What is alive?

Kyle Meck on Unspash

Kyle Meck on Unspash

Yesterday I took a long walk in nature. Notice I say in nature. Everything around me was part of ‘nature’, the earth and the trees, birds, the barking of a dog, the clouds in the sky and the sky itself. All of that was nature. Then there was me, in nature!

Am I not part of nature, like the birds?
What is nature?

Another question has been on my mind.
What is alive?

I am definitely alive. The animals, the insects? Yes of course. The trees and the mushrooms? Yep. The soft earth made of decaying leaves and bugs, er, yeah maybe? The rocks? The air?
Is the planet alive?

We can google the answer. We’ll find scientific answers, though the scientists can’t agree on what is and isn’t alive. We might find poetic answers, and all kinds of philosophical answers.

But what’s more interesting is to ask myself, ‘what’s it like to hold this view?’
That the ocean is alive, the air is alive, that rocks are living things?

And what happens if I take it a step further and think of the chair that I’m sitting on as alive?
Does that increase my sense of being supported, held, a sense of gratitude even? 

My coffee cup is alive.  

The cup wants to be lifted and used,
not broken but carried
carefully to the next. The cup
knows there’s a state for you
beyond this, one that comes with 
more vast awareness. The cup 
looks still, but acts in secret to help.
Sometimes you pour cup to cup:
nothing happens. Pour instead into
your deep ocean self without calculation.
— Rumi

And what is the most alive moment? Rumi tells us his answer to that - 

The most living moment comes when
those who love each other meet each

other’s eyes and in what flows
between them then.
— Rumi

What would life be like if you saw everything as alive and yourself self as part of the living natural world?