To be awake to the miracle of being in nature— that is enough, for now

The stack of books by my bed reflect my dual Gemini nature. There is a copy of There are No Accidents: Synchronicity and the Stories of Our Lives, by Robert H. Hopcke, a Jungian psychotherapist who explores all the unexplainable events and curious coincidences that happen in the course of our lives. And, on the opposite end of the spectrum, there sits Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Times, by Michael Shermer, PH.D., the founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, the director of the Skeptics Society (, and a contributing editor of Scientific American.

Living here in the Ojai Valley, a hotbed of every belief under the sun, my inquiring, incredulous mind likes investigating both views—the rational and irrational. Back in 1957, when my family was still in Holland and in the process of emigrating to America, my dad told my mom he had a dream about orange orchards. Sometime after this dream, he received a telegram saying that we were going to a place in California called Ojai. My dad still remembers how when our sponsor drove us to our house in the east end, he recognized the orange groves he had seen in his dream.

If you look around, you’ll see that there is no end to the things that people believe in. At around age fourteen I began to question the dogma of the church I was raised in. And now I question the popular belief that there are no victims, that everything that happens is a “soul choice”— for the greater evolution and understanding of the soul. My rational mind cannot fathom how the eight-year-old boy who was blown up in the bomb blast in Boston was making a soul choice —and all the other people blown up elsewhere on the planet that same day.

When I consider the enormity of the suffering and atrocities that have occurred over the centuries, both in the human and animal kingdom, and the magnitude of what is going on in our era, I ask myself, “If it’s true that we’ve all lived many lifetimes, and if we learn from experience, why aren’t we more enlightened by now?”

For me, at this point in life, at the end of nine seven-year cycles (63 years) on the planet, I don’t know anything. And the more I embrace this feeling of not-knowing, the more open I feel to the great mystery that is life.

Tonight, when I walked the river bottom with my pack of dogs, and I saw the fuzzy black caterpillars crawling on the dry dirt path . . . when I saw the shiny black “stink” bugs moving along . . . and when I saw the white and brown flecked birds swooping bravely in front of us, trying to lure us away from their nests. . . and when my eyes caught the incredible ever-changing light that is the gift after sunset as the days grow longer . . . and when I looked up and saw the coming of the soon-to-be full moon, I said to myself, “This is enough.”

To be awake to the miracle of being in nature— that is enough, for now.







“It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one’s life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than ‘try to be a little kinder’.” ––Aldous Huxley

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2 Responses to “To be awake to the miracle of being in nature— that is enough, for now”

  1. Debbie Golding Says:

    Read your blog first time and was struck by your writing as I am going through much of the same thought process. I, too, ‘don’t know anything.’ But it feels honest to admit that to the universe as opposed to living what others tell you to believe but it never really feels right. Thank you for sharing.


  2. Lorette Says:

    I love reading your blog. I too am going through similar stuff.
    This is my first time to follow a blog. Thanks for sharing your stories.


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