We trekked into the forest today, my son, my daughter and I, and I was amazed at how our outing provided so much of what my heart was yearning for: First, to be with my two most favorite people. Second, to spend time in the green cathedral. Third, to move slowly, with the wind, breathing. Fourth, to open my eyes to what Spirit is seeing. And finally, to feel free in space and time, soaking in the present moment, grateful, So grateful.
I hope you’re faring well now that we have slowed down a little and allowed you a chance to recoup your strength a bit. It must be hard with so many of us human children running all over you pretty constantly with no thought to how your plant children and animal children and mineral children are affected by us screaming human toddlers over here. I’m going to bet this is your favorite Name day in years, now that the dolphins have returned and the turtles have returned and the air is cleaner and countless other places on your beautiful body have had a chance to rest and heal. Mother, thank you. Thank you for your support all these years. Thank you for this life, this breath, this nourishment, all of these opportunities to move and be and express the fullness of who we are. Mother, I pray that when this strange time your human children are going through right now is over, we’ll remember what really matters, and take you into account when we make our decisions. But I know that you love us no matter what, and you’ll do what you have to do to teach us what we need to learn, as all good mothers do.
Today’s prompt over at NaPoWriMo invites us to go on a walk and gather some things to create a “walking archive.” This afternoon I went on a walk around my neighborhood and left the sidewalk to duck into the woods. I was looking for morels. I found one within minutes, but it was past its prime, so I left it there, hopefully to shed its spores and give life to some new morels someday. I kept walking and came across a nice piece of quartz just lying on the forest floor. Moments later, a beautiful small feather tinged with orange caught my eye. And on the way back home, back on the sidewalk, I felt moved to pick two violets. One white, One purple.
My heart full of melancholy, I stepped out into the world only to see two little girls, neighbors, also stepping outside. They were wearing masks. I felt sad at the reminder of what life has become. I walked into the woods looking for morels but was really seeking solace in the arms of the Great Mother. I picked my way along the forest, down a slope, across a stream, winding my way among bunches of skunk cabbage, every once in a while pausing to sit on an old mossy log or hug a tree. A gleaming chunk of quartz caught my eye. Earth. And then a feather. Air. And then the sound of the stream. Water. And then the gift of the sunlight warming my weary soul. Fire. On my way back home, two little violets spoke their sweet, secret language to me. Grace. My heart is still full of melancholy as I feel the sorrow of the whole world, but the Great Mother still holds me, always holds me, eternally holds me. Love.
Today’s prompt over at NaPoWriMo invites us to write a poem about life’s simple pleasures. There are many. How could I choose just one? Or even a hundred? It’s almost midnight so I’ll contain myself and mention a few of my simple pleasures.
The sound of bubbles colliding with the sides of my glass as I sip my sparkling water Stepping outside and feeling fresh, cool wind on my face The sun piercing through the clouds after days of rain The scent of a fresh pot of green tea Feeling my fingertips growing calloused from playing guitar The sound of my children’s laughter The taste of a really crisp apple Sitting on my cushion in the morning and looking inwards Watching blossoms fluttering from the trees like snowflakes Lying down to sleep after an exhausting day Taking a nap in the middle of the day Watching ink spill out of my pen and onto the page The feel of yarn slipping through my fingers as I knit another row The sound of my sewing machine. The smell of steam rising off fabric while I’m ironing Hitting several green lights in a row Stepping into the hot shower when I feel cold Love welling up as I tuck my kids in at night. Walking Breathing Smiling Just. Being. Alive.
I loved today. The kids and I had a sweet hike in the woods. So much sunshine and wind! It’s also day 2 of NaPoWriMo. Today’s prompt got me because it invited us to write a poem about a place, including details to help portray a mood. I always want to write about natural places, so here we go…
Loch Raven Reservoir Hike, Take 1
We hadn’t been there in a while and I was excited Until we walked up to the signs saying “NO TRESPASSING’. another sign said “CORONAVIRUS. This park closed to public, effective immediately.” One of my favorite trails, now forbidden. 🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃
Loch Raven Reservoir Hike, Take 2
We drove further down the road. I followed my nose, crossed a bridge, parked the car just beyond. There were no signs, just an inviting trail, going straight up. I thought about the miracles that spring up the possibilities that open up when the routine is shaken up. 🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃
A Little Later
A blustery wind made the still leafless trees creak and groan as their naked tops whipped around. The water sparkled green. Blue sky. White clouds. Tiny pink flowers on the forest floor. Moss. And more frequently than I want to say, bits of trash, Signs that humans have been this way. 🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃
First a young man then twenty minutes later an older man passed us on the trail, smiling, nodding, warmly keeping their distance. 🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃
My house is not spacious like the forest but there is no wind chilling my bones or signs telling me I am unwelcome. Thank God for Home. 🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃
Growing up in the woods my fondest childhood memories are of the times I spent outside. The feel of the forest in early spring when the trees are just beginning to bud out. Sitting in an ocean of yellow buttercups. Bullfrog croaking, hazy summer afternoon, Patter of rain on countless leaves. Somehow on the way to becoming an adult I learned that laundry, grocery shopping and email were more important than making time for myself to get outside. I have deprived myself of this potent medicine oh, how I have been deprived… Yet sometimes when I get over myself and I take time to get outside, my soul is pretty much instantly restored. I get to bask in this incredible feeling of clarity, insight and harmony. When I am outside I receive the beauty, the space, the inspiration to move, dance, BE with what is. In my dreaming I merge with the Universal Intelligence. In that place I am sending blessings of love in all directions.
She walked alone in the woods today, the wind following her with its whispers. She climbed up the steep slope, finding spots of bare earth to plant her feet in a slippery sea of fallen leaves. She found her favorite stone outcropping, sat and closed her eyes. Breathing slowly and deeply she received a vision of great warmth and delight, a future that waits for her willingness to let the past go. The cold began to seep in and she carefully picked her way here and there along the downward slope, superimposing the future vision upon the present matrix, thinking thoughts of integration.
This evening at dusk I hiked down to the reservoir, admired the beauty of the water, the sky, the play of light on everything, the way the breeze was ruffling my hair… I put in my ear buds, played a medicine song* on my phone and sang along. I stepped barefoot onto some rock slabs that sloped into the water, stretched my arms to the sky. Then I began to dance. I felt so wonderful and free. Then I noticed across the way, on the other side of the water, maybe fifty yards away someone was sitting there on an outcropping of rock with a dog, watching me. A young man, he was too far away for me to tell how old…maybe a teenager? And guess what? I KEPT DANCING. I thought to myself, Well, he gets to be entertained, then. And I kept dancing, and doing yoga, because it felt good. I just kept singing and dancing, and he just kept watching me from across the water, with his dog. I danced unselfconsciously. I danced for the wind and the water and for my heart that was yearning open in the setting sun. I danced for the woman who grieved for two years the loss of her husband’s love and who is now free to love herself better than any man ever has. Then the breeze picked up as twilight descended. I collected my things, slipped my shoes back on, ready to hike back up to my car. I turned around to see the young man across the water beginning his climb up the rocks with his dog. I put my hands together at my heart and bowed to him. I silently wished that he would find his heart’s true joy. I’ll never know who my audience of one was… I’m just glad that I kept dancing. ✨ ✨ ✨ *I listened to “Healing Angels,” “Amataye,” and “Ayahuasca Takimuki” from the Sacred Valley Tribe collection of medicine songs.