Imagine If Nature Treated Itself The Way We Treat Our Bodies

Imagine if nature treated itself the way we treat our bodies.

Trees would try to be twigs. They would refuse nourishment from the ground. They would call their leaves ugly, repeatedly, until they withered and died.

Flower would dye their petals. They would plea to animals to urinate upon them so that their true scent would never, ever be known. They would beg lightning to sever stems and carve new shapes in their leaves. They would entreat humans to collect the remains, squeeze them into vases three times too small, and make them into what they had been born being.

The earth would pluck blades of grass from its body one by one…by one…by one…by one…by one…all the while claiming it didn’t hurt…until none were left.

Sands upon different shores would claim superiority over other sands based upon the color of their grains. Upon the same shore, they would compete with each other for the affections and approval of other grains of sand. Upon all shores, sands would call their softness weakness and remake themselves into walls of brick and pillars of stone.

Mountains would be apologetic of and embarrassed by their shapes. They would denounce their slopes and ridges and peaks as flaws. They would chip away at themselves until there was nothing left but rubble.

Snowflakes would compare themselves to each other. They would be ashamed of all that made them unique. They would destroy all that made them unique.

Water would care only about the shape of its drops and find no value in what it did. It would criticize itself for being wet.

Clouds would rebuke themselves for filling up with rain.

Oceans would not crash.

Thunder would not boom.

The wind would not howl.

The wind would not blow.

The air would try to suffocate its own self.

And the moon, stars, and sun would believe whatever lies they had been told, and seek out lamps and candles to give themselves what they thought they wholly lacked: light.

We would stand tall in the body entrusted to our spirits. We would consume with rapture the sustenance offered to us, knowing we are deserving of every gift we are given. We would call ourselves all of the many synonyms for love that exist.

We would refuse anything that harmed our bodies in any way, understanding that what hurts our flesh, also hurts our head and our heart. We wouldn’t have to change to be beautiful. We wouldn’t have to be told we are beautiful. We would simply be beautiful, and know that we are.

We would let every hair upon us know the grace of the wind.

We would be honest with ourselves and each other.

We would recognize our siblings when they stood before us.

We would require no affirmation of our dignity, desirability, and worth.

We would always offer tenderness to ourselves and each other, and live as an example of what gentleness can do.

We would be awe. We would find perfection whenever we saw our reflection. We would call out to each other: flawless, just as you are.

We would be who we are. We would esteem our differences. We would live every second of our lives, from birth to death, revealed.

We would value our words and deeds as much as the heart that bore them, the mind that thought them, the lips that said them, the body that did them.

We would claim our power.

We would accept the changes in our skin, hair, blood, muscles, and bones, and the cycles of our chemistry and cells, with serenity, understanding that no alteration or phase is better than the other: smoothness and wrinkles, slow and fast, helping and being helped, sorrow and joy, calm and impassioned: all are good.

We would raise our voices and speak, not fearing we were too unsettling or loud or mournful or brazen; not fearing at all.

We would breathe so deeply that our bellies extended to their full capacity, giving creation the space it needs to create and life the room it needs to live. Then we would bear our own selves into being.

We would be the light and love we seek.

Author/illustrator, ESOL teacher, travel addict. “There are three things you must do in life: Be kind. Be kind. Be kind.”

Author/illustrator, ESOL teacher, travel addict. “There are three things you must do in life: Be kind. Be kind. Be kind.”