This is the second post in the Quantum Botanicals series.
This was the assignment:
Find a natural place, away from the sounds, smells and signs of human habitation and sit on the earth for one or more hours, without bringing activities, such as a book. Take off your shoes and sink them into the soil. If it rains, let it rain. Feel the nature around you; observe but in a relaxed way, as one enjoys the sunset. Simply be present in nature. Imagine that it is only you and nature; that nature is your company and the source for all that you need to survive. Feel what your relationship with nature is in these new circumstances. What is the most important to you in these new circumstances. What would you need to know to survive, and how would you go about accomplishing this? How would nature be there to support you?
I walk down to a part of the land we call “The Secret Valley”, an steep sided partly-wooded valley that we are allowing to regenerate naturally. It is the domain of the wild boar, the genet, and other creatures.
I sit down at the base of a large cork oak tree – the mother tree of this area. I take off my shoes and settle for some minutes. My mind is busy at first, recognising, noticing and commenting on my surroundings. Noticing the white frothy blossom of the hawthorn trees, greeting the wild olive tree that I had made an essence with, recognising familiar plants and wondering about unfamiliar ones, enjoying the signs of spring all around. The sky is blue with big grey-white clouds passing by.
As I settle further into a quieter, stiller state, my awareness sinks into the more subtle sensory inputs – the smells, the quality of light, the sounds of the birds, the cool dampness under my feet, and the humming of bees coming from the forest where many of the Cork Oak trees are in blossom,
I dig my fingers a little into the ground and bring a handful of half-rotted leaf mulch up to my nose to inhale its earthy fungal aliveness.
I breath deeply and relax into a space where there is no COVID 19, no global panic. I allow the life around me to welcome me back into a slower rhythm. It feels like the trees and plants and birds and insects have been waiting for me to join them as part of the one nature.
After a time sitting quietly, I decide to get up and go for a walk. Imagining that this valley is all there is, I need to explore what is on offer in terms of food, water, shelter.
I walk slowly and with great care to avoid the brambles, thistles and other spiky things on the ground, whilst enjoying the mossy sections and the damp grassy places.
My first stop is a hawthorn tree where I eat some young leaves. There are even a few berries left on the tree with a little flesh left on them that I also eat. I forage some dandelion and clover leaves and munch on those as well. I reach the big old stone pine and check to see if there are any pine nuts still in the cones on the ground. I do find some of the shells, but the nuts inside have already rotted away or been eaten by other creatures.
My next question is where I would get water? We are in a long drought, so the seasonal stream that once ran through this valley is dry. I decide I would dig a bowl shape in to the ground and line it with clay to catch rain water, and start thinking about how I could capture dew as well.
I continue my walk and realise that even though I enjoy this slow walk, feeling everything under foot, some shoes would allow me to move much quicker to be able to build a shelter and find food and water.
I remember learning that you can make string from brambles, and I begin experimenting by scraping the thorns off a thin length of bramble with a sharp stone to make flexible cord. New possibilities open up for weaving baskets as well as shoes.
I look around for bedding and shelter materials too, and wonder whether I would manage to make a fire with rubbing sticks together.
This is a fun exercise, but also leaves me feeling vulnerable as a human being here. Alone. With soft feet, lack of fur, and lack of skill, I don’t think I would survive long.
As a longtime vegetarian I think I would need to start killing animals for food. Although if this Mediterranean forest ecosystem was still intact and thriving I do feel there would be an abundance of plant food to forage, (if I had a place to store it and keep the wild boar out of the store!) The Lusitanian people – the ancient people of Portugal – had a diet of which 70 percent of the calories was provided by acorns.
I recognise us as creative beings whose survival depends on forward thinking and planning.
I ponder for a moment our ancestors, and the evolutionary journey of humans as makers and users of tools. What a breakthrough to suddenly have an axe! The knowledge passed down through generations is why we are alive today. I realise why in indigenous cultures honouring the ancestors is so important.
Recognition of our vulnerability when we are without the technologies of the modern world, also facilitates a recognition of the interdependency of all lifeforms, and with this comes a deep gratitude to the earth and all living beings.
However perhaps the most important learning of this exercise is in the importance of feeling connected to the nature around, to become part of it all. This sense of connection brings support, and allows more easily an acceptance of circumstance. The spiritual technologies of becoming grounded, present and accepting what is provide a solid basis for the practical actions needed for survival.
And if I observe carefully, listen and learn from my surroundings, I can potentially tap in to the world wide web of nature to receive all the information I need.
In February of this year (2020) I began a professional diploma course in “Quantum Botanicals”. The course brings together science and spirituality to provide a foundation for an exploration of vibrational medicine, particularly flower and vibrational essences. I started making essences two years ago and the course is taking me deeper into this fascinating journey of plant communication, quantum physics, the nature of consciousness and the mind, and vibrational medicine.
I decided to post some of my assignments from the course on this Blog