Mountain Musings

Dreamtime in December

Special to The CambrianDecember 11, 2013 

To weather the years well, we need to pause now and again from plowing ahead blindly in the chutes that usually guide us.

MICHELE OKSEN

In these Santa Lucia Mountains, the backcountry of Cambria, Mother Nature rules.

She commands authority every day — especially during winter and spring, which are the seasons most likely to bring wind and rain (we hope and pray).

Bring on the rain, Mother! Branches and rocks may fall, the roads may become temporarily impassable, but storms compel us to decelerate, maybe even stay home, and that is not a bad thing.

As do the flora and fauna, this is the time of year it seems appropriate to conserve energy. With so few daylight hours as well as colder overnight temperatures, it makes sense to do as nature does and slow down. Rest. Consume minimal nourishment. Sleep.

Soon enough it will be time to awaken and sow our seeds again. But, for now, it’s dreamtime. The more in tune with nature’s rhythms we are, the more this comes naturally — that is, if we weren’t conditioned otherwise.

Contrary to plant and animal life, humans tend to overrule nature’s influential conditions and signals. We claim superiority over nature as we push aside or plow through the signs while we scramble in search of just the right gifts. We pull rank and hustle from one festive gathering to another. We demand authority over the natural world as we cram as much activity into these short days as we can.

Commotion and crowds abound. We elbow our way through shoppers and manufactured products. We eat, drink, and party more than we probably should because we have programmed ourselves to comply with social and commercial demands, often to our own detriment.

Invitations to celebrate the season that are regenerative are those as close as the easy chair by the fire and the comforter on the bed. It’s OK to relax and nap. It’s good to go to slumberland for some dreamtime.

And it’s not because we’re “getting old” (as my cousin said). It’s because we are some of the most fortunate folks on the planet. We have the ocean, the grasslands, the woodlands and the wildlife all around us.

We’re here, in part, for the beauty that feeds our souls so take time to enjoy nature. Notice the clouds, hear the birds and the wind in the trees, smell the sea and the pine-scented air.

When we harmonize with nature we have balance in our lives. The more cooperative we are with nature the more we bring out our own best nature.

Michele Oksen lives in Cambria’s mountain community in the Santa Lucia range. Email her at overtheridge@sbcglobal.net.

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