DINK 102 Partnering With Nature

Posted on : 01-07-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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(The Wild Path to Reconnecting with the Earth) by Catriona MacGregor. Great book! Nettie Hartsock gave this book to me awhile ago and I have finally gotten a chance to read it. I have a hard time watching or reading most movies/books etc. about animals or nature because it either makes me cry or the people do not seem to “get” nature and animals the way I do. Anyway, I should have known that Nettie would not lead me astray. This is an excellent book.

In the second chapter, Catriona talks about the Evenk or Reindeer People who live in Northeast Siberia where temperatures can drop to 96 degrees below zero (that’s mighty, might cold people!). She says that, “in spite of this inhospitable climate, they live and thrive by keeping close to ancient tradition. They mirror the behavior of the animals and form tightly woven relationships with the reindeer to help them survive in extreme conditions. The Evenk rely on the reindeer for most of their needs, using their meat for food, their sinews for string and their bones for tools”. This is the part that helps make this bearable for me to read, “Although the Evenk rely upon the reindeer’s body for survival, they also believe that they share a spiritual, energetic essence with the reindeer and with the land itself. In the Evenk’s world, a compassionate spirit pervades the vast landscape. They call this all-knowing, all-feeling spirirt “Bayanay”. Bayanay is not separate from the people, the animals, or land, but permeates all in a “field of shared consciousness”.

I don’t know about you, but I can get down with that concept. It seems that many of the traditions that I enjoy studying and learning about have similar qualities in their beliefs from “we are all one” to “respect for all life”. I think I still have a lot of maturing to do when it comes to my relationship with animals and nature because in the culture I have grown up in, I have become very disassociated with the meat that I eat and the clothes that I wear and how they came to be by the process that the animals had to go through to make these products. I know that Dr. Temple Grandin–world famous scientist and autism self-advocate–has studied and written extensively concerning what she has observed about animals and has had an impact on the meat packing industry in the way that cattle are led to slaughter. I’m grateful that she had the ability to look into this process and come up with a less terrifying way for the cattle and this process. Who of us really ever think of this aspect of the food we eat or really care if the animals were terrified? Evidently Dr. Grandin has and we’re all the better because of her.

I believe there is a connection between all living things and that we are either in harmony or disharmony. Now, my actions are a whole other enchilada and I realize that I have many layers of denial to come up and out of to be living half the kind of life that I want to live. There are people in my life who reflect back to me what is possible by their actions. My Coach Helene Van Manen is one such person. Over the years of working with her I’ve loved the creative ways that she has come up with to recycle cards that she has received by cutting them in half and writing on them like a postcard with some of her own art thrown in for good measure. I have drawers full of cards with just this intention in mind…..remember that if anything should happen to me before I send you a special postcard!

As a final thought, the back of “Partnering With Nature” says it best, “The way we interact with the world around us affects our health and well-being more than we realize. In today’s world it’s often too easy to forget about the natural world sitting right outside our window. We mainly live our lives surrounded by electronics, concrete walls, glass and artificial light. This growing disconnection with nature can lead to physical as well as mental stress, from depression and fatigue to attention disorders and obesity. But by awakening a natural connection to the environment around us, we can move beyond simply using nature and into a true partnership with it.”

How are you partnering with nature today