A few feet from where my pen turns out these words, the creek on our land makes a bend. I feel nestled in the crook of its welcoming arm. For me, this constitutes stepping onto the nutrient path: a way that is based on, and only effective with, frequent live contact with the Earth in all Her turbulence and wealth.

Even with the heightened fear of tornadoes in my area, and all the weird weather from climate change worldwide, it’s not She who terrorizes or makes us insecure. This Mother we call Nature is provoked by the moguls and rulers sick with greed and suspicion of “the Other.”

We collude when we consume greedily or without care for toxic contents—granted, going green or organic unfortunately costs more $$ in a time when most folks are strapped, budget-wise.  Sometimes it’s too much for those of us struggling to reclaim our minds and behavior into wholeness to be called upon to think globally too. But to do so, without guilt or judgment, might end up being another fruitful step on the nutrient path.

I see a connection between public policy that views the Earth as dead, inert, utilitarian—and public policy that views the so-called mentally ill as a most feared Other. One is not respected as really alive; nutballs are not considered fully human. Keep both subdued: the planet through development and mining of “resources,” the mentally ill with drugs it takes years to recover from.

I have come to see that “control freaks” are at root very fearful people. And how terrifying to policy-makers in control must appear the “mentally ill”– minds full of visions or too much suffering, rarely fixed by the Pharma Nazis’ chemical restraints. An epidemic of depression and anxiety on a planet that pushes back when humans push for more coal-fired plants, more fast cars, bigger and better stuff. It’s getting ever harder to sort out the fearful from the feared.

Reprieve is vital: I feel lucky for the opportunity to sit by this creek. Here the concept of Others is ludicrous. There is no separation. I’m loved and accepted, where all manner of beings plant-like, water-fed and soil-blessed live. I experience a oneness, and reflect that the real insanity manifests as actions that hurt our Mother while feeding addictions to profit and power.

So “nutrients” can mean more than supplements and the gifts from an appropriate diet. Speaking one’s truth is a great nutrient; so is support from one’s fellows. I get a lot out of perching on a rock mid-stream and watching the dance of water-striders across the surface. I can feel nurtured by a significant dream, such as the other night, pulling healing stones from my pocket in the company of a dear friend. Glimpsing my mom’s real personality now that she’s no longer operating in my dad’s shadow also heals me. There are many feedings and waterings of the soul throughout our days.

Still, I’ve discovered the need for certain regimens to keep sane without meds or the high priests of psychiatry. Although all levels of being intersect, next I’ll share a list of what heals my mind, body and spirit. Of course this will NOT be a prescription nor presented as advice. But do try different things; see what works for you. Until then, stay brave and creative on your own nourishing pathways…

Sue Westwind