I recently spent a whole day, from sunrise to sunset, alone in a cave in a very secluded location in the Blue Mountains, NSW to try to re-connect to self and nature, and to the deeper mysteries at the heart of existence.

For most of our human existence, we have had a profound and reciprocal alliance with nature. We are now living with the consequences of breaking the covenant we once had with the living cosmos. So, I was called to spend a whole day alone to start to re-weave a deeper connection with myself and the living Earth.

So how did I go about reweaving myself back into the natural order? How did I compose my mind in such a way that I could be fully receptive to what was going on around me, and as well as  inside me at deeper (psychic) levels, so that resonances, and hopefully understandings, could occur between self and nature?

I am not sure that I was able to fully release myself from the shackles of a cultural norm that is ever and always distracted, is overly rational and objective, views nature as a dispirited and meaningless place, values abstractions over reality, and can’t conceive of nature as communicative other. But I suppose the most important aspect is that I tried!

On arriving at my cave, I simply took time to arrive, sit and be still. I dropped into my amazing sensory body, and particularly by allowing sight to just be one of many senses.  I let thoughts and distractions fade away.  I grounded myself in the eroded yellow sandstone of my cave floor, relishing the soft, sensuous qualities of this material.  I explored my cave, found footprints, which turned out to be lyrebird. I established my special place in the cave, with objects brought from home and local objects. I meditated. I danced. I cried. I slept. I felt deeply into my instinctual and intuitive body. I called to the world to let me know my purpose, my particular way of healing self and world. I sought to experience and resonate with the intelligence, beauty and subjective nature of my cave and locale.

Words lack the immediacy and depth of the senses, so my subjective experiences are difficult (or impossible) to convey. And to convey the voice of nature is impossible – it is not a human voice, but rather a poetic, mythical and richly textured one.

Freya Mathews shines some light on the voice of nature in her book Reinhabiting Reality.  She says: ” … the world must speak, if it speaks at all, in the poetic language of particulars … when one asks the world a metaphysical question, it often turns the beam of one’s enquiry back onto oneself, to highlight the wounded core out of which the question comes. You want to know about the nature of reality? it seems to say. Well, here, look at this. Before I can give you answers you’ll have to refine your questions. Let’s look at the secrets in the heart of the one who asks.”

The understandings from my day in the cave remain in a deep place of unknowing. For the moment, the secrets in my heart are being explored. Can I rest down into that place?