There was a time when we knew ourselves as nature. We understood ourselves as connected to the earth, the sky, the birds, the trees. We understood, we respected the sacredness of our part in the magnificence of the life we found ourselves in.

I feel that ancient connection. There is something in me that knows. A wordless knowing. Not mine alone. I am ancient, and modern.

To survive I must perform. Follow the rules. Fit in. Get that job. As if, that were the only way I can know my worth, my acceptability. A superimposed identity of who I am, so that I can make my way. It has little concern for the truth. Just following the markers laid down by the external environment that I find myself in. A path to optimise my chances of survival.

So many judgements. Like boundaries and signposts that end up boxing me in within the maze, scared to move. Whatever I do, someone won’t approve. I will stick to well-worn and familiar paths. So that I can belong.

I hear the call of the wildness within. A longing. A beckoning. I hear it best in the spaces in between. When it is quiet. The activity quelled. The momentum slowed. When I’ve stepped off the treadmill. It sounds, feels, familiar. Like something that has always been there. Something that I’ve always known. Timeless.

It comes from within. It does not speak the same language as without. Internal, external, I am, at the intersection. On a precipice, the collision point of inside and outside. Both true. I cannot choose one over the other. I must expand, allow enough space for them both. No longer following well-worn paths. Open to it all. Knowing that it is the need to divide, to make other, to keep my world small, that causes me to suffer.

But what to follow now? If I abandon the external dictates, what do I look to as a guide? Like learning a new language, an ancient tongue, long forgotten. And yet, familiar, recognisable. I feel it in my body. It’s visceral. Those well-worn paths in my head that have kept me safe, protected me for so long, amp up, on cue, ready to play their part. Thank you. You have served me well.

Gradually, I recognise the signposts. A softening of contraction. Tightness loosened. A sweetness in my heart. Tears in my eyes. These sacred messengers always there to guide the way. No longer do I ignore them. The lost language of the heart, long drowned out by the importance of the rational. The business of survival. Civilization.

The ancient knowing has always been there. That feeling in my bones, my gut, a very quiet wordless voice in the background that just knows. The learned, the conditioned, dominates. All that I’ve been taught, told. It rises up, scrambling for solutions, piecing itself together to form a reasonable response. It does its best.

When I was young I trusted that older wisdom. Like a rudder within me, it would direct me. I did not question it. I trusted it. Then I got educated. To make my way in the world. I listened to the outside. Of course I did. I needed to know the rules. Money and power and things, the path to freedom, the outside tells me.

When I stand on the earth, feel the sky, the breeze, the trees, hear the birds, the sound of the deeper knowing becomes louder, I can tune to its frequency, the message clearer.

Between two worlds. The modern world at times is hard to navigate, so many unexpected twists and turns. Sometimes the modern guide book is reliable. Sometimes it fails. It’s nice to have a fallback. I open my arms and rest back, like floating on water. Held, afloat, surrendered, carried.

As we moved away from nature towards civilization – atrocities. Dominance and control. Dismissal of the natural, the wild. Justification to destroy, punish, ignore. So far away from the bedrock. So far away from our source, our truth.

As our climate changes, as our systems and structures can be seen to fail, to be unable to meet all of our needs. We begin to recognise what we’ve abandoned, how we’ve lost our way. The reconciliation must begin.

I come from both worlds. Modern me, needing to belong, desperate. Ancient me, knowing I belong, secure. I can draw from the deep spring within me, all the way to the source. And, I can respect and appreciate our modern achievements; technology, science, medicine, industry. The incredible project we’ve been progressing for millennia.

The conflict isn’t resolved by choosing one over the other; the ancient knowing or the modern guide book. It is in the spaces between, infused within and yet outside both. A wordless, timeless space, that requires no division, that does not need to choose, that does not have to fight. That is big and broad and expansive enough to hold it all.

Thank you first nations people for holding the sacred connection to the earth, sky, trees and waters. Indeed to all living things. Despite all attempts to eradicate it, you held tight. You were resilient. Not only are you the custodian of these lands, you are the custodians of this sacred connection between all of us, between all of life. You have held it for us all.

As we reconcile the ancient with the modern, tracing back our lineage; oppressed or oppressor, neither to be forgotten. Recognising the privilege, disadvantage or perhaps an intermingling of both, that we’ve inherited. The unique reconciliation journeys that lie ahead for each of us as a result. Whichever line we’ve sprung from, knowing that we’re all part of the same playground. Loosening the grip on a rigid identity that prevents our unity. Unity that allows our differences, our uniqueness. Not any of our stories wrong, superior, inferior.

Deep beneath the differences, we find our sameness, our connectedness, a place where there is no difference; timeless, ever-present. Not a place on any map. May we make the journey together from here side by side. Keeping one foot always in the ever flowing current of our enduring connection.