One of the challenges of having a relationship with nature is relating to the parts that are challenging or downright inimical to humans. At the moment, I’m struggling with the worst bout of allergies that I’ve had in several years. I’m wondering if, among other things, the extremely mild winter here is partially responsible – in which case I probably have to put some of the blame back on humanity’s recklessness with fossil fuels – but regardless, it’s a visceral reminder that nature can be a real mother.
One of the ways that I’ve worked to improve my Quarter calls in ritual is to challenge myself to visualize the Element being called in multiple forms – and not just my favorite ones! I work to see Air as both the sweet wind bringing the scent of summer flowers and as the whirlwind, to see Water as the stuff I drink and as the overwhelming waves that buffet me to and fro.
Right now, I’m trying to do something like that by being glad that the plants are doing the Great Rite with such vigor, and all the while taking medication as needed and trying to adjust my schedule and expectations to cope with the effects. We have a tentative detente where I am something less than miserable and something more than slightly aware of the ways humans will never – and should never – completely control their environment.
How do you see nature in your work? How do you give homage to the parts of nature that are uncomfortable, or difficult, or challenging for you?