There’s a powerful juxtaposing of realities going on right now: one is the world as we know it, with an ethos of fear and scarcity, and an ugly underbelly that’s so evident in the horrific news of recent weeks; and the other is a life-centered ethos revealed in Nature’s emerging summertime landscape of stunning beauty and overflowing abundance.
Two realities, two ways of living and engaging the world around us, two different outcomes for our lives, human society and Earth home. At this moment, both these realities are turned on high, in our face, shaking us awake and asking us to choose.
This isn’t a comfortable discussion to have. It’s near impossible to take in the horror that’s become our daily news, most recently in the Brock Turner rape trial and the Orlando mass killings, without trying to hide from, deflect or rage against the toxic brew of sexism, homophobia, racism, violence and the myriad of other ills that pervade our human psyche and collective behaviors.
These terrible events and human ills aren’t isolated, disconnected aspects of our society. They’re symptoms or outcomes of a reality of fear and scarcity that rules our world, where there isn’t enough food, money, jobs, power, social status, and even love to go around. In a reality where the dominant, aggressive and greedy rise to the top of the pile, gathering life’s goodies to themselves, things are going to get nasty and ugly.
Take a deep breath. Yes, these things are true and this reality exists. But they’re not inevitable nor the only choice. At the Summer Solstice, Nature offers us a very different, life-centered reality and a vision of a new, better world.
Here are three simple, potent lessons from Nature that can help you revision your life and our collective reality in alignment with the powers of life at the Summer Solstice.
Abundance is real.
In the sun-bright days of Summer, abundance isn’t an illusion or utopian ideal. It’s real and substantive, woven of the raw elements of sun, earth, rain, soil and seed that, through the wondrous miracle of life, produce the foodstuff that feeds the hungry bellies of this world.Nature’s abundance expresses itself in an ethos of generosity, of giving more rather than less, and taking only what is needed. Take a single cherry tree, not only does it offer up delicious fruits for humans and creatures alike year after year, but the pits of the fruit provide the seeds of future plants and harvests.
Imagine choosing abundance as a guiding force in your life, and making it real through the raw elements of your grace, goodness and generosity.
Imagine living in harmony with Nature’s ethos of generosity by giving more of yourself rather than less, and only taking what you truly need by walking lightly on this Earth.
Imagine conceiving this same abundance in our shared society, where a decent standard of living is a given, and power, worthiness, love, and other markers of personal satisfaction and social value are infinite and available for all, each in accordance with our deep, true needs.
Life is good.
The powers of life are at a peak at the Summer Solstice, and the good things of the living world are on full display. The sun is hot. The sky is clear blue. Wild things are plump, healthy and busy tending their young. Ripe fruits weigh down branches. Gardens are overflowing with produce.Sunshine caresses bare skin. Luscious flowers scent warm breezes. Wild music of birdsong and buzzing insects fills the airwaves. Flowers paint the landscape in bright colors and vibrant greens. Strawberries are soft and sweet. Life is very, very good.
Imagine slowing down and taking in Summer’s goodness, giving yourself over to awe and delight, and relaxing into the loving, delicious embrace of life’s goodness.
Imagine living and sharing this same goodness inside of you by gifting others with your best qualities and nature.
Imagine a world in which Nature’s goodness is cherished, with its gifts and wonders received with gratitude and a debt of protecting these precious resources, and where people share their own goodness and best nature with others.
All life is beautiful and worthy.
Wild things don’t have self-worth or identity issues. A dung beetle doesn’t stop to measure its beauty and value against a butterfly. It goes about the business of being a dung beetle, in alignment with its unique dung beetle purpose and place in the great weaving of life.Be it a dung beetle or butterfly, dandelion or rose, robin or turkey vulture, mouse or wild cat, no one is more beautiful or worthy than another. The summertime powers of light and life call every living being to blossom, flourish, and play their essential part in the balance and well-being of the whole.
Imagine a reality in which every living being is witnessed and honored as beautiful, worthy, precious and essential to the web of life that sustains us all.
Imagine honoring and claiming your beauty, gifts and sacred purpose, knowing that you’re truly beautiful and worthy, and that your contributions to life deeply matter.
Imagine living in a world where others do the same, where there is no better or worse than, just infinite configurations of beauty and gifts, all contributing to the balance and well-being of the whole.
Visioning a New WorldAs I share Nature’s lessons and these visions of a life-centered reality, I want to be clear that I’m neither naïve nor someone who believes that light and love can banish life’s evils. Nature isn’t always gracious and generous. Winter brings scarcity and death, and the wild world can deliver up devastation through earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters. Yet Nature always returns to abundance, goodness and life.
In the same way, our personal lives and collective humanity are plagued by the natural ravages of illness, suffering and death, as well as the countless ills and horrors of our collective reality of fear and scarcity. Yet we can choose a vision for our lives and world based on a reality that always returns to abundance, goodness and life, no matter what challenges and hardships come our way.
This isn’t an easy choice to make. It’s hard sometimes to believe in abundance, goodness and life’s beauty in the face of the pain, suffering and horrors that weigh down our personal histories and shared humanity, and the terrible, terrible things we humans continue to do to each other and our Earth home.
Believe me I know, because I’ve traveled into the depths of my own personal horrors and those of our humanity, and come out the other side. I’ve come to understand that I/we can’t undo the harm that’s been done to us, and to the people and things we hold dear. What we can do is look life in the eye, see and speak truth, and choose accordingly.
We humans are capable of immense horror and great goodness. We can build a world based on an ethos of scarcity and fear, or abundance, goodness and beauty. We get to choose, each moment and each challenge, which of these two realities will be our guiding force. Yet, in the end, only a life-centered ethos, love and the best of our nature can mend our hearts, transform our life and take on the momentous task of creating a new, better world.
Nature shows us what we’ve forgotten. It teaches us that abundance, goodness and beauty are real and ever present. It reminds us that nothing is forever; from the depth of Winter, life always returns to and unfolds into the stunning plenitude of Summer. So too we can emerge from the long winter of soul of humanity, and a collective ethos of fear and scarcity, to return to a life-centered reality that can embrace and nourish us all.
Imagine a world infused with Nature’s life-centered reality: where scarcity is met with abundance, fear with truth, horror with goodness, pain with joy, and suffering with compassion, and where there is enough happiness, love, respect, nourishment, resources, beauty and power for everyone and everything.
Imagine that there’s a place and purpose in this world for every person and wild being, each beautiful, worthy and precious, and that we each bring our best gifts and qualities to the communal table of humanity to solve the problems we’ve created and build a better world together.
Then shift into this living state of abundance, goodness and beauty; stretch out your hands and send this vision outward, like a prayer, into the suffering hearts of our human world.
Bring these lessons and the life-centered ethos of the Summer Solstice into your life through: Summer Solstice: Thou Art Goddess Guided Journey. Now available at the Path of She Store. Use the Patheos reader coupon sol7152 for a 25% discount.
The Path of She is published on alternate Saturdays; follow it via RSS or e-mail! If you like Karen’s work, like her page on Facebook or maybe buy her book, Tale of the Lost Daughter, a fictional spiritual adventure into the life-changing world of magic and the sacred feminine.