Gratitude to life, Gratitude to Earth
At one time, during a mega-monsoon rainstorm, I stood under a tree on a cliff. A particularly loud thunder cloud opened up and poured its energy in front of me. The rocks shook. The soil shook. I was shaking inside, visualizing an earthquake or other disasters. I held the tree and said, “I am alone here. Are you with me?”
The answer was a huge bolt of lightning, followed by a thunder that opened up the clouds. I sat under the tree and watched the rain come down in sheets. There was no chance that I would able to get out of the place in the thunderstorm.
Gradually, fear was replaced by curiosity. I noticed the impromptu waterfall and streams of water flowing all around me. The buttress I stood on was like a throne. I sank into the throne. The chirping cicadas and calling monkeys were familiar calls. I felt very much a part of everything around me. I felt gratitude to Earth resonate in me. My heart pounded Thanks! Thanks!
The moss that trembled like my heart, the leaf that danced fearlessly in the wind, and the worms that came out in the rain and celebrate it was each a treat to watch. It was as if life was celebrating around me. For me. Me?
Some thoughts carry enormous power in them. This one word opened up the world locked within me. The walls melted and merged with the world outside. We were no different. We lived with our own rhythms. I created my own inner landscape with mountains of impossibilities and peaks of possibilities. I too had beautiful thoughts that flowered in the peaks and valleys. Anchored on the peaks were trees of intention, which were growing for many years. Some trees had thorns. Others had sweet fruits. Some had scented flowers. Each one was beautiful. Each one no different from the tree I sat under.
For some nature is a teacher. For some nature is an inspiration. Many find that nature often provides them with answers to their seeking or questions. Nature is more than all that. It is the very source of our existence. What is in nature is also within us. Whatever is within us, we inflict on nature. The two have been different until now. We can change that with our awareness.
With awareness, we can cultivate a beautiful garden in our peaks and valleys. We can offer these flowers back to nature. Our actions and gestures can heal, shower and share our gratitude and gift of life. Our worlds will merge. In gratitude, we stand, with the Earth in our hands.
Rani Iyer is the author of over ten nonfiction books and over 70 magazine articles. She writes about science, nature, culture, human-nature interactions, and natural ecosystems. Rani Iyer has visited and worked in many temperate and tropical forest systems in Asia and North America. Her favorite place on Earth is to be among the old growth mixed temperate evergreen rainforests at the Olympic Peninsula. Her experiences as a tropical field biologist, scientist, instructor, laboratory assistant, and as an administrator inspire her to write. You can read more on http://www.raniyer.com/ and on her amazon page