I set out for a walk up Runyon Canyon today. I was not feeling well though and quickly became faint and nauseous, so I decided to head into the trees and chill with nature for a while. I love Runyon, it’s an oasis in the city, just a couple of blocks from my apartment, and it always lifts my spirits to be there. The only problem comes in the form of poop. There is a small contingency of dog owners who do not pick up so I have to be alert and sometimes hold my breath. Today as I was walking up I noted two giant piles absolutely covered in flies. As I passed one pile about 20 juicy flies buzzed up in front of me. My first thought was “Eew gross, I’ve never seen so many flies.” But my second observation was that they were transforming this energy I call “crap” into something useful, “food”. A simple shift in my perspective and suddenly everything looked different.
I found a shady tree stump and parked myself. I closed my eyes and listened, I could hear birds singing and squawking, insects buzzing, bushes rustling as squirrels burst in and out, and somewhere around my log I could hear “munch, munch, munch,” though I never did find out who that was.
I noticed that every time the wind blew things dropped out of the trees, the earth was covered in dried twigs and dead leaves. When I looked up into the branches though all I saw was lush, green foliage. It was as though the trees were letting go of everything that no longer served them and making room for the new growth. Right there in the ground, pushing through the decaying matter was a green shoot, new life emerging out of the old.
I saw a gang? … a flock? …a gaggle? of quails. I’ve never seen quails there before. Along with them were hummingbirds, finches, sparrows, crows, bluebirds, red tailed hawks, a veritable abundance of feathered beauty.
I saw lizards, moths and butterflies, a wasp landed on my knee, a dragonfly swooshed across my path. None of these critters appeared to be struggling or stressing. There were simply in the flow, living their lives, enjoying the offerings of nature.
For the past five days I’ve been stressing because I was $200 short on my rent. My sanity had disappeared. My spiritual practice was helping somewhat but still the fear was choking me. In the midst of all of this abundance I felt my fear draining away. I took a breath. The breath came and went. I didn’t have to force it, or wonder where the next breath was coming from; it was just there, natural, abundant. I reminded myself, “This is my nature. I am one with nature, nature is abundant, and therefore I am abundant. I have so much to be grateful for, so many reasons to give thanks. I remember who I am now.”
Gratefully I said thank you to Mother Nature for reminding me of my essence and I sauntered home. The money will come, it always does. I am grateful.