“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home,” said poet and activist Gary Snyder. Nowhere else do we breathe as deeply, let down our guard as naturally, feel as deep a sense of kinship with the world as in nature. Home indeed.
However, we don’t always find it easy to honor this belonging. We may enjoy the sea, the stars, the mountaintop during outings and holidays, but often lose that connection when we return to our everyday lives. What might help us cultivate a deeper, more ever-present intimacy with the natural world? Fabiana Fondevila — founding member of Vivir Agradecidos, our organizational partner in Argentina — regularly explores this question through her online workshops, seminars, and writings, including her most recent book Where Wonder Lives: Practices for Cultivating the Sacred in Your Daily Life, which was published in February 2021.
In the Nourishing Our Nature practice, Fabiana offers simple experiences that reconnect us to the more-than-human world. Discover the ways in which nature is so ingrained in us that simply listening to the birds, getting acquainted with nearby trees, feeling the ground below, or looking up at the sky can jog our memories and return us to a sense of kinship. Feel your body refreshed, your soul renewed, and your heart moved to care for the natural world that is our home.
We recommend you bookmark this page and move through the practice days at your own pace. You might move through the practice alone or consider exploring it with others, as part of a group experience.
Awe is a transformative emotion because it puts us face-to-face with mystery, conjuring up curiosity and a deep sense of aliveness. One of the biggest elicitors of awe is Nature, and simply lifting our gaze can connect us with the humbling majesty of the natural world’s gifts.
Day 2: Lose Yourself in the Clouds
Cloudspotting need not be just a childhood sport. As adults, we can allow ourselves to enjoy whimsical scenes over our heads and relish the expansive feeling of staring up at the sky. In today’s practice we invite you to lose yourself in the clouds.
Nothing sparks our wonder (both our awe and curiosity) like staring up at that twinkling infinity and pondering the startling fact of our existence. In today’s — or rather tonight’s — practice we invite you to gaze at the night sky.
The birds that surround us are not random passersby: They are our neighbors. In today’s practice, we invite you to tune into the sound of birds in your midst. See if you can feel into what they might be communicating.
We may not be rooted like trees, but we can reconnect our living body with the living body of the Earth and experience a deeply embodied form of belonging. In today’s practice we explore cultivating intimacy with the land.
If we set the intention to connect, our daily walks can become a full-body meditation on the cycles and transformations of our shimmering world. In today’s practice, we invite you to open up your senses and tune into your surroundings as you walk.
Unlike happiness, which depends on external circumstances, joy is an expression of our connection with each other and with the Earth. In today’s practice, we invite you to reflect on how you might say an embodied YES to life as it presents itself.
Fabiana Fondevila is a writer and teacher from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her latest book, “Where Wonder Lives: Practices for Cultivating the Sacred in Your Daily Life” was published in February 2021. Fabiana teaches online workshops and seminars on living a life of awe and radical aliveness. You can learn more about her offerings at FabianaFondevila.com. She is also a founding member of Vivir Agradecidos, our organizational partner in Argentina.
We hope the Nourishing Our Nature practice opens up a deeper appreciation for and engagement with life around you.
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Feature photo by Linda Hannum
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