Find a comfortable position, relax with your soles touching the ground. Take deep breaths that fill up your lungs and release your worries as you exhale. We will go deep into the wilderness of land and spirits, seeking to connect to a sacred landscape we already live in.
Close your eyes, breathe. Remember the blessings of community and those who’ve come before. Your breath is their breath, shared across space and time. Breathe deeply, let it soothe you and restore you.
With your eyes closed, you begin to drift away from this world, this life, and your daily struggles. In this enveloping gloom, your breath -- coming in and out, slowly, fully -- awakens your heart beat. Its rhythm is a drumbeat in your bloodstream, it pulses at your throat -- breathing --
As time passes, you feel yourself carried to a muddy bank, the shallow, warm waters gently lapping around your body. Resting against the earth, green and curious roots emerge from your joints. The soft earth accepts these roots and nourishes them from the land’s richness. It seeps into your body and draws you into its vegetable consciousness. As your roots grow further into the land, you flourish and grow amid the cypress and sawgrass.
As breath and spirit pass through you, rooted in the land, sunlight descends from the ever-shining sun. This golden light warms you and completes your transformation, this magical union with the marshland and the elements of life around you. Time passes in cycles of gentle breath and flowing water, shining moons and sparkling stars, thunderstorms and dry months. Life surrounds you, a myriad of beings going about their lives in delicate balance with nature and with you.
Relax further, deeper into this natural wilderness. Around you a dance of life unfolds in a web woven of need and love, stretching back for millions of years. Let your point of view expand to take it all in: the wading birds floating on the clear waters, frogs perched on branches and roots sticking out of the soggy earth, schools of fish darting below the water’s surface, turtles and manatees making their lives here; alligators making furrows and waterholes in the dry season, giving fish and birds shelter as the water levels drop low; great blue herons and snail kites, woodpeckers and the common egret dance aloft.
Return your focus to breathing, the roots anchoring to the land coming back to you. Breathe deeply, gently, and remember you can always return to this wilderness in body or mind. It is all around you, even in the concrete maze that humans built hugging the east and west coasts. Nature remains at the heart of Florida, waiting to know you and be known in turn.
Take your time to return, but when you’re ready, say, “Blessed be!”
This Is Our Nature, a meditation by Dayan Martinez, presented at 1stUUPB, July 31, 2016.