The Nourishing Power of Nature: A Child’s Poem
by Holden Matias Tampilic, age 12
blossom for summer
morning or evening
how will I shower
if I consume dirt
stagger away by a
only to tell songs
This is a poem written by my son after four days of being immersed in nature. I’ve seen my son struggle with emotional instability these past few months due to disconnection from his friends and family during the pandemic.
He’s had to process sadness and anger due to witnessing and learning about racism, oppression, and the colonization of indigenous communities through the collective resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement.
I can’t distinguish if my son understands the complexity, relevance, and wisdom this poem shares in connection to this time of (r)evolution. He’s shown interest in learning about the world he exists in from the lens of systemic racism and oppression. Still, he’s also demonstrated a refusal to engage because of the hurt and overwhelm he feels when trying to understand the actual constructs of the world.
As his silence grew, I wasn’t sure what was landing with him and to what depth until he created this poem.
Nature as Wisdom
This poem is a true testament to how nature can be our most prominent teacher and healer. Watching my son learn how to pause, process, and take in the nourishment of nature as a way to accept his emotions, gain clarity, and be a channel of creation through the universal source, has been beautiful.
Nature has been the biggest source of wisdom and guidance for my meditation and is the guiding source for how I share in practice. Understanding the extent of reforms needed for our children to live in socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable spaces can feel hopeless and disheartening. Nature may function as a beautiful reminder of the resilience, deep interconnectivity, and harmony that can exist on this earth.
My son’s poem offers a window into self-reflection for all of us. Consider:
In what ways do you “wash” away or distract yourself from feeling emotions and connection?
What things do you “consume” that can be considered “dirt,” including ways that you are complicit or ignorant?
If “wild winds” were described as your inner voice/intuition, nature speaking, ancestors, God’s calling, or the compassionate heart, when and what was the last thing the “wild winds” said?
Write out a time and/or your story of a time nature called you in.
Racial trauma is difficult to process regardless of your ethnic or cultural background. Try this RoundGlass class, Love Your Race by trauma expert Valerie Vimalasara Mason-John to begin your journey of deep, intergenerational healing.
Header photo: Aziz Acharki/Unsplash