Returning from Six Days of Silence and Solitude in the Everglades

Robin Greenfield holding a paddle, sunny blue sky in the background.
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I have returned from six days of silence and solitude.

As I paddled in the last mile, I realized what I seek so deeply, so passionately, sometimes so desperately is aliveness.
I want to feel alive!
I want to be connected to life!
I want to be connected to what is alive in me and everything around me!

And through being vigorously alive and connected, I want to wake society up from our current path of destruction.

The way we live today is destroying Earth as we know it. Taking the lives of millions of our plant and animal relatives… taking the life right out of the lungs and veins of our Mother Earth.

I come out here to reconnect. To reconnect with Earth. To reconnect with myself. To connect so deeply that I can bring this connection back to humanity and show that another way is possible.

I felt the life out here. The sun beat down upon me. The tides exhausted me at times. The five days straight of strong wind challenged me to find peace among the aliveness of the ocean.
The biting insects drove me into my little tented refuge, and they got me in there, too. The three days of unexpected diarrhea and the difficulty to stay hydrated also challenged me.

I was a guest in these lands and I accepted each of these challenges as a gift. No doubt these gifts reconnected me with Earth and with myself.

Now I bring this connection back to you.

To reconnect with what is truly alive in you…
To reconnect with our plant and animal relatives…
To reconnect with our community, our global humanity…

To remember that we are all a part of all life on Earth. Not separate. Not better. Just part of it all.


The writing below is from April 3rd 2023, just before I paddled into the Everglades:

This smile is the joy I have knowing I will be alone on Earth for the next week.

Today I am paddling into the Everglades where I will spend a week in silence and solitude on some of the small mangrove islands. I will eat the simple dry foods I’ve brought and the abundance I harvest from the ocean. I will sleep. I will breathe. I will swim. I will paddle. I will live in gratitude. I will write.

It has been a year-and-a-half since my last solo deep immersion and it is so needed.

I return to Earth to be healed, to slow down, to find myself, to gain clarity and focus, to restore my joy and to ground myself as an Earth being. I believe Earth can provide me with all my basic needs. Returning to Earth is my way of practicing and deepening this belief and shaping me into the Earth Servant that I am dedicated to being.

There was a time when what I do today was quite normal for society. But today, I have met very few people who have ever even spent 24 hours completely alone. Today, many of the people I meet have never even shut off their phone for a full day.

I am here as a messenger to share with you that you, too, can return to Earth.

You don’t need to go off into the wilderness for a week. Here are some things you can do:

Notice the Earth’s gifts all around you, no matter where you are.
You can notice the fresh air you breathe, the sky above, the soil below, the plants (even if it’s just a few growing through the urban cracks) the song of the birds and the scurry of the creatures (even the rats, mice and pigeons can be our friends).

As you walk, notice Earth’s gifts. Feel gratitude for these gifts.

Shut off your phone and all devices an hour before bed until half hour after you wake up.

Go out for an hour or a couple hours without your phone or any electronic devices.

Learn some of the edible and medicinal plants that grow as “weeds” in your community.

Grow food.

Walk barefoot on Earth.

Hug yourself. Hug others. Love your body. We are “nature” just as much as any other being.

The Earth is alive all around us. We can return to Earth. You can return to Earth.

Return to Earth with me.


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