The world, it seems, is going to hell. Politics are imploding, hatred is on the rise, everywhere you look a new tragedy. The news, no longer once a day but now a gargantuan 24-7 monstrosity, consumes our attention and feeds on it, feeding us in return a diet of fear and panic. Rather than spurred to action against the forces of destruction, we are paralysed by the sensory overload of it all.
But this is not the world. Well, not all of it anyway.
There is another world.
I don’t mean this in any supernatural sense. But the fact that this other world is not out there in some faery realm, afterlife of alternate plane, does not make it less magical. Far from it.
The other world is here and now. Look out of your window. Can you see a tree? Birds flying by? The sky? A tuft of dandelion growing out of a crack in the car park pavement?
The other world, the other-than-human world, is here. You just need to look for it.
So much of our lives are lived in the sphere of the human, and of course they are, we are human after all. But the human world is not the only one, and that is worth remembering.
Druidry is, among other things, a path of connection to nature (and yes, I know about the problematic use of the word “nature” to mean non-human), and the best way to connect with nature is to get out there and do it.
Only by getting outside can we learn what nature is, how it feels, how it smells, how it behaves. Only by doing this can we learn to love it, and only by loving it can we protect it.
The benefits of getting outside are numerous, both for our physical and mental health (and dare I say for our spiritual health too), but many people don’t do it. We are the most indoor-living generation there has ever been, and it’s getting worse.
People have good reasons for not getting outside: time, money, ability, location, fear.
Emily Graslie of the amazing YouTube channel The Brain Scoop (which I highly recommend; some of the dissection videos are gory, but the majority of them are just awesome science communication from a host whose enthusiasm and love of nature is infectious) has a great video addressing these concerns and encouraging everyone, whoever and wherever they are, to get outside and fall in love with the real, natural world.
So get outside, and find another world!