One of my favorite radio shows -- okay, okay, I'm showing my age -- one of my favorite podcasts is On Being produced by Krista Tippet. The episode I listened to today reminded my of many of my own posts where I've written that we are not separate from nature, that we humans are indeed nature ourselves.
Today, Krista interviewed a man I had not known of before today. He's Michael McCarthy, one of Britain's prominent observers of the natural world. I invite you to listen to this conversation between them. You'll need to take nearly an hour but you will be so enriched.
McCarthy tells us that we might have left the natural world but the natural world has not left us. His insights are a gift. He points us to the teaching of evolutionary biologists who posit that the 50,000 generations that preceded us -- "when we were wildlife," he says -- are more deeply important for our psyches than the 500 generations of the last 12,000 years when agriculture entered the scene. Think of it. One hundred times the number of generations that you might be deluded to think are the ones that matter. One hundred times THAT! What formed you into a human? Why is spring so amazing? What tells you on such a deeply embedded level that while we might have left the natural world, the natural world has not left us?
How is it that you intuitively know that the natural world, while not all beauty and softness -- indeed, it is a world with dangerous pitfalls -- is elemental to your flourishing as a human? It might be the smell of fresh hay, the feeling of rainfall, the caress of the breeze on your skin, the sound of bird calls...whatever connects you with nature connects you with your heritage.
Please enjoy the links this week. Treat yourself. Then, go outside. Sit. Listen. Breathe. Connect. I'll be there, too.