Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Celebrating the Magnificent Web of Life

Hippopotamus

I rarely listen to music, but one piece I love is I Giorni by the Italian pianist Ludovico Einaudi.  The story and song behind the composition makes it all the more hauntingly beautiful.

“One evening some time ago, at Bamako in Mali, I was driving through the town with the musician Toumani Diabate.  It was hot.  We had the radio on and at one point they broadcast a song.  A gentle song which was slightly melancholy.

Whilst Toumani was driving he told me that this was one of the oldest and best loved songs of the Mande repertoire, which dates back to the twelfth century, called Mali Sajio.  The song tells the story of a hippopotamus, who lived at the crossing of two rivers and was much loved by the inhabitants of a nearby village, who looked after him.  But one day the hippopotamus was killed by a hunter.

The song is sung as a lament for the death of a king or a great person or for the loss of a loved one.” – from the CD insert.

The first time I read this description, I burst into tears stunned by the loss of this great animal.  At the same time, the story evoked the beauty of right-relationship to the web of life – our interconnection with everything, everywhere.  Then, remembering our twenty-first century widespread loss of connection with nature, a bittersweet quality prevailed.

Hawaiin OwlEverything comes from nature:  the air we breath, the water we drink, the food we eat.  Even our ability to create synthetics depends upon nature.  Unless we remember and honor our interconnectedness to all of life, we will not survive as a species.

I feel a longing to live in synchronicity with nature and in recognition of the magnificent web of life.

The place where I live in Hawai’i is called “home of the owl (pueo).”  I’ve been fortunate to site the pueo’s white and brown streaked body and broad wingspan three times now, during the daytime when they are sometimes active unlike other owls.  I hope this is a sign that I am moving in the right direction.

The pueo is on decline on Oahu where massive urban development make it difficult for the bird to find the open green spaces it requires.  This makes me wonder if my dream is only a fantasy as we collectively edge out yet another species.

Do you feel connected or disconnected from the web of life?  How do you connect with the web of life?

I’m so glad you’re here! If you liked this article, please consider subscribing for free updates by email. With love, Sandra

Image 1 / Image 2: Forest and Kim Starr

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10 Comments

  1. jean sampson

    I think trees are where I connect to the web of life. I grieve the loss of each tree that dies or is taken down. There is a spirit or energy that trees have that does not go away when we lose them. My old sycamore died after much effort and expense to save it, and I felt as if I had lost a family member. However, after many years, we planted a new maple tree and I have asked the old spirit tree to please look after it, to be its guardian angel. I am always talking to trees and mostly telling them how sorry I am that someone has butchered them (happens so often here!) and also thanking them for just being!

  2. How sweet! You seem to have a naturally connection to the trees, which are so essential in our interconnected chain of life. I’m so happy you shared about this. Many blessings to your new maple tree!

  3. Huh – Hawaii means home of the owl – I did not know what. I love owls, you are very fortunate to have seen them but I guess it’s because you spend time outside and are looking for them. Good idea.

    It is so sad to hear they are on the decline like so many of our species. I get very sad here because koalas are always dying and being run over. I truly fear they will become extinct before I die. An entire species, it’s really tragic.

    I like to spend a lot of time outside near trees and birds and beaches. Nothing makes me feel happier and more lucky to be alive.

    • Hi Annabel,

      It’s lovely to hear from you. Oops, I wasn’t clear. The actual area where I live in Hawai’i is called “home of the owl,” not all of Hawai’i. Sorry about that!

      You live in a beautiful place too! You seem to have a good way of staying connected to the web of life! I’m glad it makes you feel happy and lucky to be alive. I’m sorry to hear about the koala bears. Let’s hope they will be saved.

  4. I’m not much of an outdoor person, except on occasion, but I have a number of lovely terrariums in my apartment that I enjoy looking after and decorating. They are kind of like secret gardens – each a world unto itself – and I like to imagine shrinking down to live inside them in a tiny little house. In which I would probably have more tiny terrariums. I’m funny that way. 🙂

    Oh, and boy do they smell good when you give them a sniff. That’s my favorite part.

    • I find this fascinating, Jennifer! You live in many different worlds and know there’s more to it all than the material plane. I’m glad you enjoy your secret gardens.

  5. I am blessed to live in rural Alberta in Canada. When I go for my walk in the morning I often see foxes and deer. If I am lucky I will spot a red tailed hawk or eagle riding the thermals. A few days back I stopped to let two fawns (still with their spots) pass ahead of me and catch up with their mama. We are surrounded by natural beauty. It is easy to stay connected with nature here. I do feel particularly connected when I work in in the garden. There is nothing like nurturing plants to help you realize how interconnected everything is.

    • How wonderful, Sharon. It sounds like a very special place to live. I used to see Hawai’in hawks where I lived previous to this. Now, I’m in owl territory. Thanks for sharing these images, they are so inspiring.

      It’s so true about garden! Plants need the right circumstances to sprout and grow.

  6. I didn’t know about the Hawaii was called the name of the owl Sandra…I truly do learn something new every day.

    For me, trees and songbirds always touch my soul. I can spend more time than I care to admit just sitting watching the wind stir the leaves and listening to the birds.

    I used to be able to listen to the skylarks that weren’t even visible to the eye because they fly so high…but no such bird here in Florida. Your post reminds me of how much I miss that sweet song.

    • Hi Elle,

      It sounds like you have a special ear from the music of nature. I’m happy you have this enjoyment! By the way, Hawai’i isn’t named for the owl, just the area where I live in Hawai’i.

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