On Mindfulness: Earthly Conversations

This is a short piece I wrote for a course I'm taking. It is called eco-psychology. Learning about the link between nature and psychology. How our environment affects us. How we are part of nature's web.

I ask you to take a walk in nature or be in the presence of a plant even. Use your whole bodies (physical, emotional and spiritual) to fully absorb this experience. Slow down, then slow down even more.

Here is one of my experiences expressed through words.

I took a walk in our mango orchard and noticed the different sensations I felt as I moved from one area to the next. From the hard gravel crunchy ground that had been flattened over the years with trails, tires and footsteps, dead and manmade, but was still much more comfortable to walk on than asphalt. I took a step into the "forest" as my dad and I call the orchard. One step, I felt a whole difference in almost everything from that path to the forest grounds. The mud was freshly ploughed. My senses were sharper, as if I had taken earplugs out of my ears or taken off sunglasses during nighttime. Under my feet, I felt like I was very light while stepping down but very heavy while lifting my foot to take another step. The ground was very fluffy to step on, but sucked my foot as I stepped down. I felt I was compressing the air out of the soil with each footstep I took and my footprints were the visual evidence that I had left behind. I smelled the fresh soil with each step I took, creating a small puff of dust, a crunch, a print, rooted and uprooted, alive and dead... so many paradoxes simultaneously.

The more I walked, the more I noticed how I was becoming covered in dirt, how the soil was covered with my footsteps. I felt so attracted to the soil in feeling the oneness with it: the similarities of our make up, the elements and atoms. It was as if I was time travelling. I was once a seed that grew and after some seasons I will die and return back to the soil, becoming a seed again and so on. The soil was dormant, holding the seeds that will germinate and grow in a few weeks. These trees of different ages, leaves sprout, flowers bloom, mangoes grow, mangoes fall, mangoes decay, the soil swallows them and the cycle goes on and on. The soil dries, the soil is irrigated. The top is warm and crunchy from the sun's rays, my sinking foot feels the cooler muddier soil underneath. All this I can see in the ploughed earth. The same plot I have been walking on since I started walking. Both the soil and I are the same, yet we are both different.

The sun has set, instantly I feel a cold chill and feel night falling, devouring the day. Winter nights just rush in, greedily eating up the memory of day. Tiny dust particles, bigger chunks stick to the bottom of my boot and travel with me home.