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Voices / Essay

More insistent belonging

‘This is a time of some distress but nature is more alive for me’

Asher Pucciarello, a psychotherapist, serves as co-chair of the board of trustees of the Hilltop Montessari School in Brattleboro.

Westminster West

We live as if we inhabit the Earth but forget that we, as part of the Earth, are inhabited as well.

We have stood in the face of climate science virtually unmoved but then finally, slowly, awaken when we learn of a virus that, from our point of view, intrudes.

I am a humane sort of nihilist, taking no joy in people being ill and wishing no one dead. Everyday, I wish for life and love and music.

But I see humanity as no more meaningful than anything else that emerges from nature and expect our way of being to have an end just like all large creatures’ ways.

* * *

My small family has been slowed down, and we now take time each day to walk the woods and fields around us. This is a time of some distress but nature is more alive for me.

With the deeper understanding that I am open to all manner of life, my body a landscape for small beasts to roam at will, I have a deeper sense, am feeling my feet, my whole body, differently as I wander around, touch the ground.

While I am anxious some, sad, shocked, watching where things will go, I am also more deeply rooted.

These are the days of more insistent belonging.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #554 (Wednesday, March 25, 2020). This story appeared on page B4.

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