Senses
    As much as I like the quiet of winter, I am delighted by the recent sounds of spring - the lulling, soothing sound of the water as it is released from winter’s fr
eeze and the melodic sounds of the birds as they return to their homeland to nest. As I awaken to my senses, I realize how many years I missed out on the beautiful voices and songs of animate earth. I am coming to understand that it’s not just me but that we are born into a culture that conditions and constrains our senses. Without me really knowing, my senses were dulled, put to sleep so to speak, and I was not attuned to the enigmatic wonder of the world that surrounded me, that was/is me. Furthermore, I learned to distrust my senses and felt very confused a lot of the time or had to rely on my intellect for guidance and direction. I lost my animate sense of direction, my internal compass, my way as a sentient sensing human animal.
 
    “Mindfulness of our rootedness in Earthly experiences is a breakthrough to the belonging-together of things that goes on without us, without our doing” (Jardine, 1993, p. 87).
    
    On my walks now, I stop often, just to listen, smell, taste and touch and am filled with gratitude for the wonders of creation - the majesty and magnificence of even the smallest things and I feel renewed by life’s presence in me and all around me. The other day, I heard a beating/drumming sound in the near distance - about 20 rapid, rhythmic hammering sounds. I stopped to wait for the next round of beats so I could locate what sounded like a woodpecker. Sure enough, the sound came from above and I saw a Northern Flicker atop a barrel attached to the hydro wire. The Flicker was drumming on the barrel. I climbed upon a snow bank on the side of the road so I could get a better view. The Northern Flicker is normally widespread and common but its numbers are declining. I paused to appreciate this animate being for its important role as a ‘keystone’ species in the web of life; its abandoned cavities provide homes and safe havens for other animals.
    
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
    I felt a sense of sadness when I walked by the housing development down the street. All the trees are cut down and small lots are measured out - one next to the other. What about the other life forms that belonged there? Where are their homes now as they are pushed to the margins? Where is the respect for other life forms and their place of residence? Why can’t we cohabitate with plants, trees, animals, and streams and live in co-operation with - rather than complete annihilation and seemingly disregard of other life forms and structures?
 
It appears poignantly empty to me
    devoid of vitality;
I feel distressed like a part of me is absent too...
analogous to how I have lived my life up until recently:
lacking a...
    sense of vitality;
    presence;
    knowing with all certainty that I belong here as                
an integral part of creation.
 
“… we are not merely interconnected; we are suffused with the same essence as that of everything” (Ingram, 2003, p. xv).