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“It’s not happiness that makes us grateful but gratefulness that makes us happy.” – Br. David Steindl Rast

Does It Love You Back?

A note from Carl:

Often, I tend to read my books one at a time. For the last few months though, since our birthday season in October/ November, (when Erin and I usually gift each other the books we both want to read:) I have had 6 or 7 going at a time. A chapter here, two or three chapters there- it has been a nourishing buffet of Francis Weller, Martin Prechtel, Loch Kelly, John Prendergast, and several others. One that I have particularly loved is Elizabeth Gilbert’s most recent book: Big Magic.

Big Magic is a beautiful book about (as its subtitle suggests) creative living beyond fear.

Does It Love You Back?

In one passage, Elizabeth describes a question that her friend, botanist and author Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer, asks her young environmentalist students:

“Her students are all fervent young environmentalists, earnest as can be, desperate to save the world. Before they get down to the business of world saving, though, Robin often asks her students these two questions. The first question is “Do you love nature?” Every hand in the room goes up. The second question is “Do you believe that nature loves you back?” Every hand in the room goes down. At which point Robin says, “Then we have a problem already.”

I love what this interaction evokes… Can you reflect on something you love in life? Something about which you are passionate? Do you have the belief that it loves you back?

The music you play, the yoga you practice, the walks that you take, your time on the cushion, the work that you do…Is it possible that the exchange of love goes in both directions?

Perhaps whatever you are drawn toward is also somehow drawn to you. Wants to be lived and experienced through you. Can only be lived and known though you.

I just love the line from the great botanist and inventor George Washington Carver who, when he was asked about how he possibly know so much about the healing qualities of plants replied, “If you love anything enough it will speak to you.” Or perhaps, if you love anything enough, it might love you back. :)

 

Does It Love You Back?

 

WHEN I AM AMONG TREES
by Mary Oliver

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks, and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.

I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”

The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,”
they say, “and you, too, have come
into the world to do this, to go easy,
to be filled with light, and to shine.”

Best,
Carl

p.s. We are so fortunate to be hosting our friend and mentor and beloved international teacher, Russell Delman, in Salt Lake City again in March. Registration is now open for his public workshop March 19-20 with a public talk on March 18. (Find lots more details here. We hope you’ll join us!)

p.p.s. Join us on February 27th for a skeletal immersion with the both of us. More details can be found here.

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