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Along the Way…

Met great world travelers yesterday, Richard and Karlene Miller of Barnstead, New Hampshire, who were gracious to offer me a ride to Wellfleet to drop off my car so I didn’t have to take Uber back to Nickerson State Park. I’m walking the Cape Cod Rail Trail again today from Brewster, to Orleans, through Eastham and finishing up at the Wellfleet Trailhead (about 12 miles).

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Walking

Being At One With Nature

What does it mean to be at one with nature? Over the past couple of weeks that question has resonated within me as I’ve experienced increased moments  where I’ve felt in tune and at one with nature.

One definition of being at one with nature comes from an article titled Eutierria: Becoming One With Nature, in the journal Psychology Today.

“When it occurs, your perception of the boundaries between yourself and all else—the thoughts and feelings setting you off from the rest of the cosmos—seem to evaporate. The distinction between you and nature (or in the religious versions nature and God) breaks down. You become one with the universe. A reassuring sense of harmony and connection with the world infuses your consciousness. It’s an experience that matches up with the knowledge of your own dependence on and connection to the world.”

I remember having this experience early on, the very first day of my hike to be exact, when I observed birds, and bugs all momentarily journeying in some direction of their own within feet of me. I was curious and looked on, training my eyes longer than usual, with amazement as they stared back at me. Then another  part of me felt annoyed by the bugs in my face and shooed them away. Maybe a trained cultural reaction. It was too soon for me to recognize their friendliness, customs, and curiousness.

The Grasshopper and Butterfly

In one instance last week while walking in five or six inch tall grass from Plymouth to Sagamore, adjacent to the Myles Standish state park, a small knot of grasshoppers leapt up about five feet in front of me stared at me momentarily and then dashed ahead of me about 5-10 feet and waited until I caught up. Then they repeated this playful turn-taking game for about 2-3 minutes before breaking off contact. It seemed much longer as I felt the grasshoppers were leading me along the path making sure I had company on my journey. I remember feeling I was not alone with them.

The other instance occurred last Saturday in Sandwich on Route 6A at a traffic intersection when a black and orange butterfly was flitting its way near me as I crossed the intersection. Forgetting where I was, I focused on the butterfly welcoming it into my personal space turning my body with the butterfly before it broke off contact, maybe alerting me to the dangers around me. It was such a powerful moment of contact that quickly and abruptly ended  when I looked up and became startled by a row of cars facing me with drivers laughing and smiling as I quickly scooted out of the way of the oncoming traffic.