Full Body Listening: Reflections on Life, Healing and the Ecozoic

Erosion in Our Lives

Tuesday July 26, 2011

On the woodsy downhill trail to my favorite swimming spot, I overheard a query from a father to his young daughter, “do you know about erosion?” As they passed I could see the concentration on her face, as she carefully picked the path for her feet among the exposed, tangled tree roots, yet she was curious.

Identifying myself with those bare roots, something clicked, an “aha” moment: yielding a cascading wave of new insight.

Changes in our inner ecology that take us to our bare roots happen as we are exposed to losses of our beloved ones, to chronic illness or injury, to long-term job loss, or to a slow, steady decline of physical or mental abilities into old age.

Maybe it’s my age that I’m noticing these things in myself and in friends and family, but it seems so many of us have entered a new era when our familiar surroundings have uncomfortably shifted. Even our country as a whole feels like its experiencing distinct erosion in the trust that we will be alright given all our economic and environmental challenges.

With instant media access we are all acutely aware when a tree suddenly crashes into a bedroom, or a natural or man-made disaster shakes a community. Fear of terrorism haunts us openly or just below the surface of our awareness. Each change has the potential to wash away the landscape of the ground that sustains us.

But looking to nature for inspiration, erosion isn’t only about loss, it’s also integral to creation . . . the mountain we love, the depths of the Grand Canyon, the contours of our rivers, the great deltas, so many natural and beautiful resources happen in relationship to a wearing away of all that comes loose in the wind, water, and temperatures of the elements.

For us, it’s not only loss, but also change by way of new births or new careers, even new insights that act as catalysts to give us opportunities for the essence of our souls to come into clear light.

Friendships and partnerships can either sustain or wash away in the stress of living- taking us all the way to the bedrock of our psyches, where lies the potential to discover the discriminating awareness that only love matters.

I am grateful to those roots on the trail and to the little girl and her father who gave me an “aha moment” to remember that erosion is not just a damaging force, but is also a gift of nature for changing one form to another.


  1. whoa Joanna… that was perfect…


    Cindy · 3778 days ago · #

  2. Joanna,
    Aah, yes! So well said.
    Thank you for yet another example of life’s unity and discovering…re-membering.

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