Bliss. Belonging. Peace. These are fickle finds in the world, in the culture. But they are regular, reliable, every day experiences in the woods.
These feelings of bliss and flow and belonging within my body, at a cellular level, confirm that this is the most deeply healing thing I could be doing with my life.
In the woods I am part of something so much greater than myself, than my life. I am part of the woods, interconnected, inter-dependent. And, never more so than when I do my part. Giving and receiving. The agreement, right now, is that I clean up trash while I am here. That is it. So I bring a plastic shopping bag with me, filling it with anything I see that doesn't belong. It's not a grand gesture, but it's right-sized, it's the only job that is mine to do.
And. The results have been amazing. The more I do my part out here, simply picking up the trash around me, the more I feel interwoven into this fabric of life. The more interwoven I am, the more I know my place. The more I know my place, the more blessed I feel in my body. It’s pretty straightforward: do good, feel good. The result is bliss.
The woods have given me far more bliss and wholeness that the culture ever has. And so, this is a pilgrimage within my own life. A pilgrimage back to wholeness.
Norma Van Horn