written near white sage in the angeles national forest on 1.11.13

In the woods today and continually along the coast on my bike trip, it was just me and the earth; ocean, river, trees, canyon, mountains, crevices… A strange thought returned to me over and over: This is enough.

It would well up within, that phrase, and I didn’t quite understand it. Of course, I thought. When did I say differently? Yet somehow in those moments I knew that acknowledging that phrase shifted something, and on my hike today I have recollected what. Foremost, I am re-membering, I am writing to help myself hear, remembering myself into action.

canyon stream

A bus ride from where I currently reside just outside of Los Angeles, will take one to the foot of the mountains. A 6 mile hike from there brought me to an awe-inspiring sector of Eaton Canyon. Waterfalls, solitude, hopping wildlife, morning light playing in streams and leaves, air I can suck in without thought of harm to my system and water, once purified, that makes me feel so good inside. I trust this atmosphere.

It purifies, refreshes, enlivens, reminds joy, beauty, peace, knowledge of impermanence, wisdom of cycling seasons. It fills me so deep and creates such a mirror for me that many times on this trip I have found myself in deep gladness giggling! Walking along this morning I was so touched by the beauty of the place as I followed the trail along the river. The way the ecosystem changed as I mused along; sheer canyon walls jutting up from the river, maples’ lost leaves scattered over the trail in front of me- what a smell!, the sound and feel of the water in the air as I walked beside the stream, the light breeze, dappled sunlight, the delicate deliciousness of the currant blossoms dangling just so…. I could go on!

Walking along the phrase came to me again

This is enough

Yes, I agreed in  mutual embrace. Yes, this is so much.

Yet when I think back to riding the bus through the city yesterday, holding my breath as I waited for it on the street. Or drinking water from the tap the day before, feeling the impurities on my tongue causing me to spit it back out in the sink. Knowing how hard the average person must work to simply have a home and necessities within the city. How most everything is intimately tied to the dollar. How we poop in our water…

I am blown away at what we have traded: clean air and water for starters…

What is has cost to sustain livelihood in the city. It’s as if, over time, we said to the abundance, beauty, gift of relationship with the earth:

You have been enough, Yet you are not enough anymore. We are building more enough for ourselves. We are pulled to the city now. To its form of abundance, gadgets, high priced plates of food shipped around the world, all of the excessive material goods … we will hand over our intimacy with you for these as we pollute the streams, erode and poison the soils and filthy the air so we can go wherever we want whenever we will.

I tell you friends, the trade is not worth it for me. Nature’s abundance and I meet and we are the same. We resonate, we dance in that abundance in mutual caretaking and gifting. Nature is so much enough for me. I feel I do not understand cities. I do not love them or promote them and their incessant cry, “More, More!” What type of return to Nature is required? What does the harmony look like? How is the balance forged? In the anvil of experience I will experiment, as many who have come before and will go after have done. Come, let’s co-create in synergistic abundance with the earth! Let us sing, We have enough, We are enough, The earth and our relations are enough!