I thought of wisdom. The wisdom held in the land and the language of it. A language not spoken in words but in patterns and relations, movements and gestures. To learn the language of birds is not to find syntax and grammar in the fluctuations of their tone. It is to become aware of happenings and connections in the wider field that prompt their behaviour and the sounds they make. Expanding wider, the language of everything is found in the patterns of movement and relationship of the land, the air, the waters, the creatures and the plants. Can we learn this wide, wise, unworded saying?

I thought of thinking. Nature is wise but it does not think. The body is wise but it does not think. Thinking is a niche peculiarity of the recent brain. Everything gets by quite fine without it. The body knows the land and the land knows the body, without thinking. Intelligence comes from thinking, but wisdom and deep knowing are independent of thinking.

I thought of Gregory Bateson quoting Pascal saying, “The heart has reasons that the reason knows not of.” The heart makes sense of things in a way that the thinking mind has no access to. Pascal’s statement needs a little explanation. The heart is the body and everything it does outside of thought. It is feelings, sensations, impressions, intuitions and the like. And ‘the reason’ is the rational thinking part of us.

So there are reasons of the heart, the body and the land. And there is the logic and reasoning and intelligence of the rational mind, useful yes, but not as wise as the reasons of the heart … and of the land.