4 October, 2009
I watch as the two pelicans soar high above the river, as they glide on unseen thermals and turn ever so gracefully. The wind is singing its boisterous song through the choir of trees around me. It feels wild, ever shifting, and I sense I have lost some solidity here on the banks of Myall Lakes. Perhaps it would be better to be like the trees and allow my whole being to sway and bend with the wind? Or be like the pelicans who just seem to be playing in and with the wind?
This experience caused me to wonder about how the weather affects my moods and my experiences. And how we have constructed the weather as something to avoid, as we become increasingly an indoor species. When was the last time you danced in the rain, or felt the sensuous touch of wind on your body?
I offered this question to Kali, a friend of mine, and she provided some extraordinary and beautiful insights into weather and how it affects her moods. During a particularly windy period, she said: “This particular wind has been lifting my spirit like a young woman’s dress for days now… I feel so fine and tell it regularly how much I love it. It seems to like that.”
She added: “And then there was the invitation to get wet in the rain on Tuesday night. How could I possibly turn down such an arousing offer? And the soft warm earth through springy grass against bare rain dropped skin? Simply priceless! The elements tickle and tease me, an open invitation to play. And I sometimes run headlong into their embrace. Other times I smile and sigh as the allure proves greater than whatever human-constructed task I happen to be working on at the time. I surrender to the invitation to open myself to the very alive natural world. It’s all about what the elements do with me once I invite them in.”
This is delicious writing and reflects a completely different worldview to that usually presented on news weather reports! It is a world alive and full of meaning. Kali fully embraces the elements of air and water (and I am sure she would also embrace the elements of earth and fire). She co-creates beauty out of the elements, and treats them like a lover beckoning her to come out and play (or dance or sing). Most moderns simply complain about the weather: it’s too hot, too cold, it’s never just right.
The key question, as put by David Abram in Orion Magazine, is whether we are projecting our own interior mood upon the outer landscape. He answers this by posing this question: “What if our manner of understanding and conceptualizing our various “interior” moods was borrowed from the moody, capricious Earth itself?” What a great question! He continues with an example: (What) if our emotional release has been fed not only by the flow of tears, but also by our experience of rainfall?
How would your “interior mood” change if you perceived every weather event not as something to avoid, but as an invitation to play, to dance, to sing? And accepted the offer, and allowed that event to “tease and tickle you”?