During a historic time of global pandemic and social unrest we were physically, socially and culturally sequestered. Cessation of normality, fear of death, and political catastrophe culminated in bouts of anguish and despair. I was taught in stressful times to imagine myself in my “happy place.” This was supposed to help conjure emotional wellbeing. Trying this calming technique in the year 2020 was the first time my mind went blank; I could not imagine such a place. I contemplated, “How can I maintain or restore equilibrium to my sense of self if I cannot picture who I am, as my very nature was optimistic? Where would I go to rejuvenate and feel at peace?”
My answer was the forest. As a young woman living in the city I traveled to forests and parks for solitude and became enchanted by birdsong and the beauty of light as it drifted through the majestic branches of redwoods. From daybreak to nightfall the forest abounds with audio and visual dialogs that captivate my spirit. This serene experience granted me a sense of rejuvenation. In the forest I no longer think in dualistic perspectives relating to the world at large, rather I am captivated by arboreal vastness, beauty and mystery, no longer aware of societal constructs.
Why do I feel this sense of rejuvenation when deep in the woods? I ventured out in hopes of finding answers. As I stood alone gazing at the surround taking a deep clean breath I heard a hawk’s call. I had watched the hawk moments ago. Turning I discovered the hawk watching me. The next few minutes were spent in perfect symbiosis. Symbiosis with the land I felt under my feet, the fauna I witnessed, and the oxygen I breathed that was exhaled by the protective towering trees. I felt at home. Is it possible that like instincts, humans have a spiritual memory of our roots that were one with the land, part of nature’s circle of life?
This experience inspired the creation of my series “Symbiosis.”