“The world is magical. Magic is simply what’s off our human scale…at the moment.”

Vera Nazarian

Nature is magic. She provides us with a vast variety of landscapes and opportunities in which to immerse and restore ourselves. Her remedies are limitless. A daily dose of the outdoors saturates our senses and encourages emotions like joy, gratitude, wonder, and awe. It clarifies our thoughts, centers our awareness, and calms our anxiety. Nature’s countless concoctions connect us wholly to ourselves and our own magic.  We ARE nature.

Recently, I spent time in the Sonoran Desert outside of Tucson, Arizona. Living along the East Coast for the last few decades, I was delighted to discover the distinctively different desert flora.  The spectacular species of succulents and copious collections of cacti caught my curious eye. However, none of these significant species of the Sonoran Desert so swiftly swayed my sight as the spectacular Saguaro cactus. These towering, tree-like, time-worn, columnar cacti are the sacred symbol of the Sonoran Desert. The creation stories of the ancestral and present native inhabitants of this land, the Hohokam and Tohono O’odham, are saturated with the sanctity of the Saguaro’s origin and the significance of this species to their subsistence. The Saguaro fruit is faithfully harvested by the Tohono O’odham people and feeds their livelihood.  Each Saguaro is an honorable relative, an ancestor that has passed on, returning to watch over and sustain them physically and spiritually. I, too, felt the presence of the Saguaro. By day, their ancient arms reaching out lovingly to me, welcoming me into their arid, acuminous landscape.  I stood in their prominent presence, human-like in their habitat, hearing their whispers of wisdom. As the light drained from the sky at sunset, their shapes and silhouetted shadows were spellbinding! They danced joyfully! Their acicular appendages extended eternally towards the sky, or encircled a contiguous cactus like the cradle of an ancestral mother or the amorous embrace of a beloved. The Saguaro are people too! Even in death, the woody skeletons of the Saguaro are stunningly similar in appearance to other species, including humans.

As humans, our relationships with other humans are ideally cultivated with purpose and intention. Yet sometimes this may not be so. We sense ourselves still feeling lonely, disconnected, and insignificant. We should not limit ourselves to the human-human experience. We need to explore and expand our interactions to the non-human entities with which we share our creation, our source of life, and our planet. Nature, and life in general, is creative and transformative. Every being has a purpose and a part. In consciously cultivating our communion with the Nature collective, we honor harmony, balance, peace, and beauty as we immerse ourselves as an integral part of the system that sustains us.  Standing fully connected in the bigger picture of Life we discover our planetary place, purpose, and power – our magic.

Published by Sarah Croscutt

I am the owner and facilitator of From the Outside, LLC, a program that connects people to the natural world, themselves, and each other through plant and nature-based activity, promoting self-awareness, healing, wholeness, and community. In addition, I am an environmental writer with essays included in several anthologies published by Plants and Poetry Journal and Wild Roof Journal (online). I would love to connect here or on Instagram @sarahc_outside.

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