I’ve been thinking about what it really means to be connected and rooted to the Earth, to feel like we belong here.

We spend our lives rushing from place to place, eating food from all around the globe, our heads bent over our computers and cell phones, it’s no wonder we feel disconnected from the very ground that supports us, sustains us, that essentially keeps us alive. We receive energy from mother Earth through our Root chakra, but if this is blocked, or we don’t find ways of connecting to the Earth, then this energy does not flow freely and as a result we feel ungrounded and unsupported by Life.

I experienced disruptions in this energy flow when I uprooted myself from my home country, South Africa, about six years ago, and essentially transplanted myself to a new and foreign land. I didn’t realize at the time just how long it would take for these new roots to grow. During this time I feel like I’ve been in a container, waiting for the right environment in which to transplant myself. There has still been enormous growth, so much so that some of the roots have extended through the holes in the sides and out the bottom of my container, and yet there is something that stops me from planting myself.

I am still figuring out the reasons for this. I ask myself, do I belong here? Do I trust life to support me? Sometimes I feel I’m one of those alien invaders, a stranger in a strange land, not belonging anywhere anymore. If I’m honest there is pain in this realisation. And, like any dark enclosed space, a kind of suffocation. And yet I sit here, in this container, and I wait. I find myself breathing deep into the core of the earth and touching the golden sap like energy, which feels like home to me, and is as connected to African soil as I once was. I faintly feel the connection that I’m longing for, a flicker of lights like those seen from outer space and which signal LIFE.

Some nights I wake up and feel that all my energy is up near my head ready to leave my body. I sit on the edge of my bed with awareness in my feet, bringing myself back down again. I remind myself that there is a purpose to being here. At some point I chose it. And I list everything and everyone I am grateful for until peace washes over me, and I sink deeper into myself again.

I’ve come to know this dark place. I used to give in to every impulse to run from it. Sitting in the dark and facing your pain requires something of you. You’re not sure whether you have that thing to give until you give it. You’re not sure whether you can always make that payment. Because it is a payment. It requires you to give of yourself in a way you’ve never given before. It requires you to be present with your own pain, to not abandon yourself like you’ve done so in the past.

The gift you receive in return is a very slow remembering, a quiet breathing space where hope dwells, which punctures the holes in your container for more of your roots to grow outwards. It whispers to you of your dreams, the ones you had as a child when you were running through wild grasses and picking jasmine with the hot sun on your back. It whispers to you of places that have yet to be discovered, of new lands and salty shores with vast expanses of fertile soil telling you that this is where you belong.