The Reciprocity of Nature

The Reciprocity of Nature

I walked in darkness towards the waning full moon. As every morning except Sundays, I wake and must get out the door by 6:30 am to deliver newspapers on my street. I choose to do this for exercise, as it is only 21 papers, except for 40 twice a week.
In the winter darkness, my thoughts are more of a slumbering trance. This morning my worries were spewing out and I walked right by one of my customers and I would have to stop there on my way back. When the slumbering trance persists, I have to become a conscious witness to my train of thought and pull myself back into the present moment. First for safety to notice the icy patches and as well as to make sure I deliver the papers properly. I slipped into the slumber trance again, so I decided to give myself until the end of the block to release my concerns in the moonlight.
Then as I turned around to head back home, I decided to do a mindfulness activity with my physical surroundings. The quickest way to begin is to focus on my breathing as I notice whatever attracts my attention in nature. The silhouette of the mountains and hills promised a clear sky in the east as the stars dimmed.

I decided to focus on the neighbourhood tree silhouettes and sense their aliveness despite their dormancy. I imagined their root systems to complete my awareness of their growing and lively energy. This mindfulness vision is interesting because it somehow excites my brain and then I have to turn off the mind chatter and stay focused on just the visual sense of the root systems. This makes me sense gravity and I feel grounded and connected to my neighbourhood. Sensing the roots feels mysterious and makes me aware that the shape of tree above and below is balanced. I feel more connected to the moment and the slumbering thoughts have shifted and left.
Soon I will be done with these dark insular winter walks. Then as the daylight comes earlier, I look forward to the sun rising and spilling glorious sunshine into my eyes! With this, the earth seems to awaken and there is visible growth to notice.

Two of Eight principles of Ecopsychology
as described by Theodore Roszak are ;

3.“Just as it has been the goal of previous therapies to recover the repressed contents of the unconscious, so the goal of ecopsychology is to awaken the inherent sense of environmental reciprocity that lies within the ecological unconscious. Other therapies seek to heal the alienation between person and person, person and family, person and society. Ecopsychology seeks to heal the more fundamental alienation between the person and the natural environment.”

Another principal is;

8.“Ecopsychology holds that there is a synergistic interplay between planetary and personal well-being. The term”synergy” is chosen deliberately for its traditional theological connotation, which once taught that the human and divine are cooperatively linked in the quest for salvation. The contemporary ecological translation of the term might be: the needs of the planet are the needs of the person, the rights of the person are the rights of the planet.”

Pg320 &321 by Theodore Roszak in his book, ‘The Voice Of The Earth’ 1992 &2001


  1. Your blog post was beautiful to read. Thank you for sharing it! Sadly, with three small children I rarely seem to get the peaceful moment you describe. Our ventures into nature are still a bit on the rambunctious side. Your post reminds me that I need to give myself my own quiet moments with nature.

  2. Hi Jenni,
    I used to live in Chatham and Blenheim from 1984 to 1992 ! So I know the area well.

    You are right that it is hard to experience a peaceful 'moment'in nature when kids have needs too. Often a 1 or 3 second moment just does n't feel like enough. Especially when you need more.

    I used to find it challenging to find special places in rural Ontario that was mostly private farmland. I travelled many county roads. It was the small roadside discoveries and park trails that created great adventures.

    May the Sun shine down on you and thunder applaud all your work and fun too!

  3. I'm going to have to get a copy of Roszak's book!

    Thanks for another interesting post. You ae a joy to read.

  4. I love your post's title. It has been made me be more conscious about what I am giving back to nature since the gifts to me are numerous.

  5. Sherri, your writing brings me such a sense of peace just being on your page. And that is not something easily achieved on the internet. Thank you for being you and sharing with the rest of us.
    Many blessings to you,

  6. Thanks,
    May the peace of a million snowflakes touch us all!