During the past month of commuting to a new job, 40 minutes each way through somewhat ‘rural’ Midwestern farmland, I’ve spent a lot of time meditating on nature. The morning and evening vistas of wide open, flat farmland leave a lot of space for the mind to wander. I turn the music up loud, contemplate human nature, and how humanity’s place in the natural world, and the Cosmos at large.
Like I said… there’s a lot of space. I’ve always loved driving on long, open roads, and this is one major reason why. The thinking that can happen. I don’t mind the commute too much for this reason.
It’s summer solstice. I don’t have much time or resources to celebrate in any elaborate or traditional way – and I’m not sure I would even if I did have the time and resources.
Tonight I am doing multiple meditative repetitions of sun salutations.
After many years on my path, I feel more comfortable than ever in this place that I am at now. I have more trouble than ever putting into words what my religious experience is like… but I guess that means that I’m owning it as uniquely mine more than ever.
To me today, as a pagan, I still focus on the sun. The strength of the sun, the life giving force of the sun, and all that the sun’s energy represents.
The difference this year is that I am more aware than ever before how all of this is so symbolic and subjective and unique to my very limited understanding of Cosmos, as a human. There’s only so much I can know and understand – ever. And the whole point is that I’m just trying to make sense and purpose of my time right here right now. Those connections create a sense of meaning and belonging.
My sense of belonging in the world has increased beyond what I can express in the past several months, over the past year, as I’ve deepened my understanding of pantheistic thought and begun to live out of that new paradigm each and every day.
The world no longer feels as if it is ‘out there’. Nature no longer seems to be ‘out there’. This is it. I am it. My sense of connection and oneness with the natural world has increased so much. As a result of daily practice of directing my thought and understanding in a new, more holistic direction.
In the years past, I thought I understood what it meant to be pagan, to love nature. But now I realize I never really knew – and I’m sure now my new understanding still has some depth to gain. But the view from here is amazing, and the feeling is so freeing.
When you feel connected to everything, to everyone, understanding and appreciation for daily life increases. I haven’t arrived anywhere. I don’t expect to. I’m not trying to get anywhere – and that’s just the thing. I’m just here, right now, being – and I’m keeping that in mind – in this house, which is nothing more than a shelter built by man to keep me safe from the elements and to provide space for survival conveniences… a source of heat to cook food, a source of cold to store food, a source of water to drink and bathe, a source of comfort to sleep – that’s what this shelter I am in is for… And living takes place outside these walls, with the rest of life on this planet… this planet that sustains us, that we COME FROM, that FEEDS us and PROVIDES everything we need to survive. And THAT is what I celebrate today. The SUN that feeds, the sun that literally allows the LIFE that I AM to BE. That is why I celebrate the solstice, that is why I honor the sun. Because I owe my gratitude for my life to it. I do not worship it. I appreciate its life giving energy, I honor its power.