Sixteen years ago, I left the desert and never looked back. Since then, I’ve gained an appreciation for the austerity of that landscape that has been largely brought about by time, distance, and perspective. The desert is purifying, a place stripped bare, pared down to the essentials. Its energy too has a way of peeling back layers, dissolving everything that isn’t needed, whatever doesn’t serve, all excess and unnecessary energy. In this process, the desert poses several questions: Do you need it, is it helpful, is it weighing you down, is it holding you back, why are you still carrying it, what lessons have you learned from it, what wisdom is yours to keep?
Nature is deeply healing, without question. Lush, fragrant forests rich with moss and deep green chambers flow through the heart and give balm to the spirit. In the ocean, a yoga teacher once told me, every crashing wave holds all the sounds the human body needs to hear, sounds that clear us and heal us through sonic frequencies. The mountains bring clarity and perspective; they challenge heart and mind to ascend, to be more, to rise above, to consider the importance of all we hold dear, to sort the wheat from the chaff. Every landscape holds a different energy. Cities, states, countries, have their own energy, and certainly different landscapes do, too.
These different landscapes are healing spaces that interact with us on another level, one we don’t consciously sense. It’s atoms talking to atoms, energy flowing into energy. For those reasons, we may be drawn to certain areas in nature without understanding exactly why. It’s important that we trust our natural instinct, our desire to be in those places, and to follow our heart there. They have unique wisdom to impart to us, a particular sort of healing. To commune with nature is to connect to a greater aspect of the divine, of which we are all a part.