Trees and Patience

As trees, we must practice patience. We begin humbly, as a tiny fragile looking seed finding a home in the soil where conditions for life and future growth exist- moisture, light air soil, warmth… the sense of home and belonging.

Silver Maple seeds

Here our first roots unroll toward earths’ magnetic pull. Our precious seed leaves burst out and open, stretching to the light. This is our home for life, this patch of soil and sun.

We are settled here. We are content and patient in the place chance has chosen for us. We live lives of endurance, growing slowly year by year adding height and girth, our bark expanding and thickening.

Hackberry bark

We practice patience as our new green branches turn woody in months gaining in strength and size over the years. We stand tall according to our nature, we soak in light, pull in nutrients and moisture from the soil, feeding ourselves, providing homes for birds and insects, wildlife, tiny mammals, mosses, lichen. We do this for decade upon decade.

For generations, for lifetimes we thrive and survive.

You might consider us to be miracles! From fragile seedlings to magnificent mature trees, we have a strong will to live and endure, to take up the space we need, to soak in our share of sunshine and pull in the sustenance we need from the Earth.

We patiently endure droughts, torrential rains, lightening, storms, extreme cold and wilting heat. Year after year we patiently adapt to the conditions of our environment. Sometimes these conditions cause stress and then we benefit from your care concern and attention.

Trees and storm clouds

We are the calm green backdrop to your lives, providers of cooling shade, beautifying your neighborhoods and landscapes, holding the soil, clearing the air, sheltering your farms towns and and cities, greening your cemeteries, ranging over mountains and ringing lakes.

We lovingly watch your children grow from infants to adults, we witness with affection the growth and development of your grandchildren and great grandchildren.

We can show you what patience is.

Balance in the Web of Life

Can you widen your perspective for a moment? Imagine rising up above our Earth like a soaring bird and viewing the beauty of our land from above…

…the woodlands, streams and rivers, the grazing deer, flocks of birds flying below, fields of green, shady and pleasant neighborhoods, the gardens and parks, lakes and ponds, farms and ranches, the quiet cemeteries, the playing fields…

…Vast oceans and seas, waves breaking on beaches and rocks, mountain peaks and deserts… clouds of butterflies migrating…

Flying bird, summer landscape

From this birds eye perspective you may begin to discern the magnificence and complexity of the web of life on this planet. Can you feel the peace and calm that seem to be generated in some areas?

Do you feel a kinship, a deep connection with all that you see?

But dear ones, as you soar above the Earth you may also see the devastation created by human alterations of our ecosystems, over-development and pollution. You may see some dying and diseased landscapes.

You may sense the anger and suffering inequitable policies have engendered. You might feel the widespread fear of disease for those with no safety net. You may feel the grief of those who have lost loved ones in the pandemic.

The web of life weakens when those with too much power believe the accumulation of massive wealth is the only thing that matters. When this grasping for wealth is valued over the equitable balance and distribution of resources, when health care is doled out for profit and those who cannot pay are left behind, the health and well being of all life on this planet suffer.

When kindness empathy and mutual benefit are seen as weak, when living together in harmony is scoffed at, when co-existing in peace doesn’t manufacture enough money to fill the bottomless pit of greed, the web of life weakens.

Do not allow the precious and complex beauty of our world to become damaged beyond repair under the weight of such stupidity greed and negligence.

Choose leaders who seek to assuage suffering, who do not turn their backs when others are hurting. Choose leaders who are rooted in reality, who make decisions based on the best advice available, who use their power for the good of all humans, all beings, the web of life.

When there is balance within the great web of life on Earth, all her beings can thrive.

Spring Evening

Sun sinks toward the western horizon. Light pierces through the woods creating long shadows, dramatically spotlighting a single leaf, tree trunk, branch or blossom.

Robin sings the familiar evening songs all robins have sung since this land was new.

American robin

Tender new maple leaves fan out, yellow green against the pale blue late afternoon sky. Ferns unroll their sweet green toothy leaves and stretch out in the cool shade.

Violets shelter close to the ground, lifting their purple faces among the heart shaped leaves. Bumble bees work every possible blossom while the light holds.

The plants, trees, shrubs, perennials, and what are often called weeds grow in a riot, each claiming its place, rooting down and reaching up to the light, each finding a home.

Red squirrel

Squirrels chase and take giant leaps from tree to tree, passing time with a little craziness, a little play, a little high wire act with no net.

Turkey vultures

Vultures make their way home from all across the city, soaring, catching the last updrafts of the day. They can’t resist a few final figure eights, and possibly an aerial trick or two, formation flying with their next of kin before bedtime. They finally approach the roost trees and make a production of settling down with much flapping.

The waxing moon sails like a kite above the houses waiting for night.

Now only the tree tops catch the sunlight, burnishing them a golden green or bronze for a precious moment before all is bathed once again in shadow.

All creatures and rooted beings who make their living here take their essential place in the web of life.

Our Earth turns and the sun sinks below the horizon. Time to rest and settle. Time to watch the stars come out.

What is your legacy?

Dear ones, Please do not underestimate your contributions, your necessity to the web of life. No matter what your calling is, what work you’ve chosen to do, your feelings, words and actions in this life leave an energetic legacy for all living beings.

Amazing spider web

Think of the gardens you’ve planted, the trees you’ve nurtured, the love you’ve expressed and shown, the meals you have lovingly prepared, the pets you have held to your heart, the smiles you have freely given, the songs you’ve sung; the empathy, kindness, connections, the heart to heart connections alignment with divine light, the joy you’ve felt, the seeds you’ve sown, the lives you’ve touched with thoughtfulness, wisdom, and attention, the unconditional love for others that flows from your heart – these are the lasting legacies that you have bequeathed to the web of life, your families, and your communities.

I ask – is your true legacy measured in stocks and bonds, dollars and cents? Money can be spent, lost or stolen in a heart beat, leaving your heirs with only their inner resources, courage, wisdom, integrity, honesty and the clothes on their backs.

Your true nature is to be mortal. Every living thing must pass through the final transformation. One day your hands will relax and release their hold on objects and the material wealth of which humans are so fond.

Your body will stay behind while your spirit lives on. You will leave this material world which is so precious, so dear, yet so impermanent, ever shifting and changing.

Late winter landscape, dusk

So while you are here, find joy in your embodied life with the senses and emotions and intelligence you’ve been given, love with your whole heart and express that love in ways others will feel and understand. Do the work that satisfies your soul. In this way you expand and strengthen the web of life.

You are an essential participant in the web of life whether you know it or not.

Let your life create strength and resilience and peace and love in the web, your lasting energetic legacy.

Reweave the Web of Life

Tender green shoots reach toward the sun. This is life on our home, Planet Earth. The seasons turn, spring follows winter, the earth revolves, night follows day. All life depends on these ancient cycles and rhythms that we have learned to trust and depend on.

Cottonwoods at dusk

But now the web of life has been severely disrupted, threatening human life on our home planet and creating vast imbalances that magnify pre-existing imbalances and injustices. This disruption is throwing life on our blue and green planet out of tune, off true center, out of kilter, creating untold misery.

The intricate web of life has kept our planet healthy and in balance for millennia, providing conditions for life under the sun and stars. Now the damage to our web is showing up with widespread sickness and death, magnifying the imbalances that provide rude shelter and meager food for billions, a basic existence for many, abundant food, water, good health and riches for some; vast unimaginable wealth for a few.

To help reweave the web of life, begin to rethink your definition of wealth. Let your new thinking inspire new actions.

What is more precious than clear unpolluted fresh air or a deep breath that is easily exhaled? The feel of sun or rain on your skin, the beauty of thriving evergreen trees, blooming grasses and flowers, songbirds building their nests, the sight of a thin crescent moon through bare tree branches? Happy and healthy children? The tastes and textures of a simple meal to be savored? The smile of a loved one? A warm home in winter? What is true wealth?

Evergreens

Can you simplify and downsize your life and still feel wealthy?

Rethink your definition of what is necessary for you to enjoy daily life. Rethink your definition of true health. That includes health for all who people this Earth, and all life forms that grow and live their lives here on land, in sea and air.

The disruption in the web of life on Earth will help to focus your human attention on what is precious, what is true in your life, what changes you wish to make, what you can do that will help all living beings reweave our priceless web of life in which all things are one.

Rethink your true purpose here. Go beyond the surface. Dig deeper in your thinking. Tune in to your heart and spirit, and ask to know your role in the web of life and your role in reweaving the web.

We are all connected as one. We are meant to thrive together in our interconnections, to live in harmony and balance.

We all create and experience the best of life and health together, or we stand by and witness the diminishment of our lives, our families our potential, and our spirits.

We must act with compassion to reweave and restore true balance in our web of life.

Let Nature Calm You

Can you go outside right now? Let the sounds of nature calm you- birdsong, breeze through evergreens, squirrels chuffing chattering and chewing on last fall’s nuts, water rushing downstream…

Red squirrel

Let the sights of nature bring you joy – sunlight pooling and dancing on the earth, trees casting long undulating shadows, spring blooms bursting out, green and red shoots poking out of the ground, birds flashing in and out of the underbrush, red and rust colored cardinals, bluejays goldfinches, robins sparrows, butterflies, moths, bees…

Let the smells and fragrances of new grass, fresh cut greenery, flowering spring bulbs, decaying leaves, tender soft green leaves, a sudden spring rain shower lift your spirits.

Be mindful of the feel of rough tree bark, soft feathers, tender new growth, the textured stems of shrubs, smooth or rough stones. If you can, put your hand in a clear stream, and gently stir and move the cool water. Feel the solid earth beneath your body, under your feet.

Let the tastes of simple foods that come from the earth nourish your body and bring you satisfaction – the sharp and rooty onions, peppery radishes, sweet sugary pea sprouts, the earthy potatoes and other root vegetables, the subtle lettuce, chewy chard… Savor and enjoy these everyday pleasures.

Must you stay inside right now? Find natural objects in your home or have a loved one find something nearby that will infuse your space with energy of nature.

Shells, plants, growing sprouts and herbs, photos and paintings of trees, landscapes, specimens of tree bark, flowering branches, stones of all shapes & colors – stack them up – sand in a bottle, potted bulbs, beautiful wooden carvings and objects, a small terrarium.

Arrange and display these things you’ve collected over the years, touch and enjoy them again, use them in new ways that will spark your creativity. Connect with these objects and precious living things that hold the energy of your true home, mother Earth.

Let nature heal and calm and give you peace.

When you plant a seed

When you plant a seed you trust in the web of life. You open yourself to the mystery of creation, the alchemy of earth, air, light and water. You affirm life.

When you plant a seed, you stand in the present moment with hopes, dreams and a vision for your future, a knowing of the world you wish to create.

Ornamental grass in autumn

When you plant a seed, you work in partnership with all that is, with the spirits of nature. You become an integral component in the web of creation, a facilitator of life on Earth.

When you plant a seed, you trust in the future and surrender to divine timing, knowing that germination will occur exactly when seed, earth, air, sunlight, and water come into the proper balance and proportion.

You set the process into motion and surrender to the mystery. In this way, you release control and allow the miracle to unfold.

You are a sower of seeds of the plants that feed you, beautify your world, hold the soil across the earth, shade your gardens yards and homes, plants that clothe and shelter you, plants that make this world green and pleasant and clean the air…

Prairie grasses

You also sow seeds of energy and intention. Let the seeds of your intentions run to love and connection. Let them strengthen and unify and heal the web of life. Let your intentions bless this earth and all who dwell here.

You may not know where or how the seeds and intentions you sow will take root and grow.

It is enough to plant your seeds with a trusting and loving heart and allow the miracle you have envisioned to unfold in divine time.

Promise of spring

Sunlight gradually returns to our beloved valley. Winter still reigns with ice snow and cold, but the promise of spring warmth and light and growth feed my dreams.

Soon our community of living beings will wake up. Sharp green shoots of prairie grasses will poke up through last years dead stems and leaves, attracted to the light and heat of the sun.

My tightly closed buds will once again swell and grow large, unrolling tender green leaves as they open to the strong spring light. My beaded seed pods will grow and mature in weeks, finally splitting open to release my seeded fluff on the world.

Cottonwood leaves and seeds

The vultures will return from their southern vacation to ride the warm updrafts above the evergreens, weaving their figure eights across our valley as they perform their cleanup duties and take their place in the web of life.

Our fur bearing friends will once again play in the treetops and build their nests or dig their burrows, mate and give birth, raise their young, and seek their daily bread.

Hibernating snakes toads and frogs will slowly emerge as the sun warms their hiding places. They’ll soak in the life giving energies of heat and light, warming their bodies in pools of sunlight.

Songbirds will soon return and bring color, music, movement, activity as they select their nesting place and build their beautifully constructed summer homes, lay eggs and raise their young.

Female red winged blackbird

The eternal cycle of life and the seasons will play out once again in this small valley we call home. We dream and plan for spring, the season of renewal and awakening.

The Plant Spirits Speak

We are ancient, wise in the ways of growing things that have existed on this planet for a hundred thousand centuries and more…

Summer Hosta Blooms

We create and hold sacred space among our copses and fields, our tall grass and short grass prairies, our city parks and farmsteads, our old growth forests and newly planted windbreaks, our shady riverbanks, our dry desert landscapes, our steep mountain slopes, our modest backyard gardens.

Each community of varied growth adapted to the climate, the realities of the place – each with its own wisdom, it’s own web of life, all plant citizens interweaving and complementing each other, communicating, living in harmony and balance.

We live and breathe and grow in what humans might erroneously call silence. We are not silent! It is just that your ears cannot hear our vibrations. Your eyes cannot see our energy. Your logical minds do not yet comprehend our plant wisdom. Your ears cannot hear or understand our communications.

But we speak to you eloquently in a language you can understand – with our winter sleep, our spring renewal, summer growth, and autumn release.

Golden cottonwood leaf and bark

We speak of the alchemy of light, the stability and necessity of roots, the miracle contained in a tiny seed, the ease of growth and expansion, of choosing a place to call home and settling in for the long haul. We speak of reaching to the sun. We speak of interdependent communities, of varied members living together in harmony. We speak of patience and acceptance. We speak of weathering the storm and enduring.

Can you hear us?

We lift our branches and leaves to the sun, rooted to Mother Earth.

A word to humans: Dear ones, for our continuing health and well-being and the well-being of this entire planet and all her inhabitants, we need soil and air and water free of artificial enhancements, pollutants and additives that act counter to our long term needs and create imbalances in the web of life. Please act to make this so within your circle of influence!

Winter gifts

Have you gone outside on a midwinter day to lie on the cool crusty snow, letting the Earth take your weight and support you, the snow molding to your shape?

Winter deer path

Have you gone out to lie down and soak in the cool fresh air, to absorb the Earth Energy that powers you? To know your oneness with all of life?

Let the nearby trees weave a lacy net of branches for your protection. Know the solid fabric of their roots below the surface, creating a strong foundation for your physical life, holding and anchoring the soil that gives us life.

Let the clean cool air refresh and revitalize your energy, lift your spirits, the blue sky inspire your dreams, expand your mind, enlarge your knowledge of what is possible.

Dream and rest under the sky, letting the blanket of snow cushion and cradle you.

Let yourself be one with this Earth and accept her precious winter offerings.