GCW speaks, continued

These words of Grandmother Cottonwood’s are continued from the previous post…

This Earth, this home is so very dear to me… Words cannot capture all I know, all I feel…

I know, too the flow of the stream, the flood in spring, the ice in winter, breaking and grinding during a thaw… I know the rocks and sandbars of the creek, the elegant s curves of it’s southward course, the downed trees, uprooted by the current, changing the flow of the water .

I am familiar with the creatures of the water, the tiny silver fishes, the earth hugging turtles, the insects that skate and float…those that come to drink.

Spider web

I know the worms of the soil, the fungus that consumes rot, the spiders patiently weaving their silver webs, the bright butterflies and nodding wildflowers full of nectar, the sharp trilling call of the red winged blackbird in early spring.

My world is made beautiful by the deep shade of my companion trees in summer, the bark of the sycamore, dark and rough near the roots, creamy white and peeling near the crown…I know the cushiony moss, growing in the cool damp places, a green to remember.

GCW and sycamore

From my home, I feel and know the heartbeat of the city, the town, the homes and all those creatures inhabiting this place. I feel the rushing and impatience of some, the peace and contentment of others.

I experience the students who hurry past me on their way to school, their thoughts and attention elsewhere, forgetting the lesson that life is lived in the moment, one breath at a time; that hugging a tree will help them feel better.

Come to school with GCW and you will learn an age-old yet always fresh curriculum – Observe without judgment. Breathe. Notice what you are feeling. Notice what happens in your body.

Be present to what you see, hear, taste, touch feel, smell – be present and allow yourself to know what you know, to be who you are. Become friends with your own self. Listen to your heart – the dreams of your heart.

Now, put the shiny blinking thing down, for if you let it, it will block out everything but itself. Turn it off for a little while and just be.

Know that you too are a part of this magnificent tapestry! Above all, hug a tree.

Advertisements

Climate change

The earth and her weather reflect her creatures; what is going on in the human heart and mind, the clouds of unexpressed emotion, the storms of toxic anger and fear, the build up of heat with no release valve, no outlet. The explosions of wars and genocide, the burden of thousand of centuries of violence, injustice, inequality, terror…

The earth reflects human pain in her own language; weather, natural disasters, tsunamis, mega storms, extremes of drought, flood and fire.  

Are you feeling weighted down by the emotional burdens of your ancestors, and your own life, anxious, nervous, depressed, unable to move forward?

What are you weather conditions? Anger storm ahead, drought, no growth, too much rain, wildfire destroying everything in its path…

Please face the truth of your life! Learn to feel your emotions, clear yourself and continue to clear as you go forward.

As more and more humans regain clarity, heal emotional burdens, let go of fear and resentments, the Earth will begin to reflect this new energy, the web of all life will be rewoven and restored.

This is what you can do to help! Heal yourself, heal the earth.

Web of life

My bark may feel cold and rough to you this winter’s day. Do not let this fool you, for my heart is warm and welcoming! 

I may seem silent, separate, apart.  Do not be fooled, for in my own way I am fully engaged in the web of life on this planet!

I may seem irrelevant to your human world, your worries, concerns, and solutions to your problems.  Do not be fooled, for my energy interweaves in intricate patterns  with that of all living things including humans.  We are in this together!

My quiet existence matters in the web of life. My existence creates a ripple and a powerful filament of love in the tapestry of the universe.  I belong here!

I want you to know each thought, word and feeling of yours has energetic reality that affects the web of life, just as my tree energy does. You make a difference ! You matter and you belong here! 

You don’t have to move mountains or bring peace to the Middle East. Simply tune your thoughts and feelings gradually to happiness and joy and kindness and laughter a little more often.

Turn off those news programs and avoid those people that manipulate you into anger and fear.   Guide your time and energy to uplifting, soul satisfying activities, thoughts, words, beliefs, friends, and entertainment.

In this way you will affect the web of life for good!  You are a creator whether you know it or not!

Take your job seriously!  You and I, along with all living beings on earth reweave the web of life with each thought, feeling, and action.

Abundance is a state of mind

Abundance is not just money, coins and dollar bills, It is the world around you – the beauty around you, the people in your life, the land that supports you, the air you breathe, the water that gives you sustenance, the flow of energy through your life.

DSCN9282 (640x480)

Autumn crab apples

 

Abundance is in nature that surrounds and supports you and gives so freely and generously of her harvests and resources. It is the human made world of clothing and shelter, streets and roads, libraries, hospitals, places of safety and community. Abundance is the inspired offerings of art, music dance, theater, books, movies, writings, design and building, comedy and laughter – all manner of human creations.

Abundance is in the priceless laughter that bubbles up inside you and feeds your spirit! It is the sunlight bringing life to all things. Abundance is the tools, materials, and ideas to create and bring your inspirations to life.

Abundance is the freedom and time to enjoy the changing of the seasons, the gorgeous colors of fall – to take a few moments to watch the golden leaves float and spin and dance as they fall to Earth so they will feed the soil that supports your life.

Abundance is the food and drink on your table, day after day, year after year, nourishing and sustaining your body and soul. It is the loving friends, the helpful strangers, the kind neighbors that touch your heart and help you. It is the purring cats and snuggling dogs that share your life and bring your joy and companionship. Abundance is warm socks and boots on a cold day.

DSCN6611 (469x640)

Painted lady butterfly on red zinnia

Most of all, abundance is in the feelings that flow through you – joy, inspiration, inner calm, soul satisfaction, contentment, happiness…  Even feelings of anger and fear are there for your information and learning, to help you know yourself and learn from life.

Abundance is the feeling of being blessed to overflowing! It is the ability to share the overflow of your blessings with others.

With appreciation, name your blessings and feel the feelings they awaken in you .  Make this your daily practice.

When you feel confident and secure enough to be generous with your blessings, no matter how much money you do or do not have, you are truly living a life of abundance and plenty!

Signs from nature

Ask your spirit helpers for a sign that you are on the right track with your life.

You can’t force a sign to appear or expect it to come in ways you control. To control something is to limit it…

DSCN9006 (640x480)

Magnificent spider web

Ask, then drop your awareness into your heart and open yourself to what appears before you as you go about your day.  Perhaps you find a large feather, or see a perfect spider web or a shaft of sun illuminating a single wildflower, an eagle soaring overhead.

You will know immediately if the sign is meant for you and what it means. It will speak to you through the heart and ring true.  ( This is no time for overthinking!)

When you work in harmony with the spirits of nature and trust them, nature becomes your teacher, your guide, your advisor.

Slow down.  Let your busy mind rest.  Pay attention to the present moment. 

Allow yourself to be filled with wonder and amazement as your spirit guides and helpers surprise and delight you in ways you could never imagine!

Expand your awareness

When you expand your awareness to include the spirits in all things, the rocks, trees, clouds, insects, plants and animals, the land you call home, the other people around you,  you expand your experience of life.

You expand your understanding of the oneness of all things  You see life from a different perspective like a hawk soaring overhead, or a snake gliding across rough pavement or through the tall grass.

DSCN7802 (592x640)

Little brown snake

When you expand your awareness to know what hawk knows, you will feel and know the warm updraft under your wide open wings, effortlessly holding you aloft above the immense landscape where you make your living.

When you expand your awareness to know what snake knows, you drink in the earthy smell of soil, dead leaves, and rough pavement beneath your belly, you sense the texture and solidity of the ground, you feel the stiff stems of grass anchored to the earth as you glide past.

When you expand and allow yourself to know these things and to experience them, you will gain respect for all living creatures and the great web of life that sustains us.

Always remember this!  Nothing can be separated from the whole. 

When you expand your awareness, you will know your place in this great web of life- that you belong to the earth.  I ask you to use your free will and human agency to celebrate and protect the great tapestry of creation of which we are all a part!

Full moon

We write this on the day of the full moon, a time to rest and bask in the fullness of her silvery light. Don’t try to get anything done today, unless it is to fill yourself with light and color and sound and love and plans for the waning phase of our beautiful moon.

DSCN1958 (480x640)

Relax, observe the pause in nature’s in-breath on the day of the full moon before the out-breath and action of the waning moon. Absorb her beautiful light and energy into your being and feel her blessing shine through every cell of your body.

She lights your way in the dark.

Get to know the connection between your energy and the moon phases. Pay attention! Observe! It is no use trying to resist the age old rhythms that predate life on this planet.  Surrender!

We (humans, trees, plants, animals, and all living things) have evolved over millennia to respond to the push and pull and pauses of the moon, to the time of planning at the new moon, then, as she waxes, of filling, taking in, planting; then resting at full moon.  Next comes the emptying, releasing and action, the carrying out of plans, the time of harvest as she wanes again.

 

 

Joy!

I want you to know what you might call the joy, expansion and contentment I feel rooted to my home and reaching for the sun, moon and stars.

It is my life’s work to grow to full mature height, to put out new leaves and bead-like fruits containing numberless seeds each spring, to be fully present in my physical being, to inhabit my allotment of earth and sky, to pull in nourishment from soil and sunlight, rain and air. 

DSCN5793 (640x480)

GCW in summer

This life is all I know, the seasons changing, the weather moving across my valley, wind storms and lightning, torrential rain, or mist, heat and cloudless summer days.

My leaves, shimmering in the breeze, turning golden as the sun dips toward the south, each one released in its time, thousands of them forming a brown carpet at my roots, enriching the soil that feeds me.

Now the late summer slides moment by moment into  fall…  fall into winter… Soon, I will know the deep rest, renewal, and quiet of winter. I welcome this time of release…

DSCN6633 (480x640)

GCW in fall

Yes, I have lost branches, they’ve rotted, fallen away and thumped heavily into the soft earth at my roots… I let them go without regret… My crown is thinner now, down to the essence of what is needed for life.  No more, no less.

Until I am ready to release life itself, I shall continue stand here with patience, knowing and welcoming every creature that shelters with me; knowing those that fly above and burrow below, those 6 legged crawlers  and spinners that live in my bark, the scaly ones that slide silently through the underbrush, the fur bearers that visit, the winged ones large and small that nest in my branches or perch momentarily on my crown day and night. I know their songs, their colors, their habits, I know the grip of their tiny claws, the vibration of the beat of their wings.

I know intimately those rooted ones in our community – the grasses, thistles, oak, locust, sycamore, the sunflowers, goldenrod, the cone-flower, the milkweed the Queen Anne’s Lace… there are too many to name… our roots, stems, and branches interweave, our energies overlap – we are a living neighborhood.  We know and communicate with each other. We thrive together!

This life is so precious to me.  It brings me joy!  Can you feel it too?

Late summer

Growing things seem to pause now. Deep green leaves of ash, maple, and oak hang still in the humid air.  Butterflies frantically feed, flit and dance among late summer wild flowers…

DSCN8535 (480x640)

Late summer prairie grass

The new growth and excitement, the twittering birdsong of spring is a memory.  Now the grasses bend, top heavy with seed.  Dragonflies dart and zip above the prairie, sunlight reflecting from their glassy wings.

The new bird generations have all fledged and flown – Empty nests all around.  The insects sing their late summer songs, the chirp, the buzz, the whine of cricket and cicada, the tempos slowing as nights grow cooler.  The tree frogs chorusing their trance like rhythm into the wee hours, night after night.

Flowers that were bright with summer’s colors just a few weeks ago now fading, browning,  going to seed.   Still blooming, the magnificent plumes of goldenrod, masses of them,  swaying gently in the breeze.

2018-08-27 09.56.38 (640x480)

Goldenrod plumes

All the green rooted things hold their breath,  soak in the light of the  southward sliding sun, before the final days, the yellowing, the browning, the final dropping of seed and leaf, the dying down to the roots, the cooler autumn wind that will soon come and bring frost with it, and death.  The great letting go, before winters long nap…

Stand here on the cusp of change, knowing what is passing, knowing what is to come.  It is time for a late summer  rest.  Lie back under a friendly tree, soak up this still and timeless, day, this moment, before the sun turns to autumn once again.

 

 

Big Bluestem

I am the deep rooted tall prairie grass that you call big bluestem.

My commission is to send my roots deep into this rich black soil, down through the fertile layers deposited over many thousands of years, from the decaying roots stems and leaves of my ancestors, to draw in sustenance from all the elements of the earth, to anchor myself firmly here as my stems and leaves reach toward the nourishment of the naked prairie sun.

DSCN8732 (640x485)

Big bluestem

I grow taller, absorbing the joyful energy of the light and atmosphere, swaying gracefully, bending, in waves with the wind. I have learned to be flexible when storms roar through and lightening strikes.

Then, when the sunlight begins its slow late summer slide toward the south, my flowers appear, bloom, and quickly develop into seed heads.   Next spring, the age old cycle will repeat itself.  It begins with one seed!

I feel the feeling that you call “joy” as I grow taller than a man, spreading into the vast sunny space under the prairie sky. The roots of our community interweaving, holding the earth, gripping the soil, forming a vast deep network, a wreath of intricate connections across this wide open land, anchoring all the grows here.

Know that I love this life – I am a native- I belong here! This is my home!

I drink in the life giving sunlight and rain, swaying and dancing in the wind with a million others like me; we who grace this timeless landscape.