During the course of August month took time to recover from spinal surgery, resting near a pond that is connected to a river which opens to the sea. It is a healthy estuary and vibrant ecosystem. The bird life is rich, fish are abundant; insects dominate the space between sea and sky in the form of large scarab beetles, spiders, dragon flies and midges. There are not many humans living here, but those who do seem to understand the fragile balance and respect the boundaries of nature.
The most extraordinary aspect of being present in this location was taking the time to observe how the water’s tides impact the feeding pattern and presence of animal life; all of which are governed by the moon. Twice a month, the tides give way to a clearing out of the pond that exposes the pond and river’s bed, a mix of sand and mud; the perfect ground for oysters and mussels, eels and sand-burrowing fish. At this time of the month, the egrets and herons take over the pond and it is a feeding frenzy. The entire flock relocates temporarily to the treetops high above the pond where they chatter together in the most extraordinary way.
For the rest of the month, the tide on the river is in constant flux ebbing and flowing with the ocean, but the pond itself stays rather full. The coots, cormorants, shags and kingfishers take advantage of this because they are diving birds, and feed on a slightly different mix of sea life. Meanwhile, the stalking fisher-birds give way and are much more submissive during this time, solitarily tip-toeing around the water’s edge.
Watching the moon wax and wane with the water’s syn-chronic movements has meant that as I have become more observant of the water outside, my own water expenditure has changed. Over the course of the month I barely had to wash myself or my clothes since the air, sea and sand kept everything naturally pretty clean. I inherently felt a desire to respect the cycle of the moon along with the other animals and my natural rhythm changed to mirror this.
As I go back to city living after this month, I am more aware of how much water I was spending on a daily basis without realising it-washing clothes before they were really dirty, running the dishwasher before it was full, drinking only half a glass of water and pouring the rest out- small things that add up over time. In a city like London where it rains often, I never worried too much about water as a resource and guess I took it for granted. While water seems abundant, the truth is, that clean water is not.
Sometimes living in a big city means we forget that our small actions matter. I am so grateful to have lived with the Jivamukti focus of the month swirling around in the rivers of my mind while I was living alongside a real river, in nature. It reminded me, again, how important each action we take is; that we are a part of the ecosystem where we live and are always connected to a much bigger web of life.
Most of the time, the little things do matter. They matter the most.