The one thing I’ve noticed missing lately when I sit in quiet meditation is the sound of birds chirping outside. There aren’t as many hummingbirds either. In the spring, finches serenade me with their lovely songs most of the day, especially in the morning. The place where I live has lots of trees, and birds come to build their nests.
I think the finches fly somewhere else in the summer. If I remember correctly this happened last year. They raise their young and when the baby birds are old enough to fly, the family relocates.
We are also in year four of a severe drought. We are only allowed to water our lawns two times a week now. The grass is dying. Several trees are too but I think they were in bad shape before the drought. I’m guessing most of the trees and plants around here are not native. People want what they want and that includes growing plants and trees that do not belong here, then they complain when the plants die. Maybe that’s why the birds go somewhere else. I’m guessing when the plants die, there aren’t as many bugs to eat. There certainly isn’t much water running in the gutters. I now have a small bowl of water sitting outside my front door for any thirsty sentient being who walks or flies by.
Doesn’t it make more sense to work with Mother Nature and grow plants that do well in the climate they were intended? We seem to want to force a lot of things to adapt to our will. For instance, lets take our society. There are tacit rules requiring us to behave like the pack. Our kids are forced to all learn the same way in school, even though we are unique individuals. I don’t do well on multiple choice tests, but I excel on written exams. I have trouble learning how to do something from a book but I understand and catch on faster if someone shows me. I am very visual.
How many of us judge someone as weird who looks or acts different from what we believe is the norm? Now that I am a woman of a certain age, I’m expected to dress accordingly. Just look at the older women fashion magazines. They are full of airbrushed models wearing unbelievably boring outfits. There was even a TV show for a while that taught women to dress “appropriately.” These women were chosen to be on the show by their friends and families who didn’t like how these women dressed. I hated that show! At the end, all of these women who, in my opinion were expressing their unique selves, ended up looking like Stepford Wives. In other words, they turned out boring! That’s how society seems to want us all to be. To conform. To be boring!
The greatest lesson I learned from going through cancer is to live life on my terms. I decide how I act and how to dress. I stopped caring what other people think of me. I am luckier than trees or plants. I can move around and grow in soil that is conducive to me. The soil I am referring to is my inner being. My true self. I cannot grow in soil that someone else thinks I should grow in. My number one goal (ok it’s a toss-up) is to be happy and healthy. They go together. If I’m happy, I’m healthy. If I’m healthy, I’m happy. A big part of that is to be true to myself, inside and out, no matter what society wants me to be.