Belonging
   Being Nature

                    Is

                  Being Creative

        Nature is Creation

I am Creation

                  I am Wild

               And Free

and o.k. to

              Be

                   ME!!!!
 
This poem arose out of an experience I had during my residency at Royal Roads University last summer. I was sitting by the water in quiet contemplation after ‘re-living’ some of my favourite childhood memories during a storytelling exercise with a few of my colleagues. I became acutely aware of the sound of the waves lapping under the dock and, once again, I was transported back to a time, and place, when I was seven. I described the experience in my journal as follows:
I never felt like I belonged anywhere as a child except when I was immersed in nature - at the cottage - playing in the water, collecting berries, playing with frogs, making things from birch bark. I know I feel most free and happy barefoot and by the water and think - right now - that in nature is where I feel like I most belong. I think I was looking all my life to find somewhere where I belonged and now I truly feel like I have found it - I belong to the greater world - to the birds, animals, plants, water, sun, moon, trees, and humanity. I belong HERE and NOW!!


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
In those few moments I felt like I was ‘one’ with all of creation …… my life has not been the same since. The way I see the world and the way I am in the world has significantly changed. Mostly, however, the experience has removed a longing, expressed as anxiety, and replaced it with a sense of well-being. What I understand today is the ‘knowing’, or new awareness I experienced that day, significantly altered my perception of reality.
This experience was the beginning of remembering who I am and I needed to inquire deeper into the feeling of unity I experienced that day on the dock.
 
Retreating to the place which I came - writing myself back into the landscape and into my story, a story, a place of belonging of which I long to be in.
 
“When I was a child, everything around me was wild, or I thought it was and I thought I could be wild as well. It seemed to be right, to be wild, not part of the confusing world of houses and people and rules that made little sense. Town and people were far away - we had neighbours, but even they were wild, or seemed wild to me, and all things wild, and free seemed to me where I belonged as well” (Armstrong, 2007, p. 237).