Yesterday as I skied through the forest during a snowstorm I marveled at the deep stillness and silence. The only sound was the gentle falling of intricate flakes on my jacket. These tiny crystals, each unique but so small and seemingly insignificant, somehow transformed the world with each passing hour.
I am often surprised at the incredible contrast between life in the forest and life in human society. We as people live in an artificial world of incessant noise and activity where we rush from place to place and meeting to meeting. In between we are pummeled by news of one crisis after another. It is a stressful and deeply unhealthy place that we've created for ourselves. It is a place where the best of humanity is rarely seen.
Yet here in the wild on a snowy afternoon I am reminded that there is a different way to live, that life not only survives but thrives at a slower more contemplative pace. This is true not only for the trees, bees and wild creatures but for us as well. It is possible to live quietly, peacefully and deeply, in touch with our own inner world and in turn with the world around us. To live in this way doesn't require us to leave human society, though from time to time it can help us re-calibrate, but rather to bring the lessons of the wild into our lives. We need to embrace the patience of the pine, the stillness of an alpine lake on a summer morning, the gentle approach of the falling snow when bringing change, the contentment of an aspen grove, the curiosity of a gray jay. Our human society's approach to life is killing us. We need to make a change if we are to regain health and wholeness. Our wild world presents us with a better way, not perfect, but much closer to what we need to recover and live again.