Roots

Through the jungly woods I wander, my feet following a meandering course from nowhere to nowhere, savouring the enchantment of nature’s wild palace.

Here in the timeless halls my normal references dissolve and I am revealed to myself as naked amidst the changes. Such a relief.

Whispering leaves weave a soothing backdrop of soft sound all around, a cool white noise massaging a hundred million synapses at every breath of wind. My ears buzz with insect’s whirring wings. Birdcalls dance my mind into dreamtime. Feathered light filters through the green canopy, illuminating emerald patches of moss.

I’m walking as slowly as a grazing deer, planting each step as lightly as possible, carefully between the stemmed plants not on them. The Earth rises up to meet me as I walk, the broad supporting body of the land supple and knowing beneath me. Yes, with each step I am known in countless ways by the intricate life of the woodland floor.

I pause often, sometimes to listen better to the soundscape, sometimes to be with a particularly friendly tree or shapely stone or one of many fairy-like insects that live here as if it were the otherworld. In many ways it is.

I like to nibble things as I move about, to explore this realm with my teeth and tastebuds. Imbibing the wildness in this direct way makes me feel more at home here. I browse on tender leaves, on buds, on small twigs, on bark. At times I drop to all-fours, bringing my nose to ground level to take in the rich moist humus scent, bringing my eyes to the miniature mossy landscapes full of activity. Sometimes I’ll munch a few grains of soil, or lick a rough rock. Some of the liverworts taste spectacular. I suspect it’s all highly mineralising, although that’s not the point.

At times I stand still for longer periods, breathing through the soles of my feet. It feels good to let the subtle energy of the living Earth rise up into my body, infusing me with fertile magic. It feels good to let my own subtle energy pour down through invisible roots into the ground below, connecting with the hidden pool of life-force there. It’s deeply calming and enlivening, earthing and delicious, this healing interplay. Moving on afterwards I feel more deeply connected to the life-web beneath me and all around, more tuned in to the countless messages passing constantly between all beings here, including myself.

The soft, wild, spiritual animal of my body understands the language of this place, can read the chemical messages on the fragrant air, can sense the health and wellbeing of this oak I’m slowly passing, naturally shares a silent greeting with that fern. Slowly, over quiet hours and seasons and years spent here among the wild ones, I begin to sink into the level of connectedness that my body shares with all living beings. I gradually ease myself out of the mode of discursive consciousness and more fully into my animal senses. In some ways this feels perilous, like I might lose my precious conscious mind at some point, but I know now that that is a false fear. I have learned to trust in my wholeness. I know, more deeply than any voice of fear can reach, that by re-inhabiting my body and its deep connection to the living Earth I will not be subsumed in the material immediacy of sensory experience and lose access to my more reflective faculties. My animal body is the home and holy milieu of my human heart.

Sky-like, extending from far above the highest clouds down through circling buzzards and tangled branches into the complex world of this temperate jungle, my infinite mind sparkles in the spaces between all things, enlivened by the infinite connections. The deeper I go into my embodiment, the more this inner space opens up.

Again I stand still a while, breathing this time through the crown of my head, each in-breath drawing down golden white light of mingled sun, moon and stars, infusing this into the organic miracle that is my body. I feel my spirit grow clear before exhaling upwards again into the limitless expanse, connecting with the vast silence of immaterial space. As I draw this energy down into my body again I move it on through my roots into the living Earth. My whole system thrills as heaven and earth connect through the conduit of my magical body. My heart is thrown wide open to vast impersonal love and wonder and I become transparent to the fusion of light and life in the flowing moment of union. I am one with the flowering mystery.

The woods respond ecstatically to this channelling. A bright moment of increased aliveness ripples out all around me as everyone absorbs the current and glows incandescent with magic—Indra’s sparking web on fire.