About a month ago I had an encounter with a herd of deer in one of my favorite places in nature; a natural meadow.
I was walking in this meadow which marks the border into an extended wilderness that is surrounded on all sides with remarkable and beautiful trees, as well as some majestic trees that stand alone with graceful strength.
The meadow is a sanctuary in nature that holds incredible magic and beauty for me. When I’m away from it for too long I can feel the trees calling out to me saying “come back soon”. Then I know it’s time to leave my urban adventures to reconnect on a deeper level with nature.
A late spring storm had just covered the ground with enough snow for me to spot some fresh deer tracks. I intuitively felt invited to step into their world and so in answer to the calling, followed their footsteps.
I saw the deer further down on the meadow, steadily moving on. We started seeing and sensing each other as they started to turn around to look at me. I stopped and just felt their presence. I felt their curiosity and surprise by my appearance in this winter coming into spring landscape usually void of human beings. After a while the deer moved on and I kept walking through the snow by myself, still following their tracks.
Trust in our relationship with nature
I believe this movement happens between all living beings that we encounter, especially when we have encounters in nature. It takes a certain level of awareness and being in touch with one’s own body and sensory instrument. Sensing and feeling each other with respect opens a space that invites the experience of beauty, intimacy and trust into our relationship with nature.
A renewed connection with nature is important, not only for our own wellbeing, but for the wellbeing of the whole creation that humans and the natural world are a part of.
Realizing our oneness with nature
Once we realize our oneness with nature we naturally care for each other in ways we would care for children. Reminding them of how beautiful they are and how much we love them. I feel nature does the same for us. In this exchange, a beauty and sacredness arises that is beyond words.
Being in and with nature is inspiring, magical, creative and deeply nourishing for my body and especially my artistic soul. The art that I create is inspired and emerges from these sacred encounters with trees, wild animals and the natural landscape. The transmissions of beauty, the wisdom and the sacredness that nature is so abundantly providing is flowing through me when I create.
Relating and co-creating with nature in my artistic process has also made me more sensitive towards the suffering and pain that Mother Earth holds from continually being exploited, disrespected and mistreated.
Waking up from the illusion that we are separate from this living being that sustains us and to stop once and for all the exploitation and the violence against Her is the most urgent call for us human beings to follow.
Ancient Native wisdom
Healing is so needed within all our human relations and our relationship with nature. When Native Americans use the phrase ‘Mitakuye Oyasin’ it translates to ‘all my relations’ or ‘we are all related’. It expresses and honors so beautifully the inherent oneness and harmony with all living beings.
What would it be like if we would relate with nature as relatives, as allies and friends who depend on each other and who get to witness each other in our deepest despair and pain?
Or what if nature and all living beings would have the same rights as human beings and would finally be protected all over the world against the crimes that have been and are still being committed against Mother Earth?
Nature after all is holding space to transform our individual pain and the collective pain. We are asked to step up and hold space to do the same for Mother Earth. We depend on each other and underneath the very fabric that holds everything together is love.
It is the love I experienced when I had the encounter with the deer, the love I feel when I open up to really see and feel a tree and connect with this living being. The love I feel for Mother Nature runs deep. How can I not feel her pain when there is so much suffering deep in the very fabric and core of nature and the whole structure of our planet?
The worldwide movement of a new earth and nature philosophy and the coming together of so many beautiful human beings as artists, activists, scientists, shamans and healers practicing new and ancient ways of relating to Mother Earth is an active expression of love for nature.
In honoring and practicing sacred native wisdom and rituals in nature we are actively taking part in coming back to an alignment and harmony with nature. Creative, artistic, and healing ceremonies and practices in co-creation with nature are essential towards coming back into harmony with our planet and the entire creation.
What I want to inspire with sharing these words is for us to consider a different way of relating with the natural world, from which we are part of and not separate. The simple act of taking responsibility has a healing power that already resides within us and in nature.
Creating a new reality
Taking responsibility might show up as an urge to join or support an environmental organization, volunteering in a nature conservancy program or in making different choices on what and how we consume, reduce and recycle as a daily practice.
Sometimes the steps we can take individually seem small and insignificant, yet if we as a collective work together the new reality we want to create will come about much faster. We already have so many new technologies and solutions in place to solve our environmental and climate crisis. Yet it takes a conscious effort, working together and a willingness to step forward for all of us.
Isn’t it a blessing to know that we are together in this? Together we get to build community, raise consciousness, celebrate life, collaborate and co-create a new reality with our beloved Planet Mother Earth.
At times when the current reality is too overwhelming and seems hopeless to me, I come to remember my sacred encounters in nature, like the one with the deer. I realize that what I really want to see is that future generations and children will be able to have magical encounters in nature world like the ones I have been so blessed with.
Transmissions of beauty, peace and serenity
These thoughts about nature and our relationship came to me while I was following the deer. An hour must have passed as I came to the end of the meadow still following their tracks. And all of a sudden, there were the deer right by the magnificent grove of Aspen.
It felt as if they had waited for me before they would vanish in the woods. We had another beautiful exchange, sensing each other and acknowledging each other’s existence. I experienced deep gratitude for their gentle blessing and the transmission of beauty, peace and serenity that was given to me in this encounter.
Aho Mitakuye Oyasin!
About the author:
Marcus Maria Jung is a German born American artist whose work with nature has influenced his creative process deeply. He expresses his dialogue with nature in sculpture, photography, installations and rituals, and shares his insights in artist talks. Through his art he chooses to communicate the beauty, wisdom and poetry of nature. The urgent call for us humans to come to an environmental awareness through a renewed connection with nature is at the core of his artistic practice and purpose as an artist. Currently, the artist lives and works in Los Angeles, Mount Shasta and other places in northern California.
Images © Marcus Maria Jung, 2018.
Author portrait © Vigen Yaghszian, 2018.