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Summer Flourish: Terrain Theory

Just as I scoop it

it rings in my teeth:

spring water

("74: Summer 1684-87" from Basho's Haiku)

Where and how do I flourish?

Under what conditions do I thrive?

How and why does that change?

These questions are on my mind in early July.

These questions reflect the startle to new alertness in the snow-melt river dip, the study of the north-facing moss, the slog of the city sweltering heat, and the heliotropic leanings of many of us living things.

These questions have to do with terrain.

On a recent trip to the incredible Crater Lake in Oregon, it was a perfect time to notice where and how life was thriving in different parts of the dramatic terrain. We can easily observe and understand that the moss thrives only on one side of the pine, but can we observe our own internal terrain? Is it possible to cultivate an internal terrain that is resilient, adaptable and wise in its response to new information? Herbalists and Homeopaths think a lot about terrain as it relates to an individual's navigation of health and illness. We understand that illness manifests differently depending on an individual's particular landscape: is the person depleted from long-term stress, in mourning, compromised by medicine that suppresses symptoms or by exposure to toxins, disconnected with their creative expression, etc? This mid-summer I invite you to open even more to your curiosity about the internal and external conditions that support or hinder your flourishing. I invite you to be a creature in nature and observe how our fellow living things experience their flourish and interact with and give shape to their terrain.

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