We come from the dirt. And we return to it.
We are stardust. The multiverse is infinite. Some say this universe is around 13.7 billion years young, and the Earth 4.5 billion. They say the first microorganisms on Earth appeared some 3.5 billion years ago, genus Homo emerged 2 million years ago, and Homo sapiens 200,000 years ago.
Just 400 years ago, Cartesianism set root an idea that matter — and therefore nature — is purely mechanical, and that animals do not feel. The industrial revolution followed about 150 years later. Now, computers have burst onto the scene before many of our own eyes; fueling an ever more abstracted lifestyle. The soils and forests are dwindling and our ecology is imbalanced.
But we are not separate from nature. We come from the dirt. And we return to it. All life is an interdependent web of intelligence. The estimated 30 trillion human cells, and the 30 trillion more microbes, that make up our body have evolved in relationship with, and dependent upon their environments for eons. We have evolved with our hands and feet in the soil, enmeshed with the fungi, microbes, flora, and fauna. There is no place where our body ends and nature begins; they are inextricable. When we exploit the resources of this living planet, close ourselves inside hermetically sealed boxes, and stare into a digital world, we feel disconnected.
Ecotherapy brings us back into contact with our roots in the soil. Literally. And thereby directly bolsters immune and mental health. It challenges the worldviews which apparently separate us from the matrix of life we are truly inseparable from. It helps us develop the capacity to see, feel, and act in a new way. And it is simply good, clean fun. Except that it’s literally dirty.