I've been house sitting a lot recently. While at the home of one high-brow cat, I spent several days visiting various pet stores in search of a certain brand of cat litter that was odor-free and promised "superior clumping ability," which was what I wanted according to the empty container I carried on my quest. (For the uninitiated, "clumping" is a euphemistic reference to how the contents deposited by the cat in said litter box will interact with the litter, for easier disposal.)

I'm no stranger to synchronicity, yet it always amuses me greatly to see how Spirit uses "the subject at hand" for its teachings. So here I am, having successfully located a sister litter to the one the cat's owner prizes, spelunking gleefully in foreign bookshelves. (As a writer, the opportunity to read other people's books is one of the joys of house sitting.) I fasten on a book with the intriguing title, Deep Play, by poet and naturalist Diane Ackerman. I de-clump the cat litter, and settle down to read.

In Chapter Three, "Sacred Places," I am astonished by the phrase, "…people seem desperate to clump and bunch, swarming all over each other in towns while most of the land lies empty." Ackerman is describing her return to Phoenix after being succored by the Grand Canyon, contrasting the Canyon's ineffable vastness with the matrix of human habitation. Yet what sprang immediately to my mind was: cat litter.

Human beings have superior clumping capability. As Ackerman so astutely observes, we long for proximity to one another. Yet we bemoan the intrusiveness we thus create, eagerly jetting off to remote isles and mountain retreats to renew ourselves in nature's immense silence.

Perhaps we wouldn't need to "retreat" if we understood how to advance. Personal evolution isn't woven into the fabric of Western culture as it is among indigenous peoples; it's something we must open to on our own. Most of us, having lost touch with the numinous, fear our wilderness within. We cluster noisily with our own kind to stave off this beckoning hunger.

The needs of the stomach come before the trip to the litter box, however. Fast food bows (or meows) to the life force in a carrot or a pear; asphalt makes way for rock-strewn paths. Having clumped and bunched with the best of them, at some point we set out in search of deep nourishment: the sense of the sacred that is everywhere. We seek it in distant landscapes until we learn to recognize it inside ourselves.

There is a defining moment, a dawning recognition (literally, to know again) of "what you know before you know that you know." For me, it came when, on a descent to the truth of my being, I began throwing my arms around trees and sobbing from the depths of my soul. I'd never done anything like this before, but it felt like they were hugging me back.

When you can allow yourself to surrender to your own 'still, small voice' and behave in a similar manner (that is, following your inner guidance, even if you look like a fool) you begin your journey to wildness.

And then, whether you range across continents or remain in your own backyard (or hi-rise), you'll know that you're forever free of the litter box. When you carry the replenishment and the release inside you — and know that you do — clumping and bunching becomes optional.

After all, there are no litter boxes in the wild.
Copyright © 2001-2012 by Amara Rose. All rights reserved.

Author's Bio: 

As a "midwife for the soul," Amara offers life purpose coaching, talks, CDs, e-courses, and an inspirational monthly newsletter, What Shines. For more information, please visit http://www.liveyourlight.com or e-mail amara@liveyourlight.com.