We start by noticing we are not alone. We consider that we are living on a planet that is alive, that is teeming with beauty and life. Then, we allow our hearts to open to this life, we allow ourselves to be enchanted by the colors, shapes, and textures of the non-human beings we encounter. We allow ourselves to marvel at the wonder of what is around and under and above us. This is connecting with the natural world, with Gaia. It is an exquisite and enlivening practice.

Then once our hearts are open to the wonder, we begin to see ourselves in the natural world. We notice the times when we are delicate like the wildflowers or courageous and flowing like the wild ocean. We see that we can embody both the stillness of rock and the hot creation of lava. We start to see that just like moss and mountains, rivers and trees, we too are Gaia Beings.

Could there be more after we’ve noticed the natural world, opened our hearts to her, and seen her in ourselves? What if we considered that the natural world can also see us? How bold is it to allow ourselves to be seen by all of these beautiful beings we have allowed ourselves to see?

To allow ourselves to be seen by the trees and the birds and the blackberries is at first disorienting and vulnerable and full of awe. What if the trees look out in awe at the long beings that can move so freely? What if the grass revels in the massage of our footsteps and the wind giggles with delight as she meets our body in an open field? Like new lovers who can’t quite believe what they are feeling, can we dance with the natural world as equals? To admire and be admired as part of something special, together. To see and be seen. Reciprocity with the natural world might be the most sacred discovery I have made yet.