Remember how mankind used to think the world was flat, and that the sun revolved around the earth? We scoff at that thought now, but we still tend to think that the human race is superior to all other life forms on earth – including the earth itself. We call it “our planet,” as we gobble up all the resources, chop down the forests, slurp up the oil and litter everywhere we go. But how often do we, as a whole, stop to think that maybe there’s more to it than this, that the planet, as a life force many thousands of times older and greater than us, is a living being that’s more sentient, more unique, and more advanced, than we are? That thought kind of blows my mind, because it makes me feel a little powerless – but aren’t we all, to a degree? We build things up that nature can smack down in an instant in the form of an earthquake, a tornado, a volcanic eruption, or a tsunami. Who’s really in charge here?

I recently spent time in South Carolina, a part of the country I’ve never been to. I live in Los Angeles, and let me rant for a second: it’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I’m sick of it here. Housing prices are insane, there’s a general vibe of antagonistic energy, and where I live is super concrete and city-like – not much room for nature to thrive what with all the cars, dump trucks picking up our trash, and endless new construction. Yes, I need to move. I know that. It’s a big thing I’m working on right now.

So back to South Carolina. The history of this place is so old (for America), intense, and vivid. Everyone knows what went on in the Old Deep South, from the time of the earliest settlers, to the beginnings of farming, then plantations, the introduction and abolition of slavery, the Civil War, and so on. There’s a vibration of respect for the history that I could just feel in the air. I’m fascinated with the Old South, and I’m sure I’ve had a lifetime here. The architecture, and the ancient oak trees laden with Spanish moss, felt very familiar to me. And I can even guess which friends in this lifetime were with me back then.

I didn’t have much time to think about the trip before hand; we went for a family wedding, and I was excited about seeing everyone (it turned out to be one of the loveliest weddings I’ve ever been to). What I never expected to come face-to-face with, though, was the intense, highly charged, highly magnified earth energy in South Carolina. It was nothing short of magnificent. The whole place was alive with energy. The sky was the brightest blue, and the white, puffy clouds were incredibly 3-D. For a couple of days after the wedding, the wind brought dark, ominous clouds, which elicited thunder, lightening, and huge droplets of rain. Everything was green, and because we were along the coast, there were wide expanses of ocean (pirates landed here!), and then little inlets and mysterious marshlands. We heard stories of alligators lurking in the waters. A man was golfing on one of the private islands; he stuck his arm into a marshy pond to retrieve a golf ball, and an alligator bit it off. There were deer all over the place, and rabbits.

One evening I stood out on the deck of the house we were staying in, just to listen to the sounds of nature and to feel and breathe in the thick, humid air. Water gurgled in the marsh. The leaves on the trees rustled in the breeze. Locusts buzzed. Nature was alive all around me, and then some kind of insect bit my foot. Twice! I thought it was funny. The earth energy was so vibrant it was eating me.

That’s when I realized, we don’t run the earth. We’re staying here for a while, doing our thing, trying to evolve and whatnot, and the earth is graciously supporting our existence. We build things up, and in a moment, the earth can destroy them. We are not in control here: the earth is. I hope to soon move to a place that’s more in tune with the elements, so that I can connect with earth energy, and to maintain a respectful awareness of the system that’s supporting our very existence.

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    The older I get, the more I realize both the value and importance of being connecting, both physically and spiritually, with my surroundings.