prefers the “stiff upper lip” strategy; and dutifully, in all ways keep up the masquerade.  Yet, wistfully wonder, ‘how does she really feel’, or ‘if only he would let his feelings out.  When, actually, if someone is overly positive, we deem them daft.

I’m confused; and wonder if we all are.  After-all, health begins in the emotions.  If you read Mad In America by Robert Whitaker, you will come to understand that the American model of mental health care is ineffective, detrimental and based on a series of lies.  When society disallows emotionality and offers harmful remedies an honest seeker of health-wholeness MUST and eventually WILL turn outside the accepted norm.  Everyday experience will, simultaneously, offer avenues toward delivering our aspirations to fruition.

In the early Spring of 1971, my friend Karen and I were out on one of our regular exploratory drives. Long Island has much to offer curious teens!  We never passed up a hitchhiker; and tried to hide our ignorant giggles as we stopped for a young man, wrapped in a very different package than we were accustomed to, in our white bread community.  His robe sort of glowed; maybe it was the Spring light.

He got in and said, “Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo”; and my mind was blown.  He sort of smelled like honeysuckle; maybe it was the Spring air.

Somehow I managed to squeeze out a timid, “What?”

He giggled.  We giggled.  He broke into rolling laughter.  We busted; and all laughed for several minutes, to the point of tears, until he composed himself, drew a slow deep breath and oh so matter-o-factly explained, “It is the rhythm of the Universe”.  Now I was momentarily speechless; even breathless, as he began to chant the mantra, over and over.  Soon Karen joined him.  Eventually I caught my breath and joined in, also.

In that moment we were transformed from aimless wonderers into “Rhythm Singers”,  “Light Workers”. 

We took him to the train; and later wondered why we never asked his name, and why he didn’t ask ours!  I still think of him as the N.M.R.K. Angel; and hold dear the message he came to give me.

Later that day I pitched my tent in Greengate Park; and stayed there for several months.  The next day I went back to my apartment, packed and gifted most of my belongings; took my last civilized shower (for the next 7 months I rarely washed indoors) and left the key.  Over the years I’ve enjoyed the outdoor church of life; as often as possible.

I took Muir, Thoreau, Whitman and Frost for guidance; and learned much along this road; yet, there is much to ponder.  Having sat with Shaman, Charlatans, Priests and Priestesses, Doctors and Nurses, Medicine People, Sprites and Spirits, Stones and Plants, Poets and Authors, Lightworkers, Masseuses, Holistic Practitioners, Physics and Psychos, of all degree and kind, I have gleaned one absolute truth.  Nature is healing; emotionally, physically and spiritually.


 “I asked professors who teach the meaning of life to tell what is happiness.  And I went to famous executives who boss the work of thousands of men.  They shook their heads and gave me a smile as though I was trying to fool with them.  And then one Sunday afternoon I wandered out along the Desplains River and saw a crowd of Hungarians under the trees with their women and children and a keg of beer and an accordion.”

~Carl Sandburg

From “Happiness”

Thanx for stopping by.  See you next time!


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