Another incredibly powerful experience occurred when I was making lunch one afternoon in a drive-in picnic area just outside of Lake Louise. As I was unpacking my car, sunshine pouring down, I noticed that all the other visitors were sitting in their cars eating lunch, windows rolled up. Odd.
What I quickly came to realize was that there were bees swarming everywhere. Having stepped on a hive in a raspberry patch when I was a kid, I wasn’t comfortable with the situation at all. I was determined however to enjoy the day, the sunshine, and the Bow River.
Within minutes of chopping onions and carrots for my stir-fry, I had hundreds of bees all around; landing on my arms, my legs, in my face, on my cutting board. It was actually pretty ridiculous.
Good entertainment for the people sitting in their cars watching, no doubt, a mixture of Cirque du Soleil and a Japanese teppanyaki chef with knives flying here and there!
What occurred to me, oddly enough, and as a result of the experience on Mt. Lefroy just weeks previous was that if I was able to bring the same level of focus and attention to this experience, and accept it as purely and uniquely mine, that no matter what, the bees wouldn’t eat me.
They were equally a part of this experience as the cutting block, the onions, the sunshine, the river and me.
What happened next was nothing short of an epiphany (in my books). At the moment I made a conscious decision to 100% accept the bees, they instantly disappeared. Not 99%, nor 110%, exactly 100%.
And they were gone!
After enjoying my bee free lunch, and watching several other people drive up, get out and nervously jump back in their cars, I packed up my cooking utensils into the Subaru. I was about to step into my car to leave, and wouldn’t you know it, one lone bee flew over, landed on my nose, stared me down and …bit me.
No I am kidding, it flew off to see another day and teach another human an important lesson.
The culmination of those experiences that summer taught me that nature really can teach us everything we need to know, at least what I consider the really important things that connect us to this planet and teach us how to live within its natural laws.
And for myself, I think it is really important to protect this vital source of knowledge and wisdom – not to mention nature provides everything we physically need to survive.
We spend years and years pounding numbers, histories, equations and theories into our heads and we somehow believe that this is what makes us human and will allow us to continue our existence on this beautiful blue planet.
Perhaps this is true, but I believe that natural world provides us with lessons that are equally, if not more important. This wisdom is old, abundant, free, true, sacred and mostly ignored in the face of our fast paced lives.
Maybe this is how I would summarize my epiphany. I am sure if we reached out and spoke to people around us about this, as GreenHeroes is so wonderfully doing, that we would find similar stories and lessons. And I look forward to learning from them all.