the world is falling apart because you forgot how to talk to trees

I wonder what it means when you say you are “not a nature person.”

Mike Pompeo is not a nature person. He thinks the melting Arctic advances economic opportunity: “Steady reductions in sea ice are opening new passageways and new opportunities for trade,” he says.

What a good thing, he implies. What a good thing, that species are dying — let’s look for the good. (where are all my yoga people with your positivity? it’s the same).

Mike Pompeo is afraid.

But acknowledging his fear would require him to face way too much about himself. So he will bypass those pesky thoughts poking him beneath the surface, and he will talk about economic growth, even while his body tells him he is lying.

I am not really concerned with Mike Pompeo, though. I am more concerned with you.

Yes, you.

You are going about your life feeling like climate change is too much to think about, because you cannot fix it.

You are right. It is probably too late.

The people who can fix climate change are the people who have money and make decisions.

Jeff Bezos, for example. Jeff Bezos could have an impact, but he won’t, because somehow he finds it more important that we expand into outer space.

We can pressure those in charge all we want—and we should, so at least at the end we can say we did something.

But the climate will not change, now, from you eating less meat or using less water or driving an electric car. You and me? We’re free.

I’m wondering, instead—

if in the meantime—

it is possible to have you feel it anyway.

What do you do, when you go into nature?

Is it a trip you make, into something outside of yourself? Is it a thing you go to look at?

There was once a time when pieces of nature were just as important as humans.

Trees are beings. If you stare at a tree while you’re in your head, you will not notice it. You will just see the tree, and maybe take an Instagram photo, and then move along.

But if you sit with the tree, and you reach out with your heart (and this requires you to be able to feel your heart, which sometimes is the most difficult step), you can begin to feel its presence.

Trees can share things this way. Trees have an intelligent, complex network with one another. Trees know things. They will share them with you, but you have to sit with them and open up.

This seems woo-y, maybe. But it’s also urgent, so maybe you can put that to the side for a moment.

Indigenous people still know this. Except we stole their land, and pretend that their ways of doing things are less progressive. You probably feel it, don’t you? You feel that the connotation of the word “indigenous” is “primitive.”

Mountains are beings. Rocks are beings. Animals are beings (you accept this more, right? because their being-ness has been scientifically proven by white humans).

We see what we look for. That’s confirmation bias. Our narrative of the world is harming us.

We eat plants and animals. They make up our bodies. Our bodies are created out of their bodies. Nature — us included — is an entire interconnected system of sustainability. One part is not more important than another.

You might have known this when you were little, when you talked about fairies and played outside, unless the adults in your life stole that away.

You can sit with a flower and have compassion for it

I feel inspired by Greta Thunburg saying we can fix it, if we act now. She still has youth. I feel caught in between the energy of youth and the adaptability of adults.

Adult society is quick to make me feel like the most important things in my life are my pain, my flaws, and my financial stability.

What if power did not come from money, but instead came from personal sovereignty?

What if the most powerful people were not those who were rich and in charge…

…but instead were those who could feel their bodies and survive with nature?

That is where we’re headed. It’s not enough, to speak out and be loud. We have to take the next steps.

We have to speak to nature again.

You might want to adapt to it now, instead of waiting til the end, or failing.

Also by Demetra Nyx: “how to live when the world is dying” (a book of poems, out now)