John Lynch has been bringing outdoor leadership students to Kanab Creek Wilderness for over ten years. Each visit, however, offers the clear truth that the land is the real teacher. Kanab Creek, and presumably all wild places, have a knack for providing insight around the greater lessons of life. In this case, they are uniquely delivered to each individual through the voice of the earth as translated by the desert. The attached articles is a short reflection describing a day of communion and muse between a man and Kanab Creek: Lessons-from-Kandab
By Robin E. Gates
Abstract: Western culture has a history of union and subsequent separation from nature. This split between spirit and nature, psyche and soma, intellect and emotion, science, philosophy, and religion, manifests in our individual and collective consciousness creating crises that span the spectrum of human experience, from the psychological to the environmental. Since we have within our unconscious memories of our being in union with nature, it is a matter of recovering them through what Carl Jung called the individuation process; whereby, a person develops one’s unique individuality from that which has been imposed on him or her from the environment. An expansion of consciousness and recovery of the eco-unconscious is achieved by the confrontation with and integration of unconscious material culminating in coniunctio, or union of the opposites. Download the full article (pdf).
Friends from England were visiting us here on Vancouver Island. On a beautiful crisp, clear Autumn day we took them for a hike on the Holt Creek Trail by the Cowichan River; a great place to enjoy the Fall colours. It was very beautiful but it didn’t smell too great because of the rotting salmon carcasses along the river bank. We encountered one dead salmon on the trail some distance from the river. This was a bit of a mystery. The salmon was too big to have been carried by a bird and it had been bitten but not eaten. The mystery was probably solved a few minutes later when we came upon a very large bear sleeping on a log. He/she was apparently too full to finish the last fish and took a nap while digesting. We did not wake the bear, but photographed it through a zoom lens and then quietly continued along the trail, feeling very fortunate.
John is a volunteer environmental educator and community conservation activist living on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. He is a founding member of ICE. Visit www.naturecowichan.net to see what he does or Click Here for links to some of his articles about ecology and ecopsychology.