ashleynygaard

Nature is a mirror, inspiring and teaching us, deepening our sense of belonging in the world. Wherever you look, you can see that our patterns and the patterns of the natural world are the same. You can find this resonance in every form, from molecules to plants and animals and to planets. We live our lives according to the same principles as the trees, the mountains, the clouds, and the birds.

We begin our lives in the womb, folded in on ourselves like the bud of a flower. We can see our whole lives in the mirror of this natural form. When we emerge from the womb, we slowly begin our unfolding, just as the flower begins to open its petals. At its prime, the flower draws many insects to it and also the eyes of appreciative humans. When the flower’s petals begin to fade and its life cycle comes to an end, it ceases to hold itself upright and returns to the earth. Traditionally, we return to the earth, just as all plants and animals do. Like flowers, we leave behind seeds in the forms of children and other gifts only we could have given. They continue to unfold even after we are gone. Rebirth is encoded into our lives, and death is just one part of the cycle.

Look around you, and you will find connection and insight. Notice how your moods shift from one to another like the sky shifts from bright blue to turbulent grays. Your thoughts are like clouds, appearing, changing shape, passing through, and then disappearing without a trace. The rain cleanses the sky, just as an emotional release cleanses your mind. The sky itself is your eternal awareness, unchanging underneath all these permutations. Let it reflect back to you your own abiding perfection.

As you walk through the world, find your own metaphors for connectedness in nature. Flesh them out fully and follow them as they lead you through the mystery and intelligence of life.

Madisyn Taylor, The Mirroring World. (via occeanseyes)
ashleynygaard
At this very moment, the Earth is above you, below you, all around you, and even inside you. The Earth is everywhere. You may be used to thinking of the Earth as only the ground beneath your feet. But the water, the sea, the sky, and everything around us comes from the Earth. Everything outside us and everything inside us comes from the Earth. We often forget that the planet we are living on has given us all the elements that make up our bodies. The water in our flesh, our bones, and all the microscopic cells inside our bodies all come from the Earth and are part of the Earth. The Earth is not just the environment we live in. We are the Earth and we are always carrying her within us.
Thich Nhat Hanh, Love Letter to the Earth (via xkljfslkdjfsl)