Of Here

It’s difficult to hear someone you admire say something that is, or seems, contradictory to all of the things they’ve said before. An author and spiritual mentor wrote this week that, because we feel pain in this world, perhaps it means that our spirits are not of this place, but of elsewhere.

This, from a teacher of Earth Medicine, whose writings and teachings are of the medicine of plants and animals, the magic of the soil, the air, of nature.

It’s not so much that I completely disagree with the sentiment, that perhaps our essence is not originally of here. But, the idea flies in the face of all that I’ve admired and learned from this teacher.

It feels like she’s changed her tune. Which we’re all free to do, at any time or place, but perhaps an introduction to a new idea, a preamble to a complete change of heart, a warning that everything has changed, would have been a gentler way for the student to learn.

The concept that my spirit, my soul, my essence, whatever I choose to name it this week, is not of here was a very difficult and damaging, and long-held, belief for most of my life. I clung to my Christian faith, in its many forms, ferociously, desperately, and forced it to bleed me dry and empty in its not-of-here-ness. It was a cop-out on my part. If I was not of here, I could simply rely on the “fact” that, some day, there would be an escape. And sometimes, I wanted to make that escape come sooner than it should.

I’ve had several suicidal times in my life, and still think of death in rare moments. However, it has been Earth Medicine, my faith in nature, that has brought me the farthest from the precipice, and has kept me away from swinging out over the edge. I consider the doe. What does she do? She survives. Her absolute purpose is to survive. Why? It doesn’t matter. It’s just what she does.

She is of the earth. She is earth. She survives.

And that is the belief, the knowledge, that has changed me. When I feel desperation slipping into the cracks of my fragile peace, I look to such things as the doe, the rabbit, King Prawn. I look to the sun and the moon, to the stars, the darkness, the breeze on my face. I pick up a pretty, round stone, pluck a sprig of wild sage, a cornflower, hold a twig of just the right size.

And these pieces of the mundane, these bits of silence and birdsong, these things that circle around, season through season, remind me that it is the simple things, the basic and earthly things, that are my sustenance and my refuge. A pink wildflower reminds me of my beautiful daughter. A leaf, grown so large it seems unreal, reminds me of my wildly ambitious son. A buck in velvet tells me tales of my loving husband, my best and most faithful friend.

The moon is my mother, the sun my father, and the world in green and sea blue is my realm, a place of every possibility, every emotion, every wish and desire and dream. I sit on my patio chair, watch the hummingbirds drink scarlet juice, see the ants busily and endlessly about their work, watch the clouds float by through a curtain of aspen leaves. And I am home. This earth is my home. It’s where I come from, and to whence I’ll go.

Yes, I am fully of here. It appears I am my own teacher now. And that is a story of evolution.

 

A Beckoning

Sometimes we’re not sure of the direction in which we’re headed. And so we study, and we grow, and we learn, and we search wholeheartedly for that one thing that moves us into knowing, into truly living in the essence of who we are. This is a journey of years, of lifetimes. And it is one that all of us share, one that we who name ourselves seekers willingly acknowledge.
We dive in. Even when we are afraid.
Starting With Rabbit has become my little window looking out onto the world, my treetop perch, where I can quietly state my piece, pass my gifts (such as they be), share my passions, and create from the inside out the person that the Great Mystery beckons and calls me to be.
I am made of the sweet smell of sage at the start of a burst of rain, of bird feathers and fallen branches, of the infinite shades of green in early Spring. I possess the brightness of a high noon sun over a sheet of diamond-encrusted, deep-winter snow, and the velvety darkness of the February New Moon.
I am a coyote calling, looking back as I run, going wherever it is that wildness lives. I honor the Earth, and consider this ground my sanctuary.
Run with me.

 

Colors

As a child, I was instilled with the belief that I was brilliant, by a misguided but well meaning father.

I wasn’t brilliant, only a hard- working average, but didn’t realize it until many years into adulthood. It’s led to many disappointments, and the wondering why things didn’t work out brilliantly.

The talents I did in fact have as a child weren’t nurtured. So I lost them, and am going through the process of becoming reacquainted.

Parenting oneself isn’t easy, and knowing what a disappointment you are to others is a fragile and on-the- brink place to reside.

Painting like an eight year old is frustrating, but freeing, too. I lie back into a box of colors, and try to remember who I am.

King Prawn

Last night
I floated on seawater,
And a glowing King Prawn
Darned my womb
with silken thread,
And clicking fingers of burnt sienna.

Sol Invictus in an exoskeleton, with full Mother Moon
looking on.
I’d have been afraid,
Had Mother not been there.

Threads, he said.
You are made of threads,
Each one a break or a bond.
It’s braids you must build,
To keep it all together.

White silken braids,
Made of love and longing
and the bleeding silver
in your hair.
(Which you must not hide,
he added.)

Red silk in warm water
Is not the path,
Even when the beckoning
Is strongest, stronger than
Even the pull of the tide.

Seek the threads,
Save the threads,
And remember what tapestries
The Mother creates
From gossamer.

Never let the warm water
Bring you under.

So said the Invincible Sun
With his King Prawn eyes
And tiny feet that tickled my belly.

I believe him.

Dust and Midsummer

Restlessness. I keep moving in and out of this sphere of restless energy, this space of what-is-the-best-thing. Nothing new. Most of my uncomfortable bits are reruns, repeated patterns that I can’t quite seem to shed.

Boredom. But I never used to get bored, ever. It wasn’t a word in my vocabulary. In my kids’ vocab, certainly, but not mine. My answer to their whine of I’m bored? Well, I’ve got something for you to clean. I’ll be using that one on myself now, since I can’t seem to find any other cure for this flatness I feel. After all, I can’t watch Netflix forever.

Uncertainty. What to do? Stay or go? This or that? Now or later?

Midsummer. The growing season is halfway over. Days are getting shorter. Panic has set in, and that tells me that it’s time to rest, time to regroup, time to nurture and tend what’s growing, what’s nearly ready.

It’s not the time to leave it all behind. Not the time to start over. Spring is past. Time to just dig in, trust these roots, and wait a bit for the harvest. It shouldn’t be long.

It’s the heat that does me in. Heat and dust and waiting.

I always forget, by the time the waiting comes round, that the waiting is the hardest thing.