Nature is many things, but if she is anything, she is a creature of subtlety, nuance, and hidden language. This is one of the things that made a Paganism, Witchcraft and other such practices so attractive to me. There is a conversation happening all around us, and we can remember we are a part of that talk.
Of course, there is an overt demonstrated aspect to Nature, but it’s like light on the water, shimmering, and yet many hundreds of feet that are the depths unseen. Part of it is evident, so much more is not and must be sensed and explored. Elements unseen which must be noticed with other senses.
This morning as I walk around in Big Bear Lake, California and encounter other folks walking their dogs, I’m listening to the birds, and the wind through the peaks and trees. I’m watching the dappled light through the sage.
I am reminded of the subtle voice of Nature.
Communication is both parts, spoken, word, and the rich language of the body, movement, emotions beneath the words, and other sensual context that create language. How we communicate is not just saying what we mean, and expecting everything to be at face value. That’s rather controlling and presumptive in a lot of ways, because not everyone communicates the same, but it also exiles the subtext, which is the base of the context to communicating, and relating.
In recent conversation with someone they expressed finding this confusing, with a lack of understanding of tone, the tilt of the head of the shift in the body. “People should just say what they mean,” does not mean mouth, per se, because that’s not the way we communicate, and that’s not the way we perceive the world as Nature beings. Sure we want to be able to express clearly in important conversations, in relationships as well as public speaking, work and writing, but it still remains that the subtle context makes up , at least for me, the bulk of it.
While there are many academic papers on people with theories on conversations about how we communicate, about dis/abilities in communication, and how language and communication have changed over time, I am certain in my understanding that there is more to it than just plain speak.
I appreciate plain speak, but there’s more to life than this.
This sage here (photographed) tells me its power, life energy, and wisdom not because someone has detailed the important components (one should know) of this little chemical factory, but because through my hands and eyes and nose at the secret sense of my soul, I can feel the invisible conversation in my body and understand her joy at the coolness of the light, and the rabbit that nests nearby.
I don’t think these are special powers, but surely they are or can be developed in Witchcraft, Paganism, and other Nature based systems; these are built in components to our sensory Nature. These senses may be dulled or muted because culture does not encourage the subtle language beyond the acceptable overt culture, but they are there. Maybe they are just sleeping, eating for the right circumstances to wake them up.
This month the reading on Patreon was a lot about seeing past the projection, recognizing what we offer is what we are receiving, and navigating these times. Sacrificing to create agreement, and weaving threads of connection. We have lost a startling lack of nuance, and a frightening lack of sensitivity, so it is no mystery to me that we’re having such problems communicating. When we reduce everything to plain speak or force words to lose subtext (or criminalize the subtext or context), we lose relationship. When we get rid of the need for understanding nuance, we lose the space necessary to feel with our other senses, and allow for the whole body to be as it is, see what it means, and relate to others.
We lose truth and relationship when we cut away the subtle.
The sage had no care or concern for my presence. I was another Nature being in the woods. I respected its space, watched the rabbit dash away from cover, and let the light and wind hit my skin. Just sitting in the connection with Trixie and the space. It was simple and marvelous. Here we are in potential for wonder in what we call life, bound in the gravity and velocity of time, colored by light, textured with Earth Senses.
Just for today, make time to feel. Make space to feel. Allow for silence. Quiet your mind and sense the world. Center here it is appropriate, and start the day again.
Scott K Smith