Full Moon

Grandmother Cottonwood’s advice to you during a full moon?

Rest, dream, lay on the earth and soak in the silvery moonlight. Know that you belong, that you are an integral part of this universe. Let the moonlight fill every cell of your body, your breath and your aura with peace. Rest yourself, body mind and spirit.

Let earth energy fill you and anchor you as well. Know the fullness of your life as it is right now. Know the sense of completeness and satisfaction and the sense of being at home in your body just for today. Full moon helps you become aware of these blessings.

Just goof off! The energy of the waning moon will begin soon enough. Then you will feel energized and ready to tackle your projects once again.

The full moon is your opportunity for a mini vacation from constant doing, pushing, striving. Your bodily rhythms tuned over millennia to the rhythms of the moon come to a still point on this day.

Honor yourself and all you’ve accomplished. Honor your need to rest and recharge and be still.

Honor your need to bathe in the magical moonlight for a little while.

Your surroundings reflect you!

I would like to thank all those many two legged beings who pick up the trash from our community of trees, grasses wildflowers, bushes, thistles, brambles… We feel your care as you clean up behind those who give no thought to their papers, wrappers, cans, bottles, bags and junk.

Your surroundings reflect you and your inner world. Look around you. Are you pleased by what you see?

Remember this: The woods and beaches and neighborhoods and landscapes and private yards on this earth reflect what you think of yourselves. If you have no self regard you will show that outwardly by dropping trash and fouling your environment.

If you love yourself and care for yourself, your surroundings will reflect that regard.

We keep the earth in balance, all of us, together! Please continue to do your part. Learn to become aware of your piece in this puzzle called life on planet earth. Learn how you fit in with the other living beings that surround you.

Learn how your spirit fits in with the spirits of all things, the living tapestry of energy that surrounds and supports us all.

Know that we are all connected in this magnificent web of life. We depend on each other. We thrive together!

Please be aware!

Why so many food wrappers plastic bottles, grocery bags, random papers, and unknown pieces of junk in the woods?

Please be aware of your waste and the effect it has on others, including other species. Those that must remain rooted, especially.

As the wrappers and junk degrade, the elements used leach into soil and water, our direct source of sustenance, and indirectly, your source of sustenance. For we are all connected!

Grandmother Cottonwood, morning sunlight

We trees and rooted beings take up our nutrients from the soil, but we can’t sort out the harmful from the healthy.

Plus, think of this! it makes our surroundings and yours ugly, toxic, unpleasant. I did not sign up for this life to act as a dumpster!

Wake up! Trash in the woods is just a tiny part of the disrespect for our home planet and unawareness of the connections between all living things.

When humans pollute and foul their own nest, poison their own air and water, they do the same harm to those life forms that support their very existence on this planet.

From the trees that shade and shelter you, that hold the soil from erosion, the tiny insects that buzz and pollinate your food supply, those that become food for the birds, those creatures of tooth and claw that keep other populations in check, those rooted ones that filter the air, those soaring birds that clean up the dead carcasses of fallen animals, those mammals that graze and ruminate – we all depend on each other.

Kingfisher

Whether you know it or not, we will all survive together, or we will go down together.

Message from the plants

We grow and reach to the sun. It is our birthright, the promise deep in each seed and rhizome and creeping root and flowering bulb. We are survivors. We are alchemists of air, earth, water and light!

We aim to thrive and prosper on our patch of this amazing earth. To make the most of our lives here together growing in communities, complementing each other.

The trees tall and spreading with the shorter denser undergrowth. The shade giver with the shade lover, the sun worshiper with those who will thrive in the harmony of dappled light.

Grandmother Cottonwood

We each have our niche, our talents, our habits. Our unique beauty and form. We thrive together in mixed communities, just like humans do.

You may not notice us or give us much thought, but know that we live good lives, satisfying lives. Even if humans never walked the earth, our lives satisfy and energize and delight us. We root ourselves deeply and anchor to the earth, grow toward the light and reach to the heavens. It is our joy!

Think of this. We plants feed and clothe you, shelter and make your world delightful. We cool you in our shade, we filter your air, we hold your soil. We provide countless opportunities for design motifs to make your world more beautiful.

When you eat a meal, thank a plant. When you go into your wood framed home and feel safe and comfortable, thank a plant. When you sit at your wooden furniture, thank a plant.

When you find cool shelter in leafy shade, thank a plant. When you catch the fragrance of a spring flower, a rose, a lilac, lavender, a peony, thank a plant.

Bleeding Heart

When you use essential oils for healing, thank a plant. When you use herbs to create interesting flavors in your foods, thank a plant… when you eat honey, thank a plant.

When you drink tea or coffee or hot chocolate or beer, or wine thank a plant… When you eat meat, thank a plant ( many of the creatures eaten for their meat graze on grasses or eat seeds) when you eat bread, thank a plant, when you wear perfume, thank a plant….. shall I continue?

It is full on spring now, and we are back!

Slow down!

Do you rush and hurry, barely pausing to notice your feelings, your surroundings, your present moment?

Do you live in the future as you drive, worrying, stewing, planning your shopping list, hoping you will get there in time, trying to beat the lights, pass the slow mover and get ahead?

Have you checked your stress levels lately?

It is valuable to slow down and breathe deeply to pay attention to your body, your surroundings, to live more in tune with how you were created. You might not get there fast but you’ll get there feeling calm and centered.

Red winged blackbird

Even though you can do this, you weren’t created to hurtle headlong down divided highways at 70 mph or faster… This causes stress.

Even though you can do this, you weren’t created to sit in a chair and stare at a glowing screen 8 or more hours each day, packed into cubicles with others like cows in a dairy barn. This causes stress.

Even though you can do this, you were not made to handle constant loud noise and environmental chemicals in your food, pollution in your air and water. This causes stress.

Humans have adapted to the conditions of modern life but with the side effects of anxiety, addiction, high stress levels, and alienation. Are these conditions worth the price?

To relieve some of the stress of your life here & now, and regain some inner peace, bring your awareness to your heart, body, and breath. Let yourself be with no agenda. Lay under the moon and stars. Do simple things that connect you with the Earth.

Slow down and enjoy life!

Take a walk

Step out into the sunshine! Feel the sensations and rhythms in your feet, ankles, legs, knees, hips, spine, shoulders and arms, neck and head as you contact the Earth and move forward.


Grandmother Cottonwood

Aim to pay attention to your body, your breath, your beautiful surroundings and let those swirling worries, fears and the self argument go for now.

Leave your phone at home. You’ll be fine without it for an hour and you will confound those corporations that want to track and catalog your every move…

Breathe in the golden morning air. Feel the rhythms of your breath and blood, the movements of your body and your head balancing on your neck, the swing of your arms as you move forward, the beat of your heart, your feet contacting the earth and rolling forward, stepping out in rhythm. This is life, dear ones.

Feel the harmonious movements of your body slow dancing to the beat of your heart.

Immerse yourself body and spirit in nature around you. Can you sense the subtle energy of the trees, their protective branches sheltering you? Can you feel the solid earth beneath your feet and toes; The soil full of life supported by the living bedrock of our Earth deep below; the deep rooted grasses, sighing in the wind; Song birds calling, moving from branch to branch, wings flashing; Larger birds of prey soaring and circling higher above the trees, soaking in the sunlight….

Prairie grass

Now, if you walk by flowing water, the stream moving down toward the big river eventually merging and becoming one with all waters. This sparkling creek water dancing as it passes; carving out steep banks over the years, bringing trees down in late winter floods, creating sandbars, depositing silt and gravel, bits of shell, Holding life within its gold and silver waters.

Rediscover the ancient and simple practice that heals and calms- walking in nature.

Reconnect and heal

In times of trouble, times of grief, reconnect with the earth, your home, the solid foundation of your physical life.

Reconnect with her flowing waters, rhythmic waves, rooted trees, plant life of all descriptions, strong winds, thunderstorms, dense stones, fertile soil, her buzzing, flying, gliding creatures. Lay your body in the damp sand of a beach, the grasses beneath a large tree.

Lean against me and those of my tree community. Let us support you. Let us heal your spirit.

We are not inert unfeeling masses of atoms laid out in various interesting patterns, but living breathing knowing energetic beings who share this planet with you, who benefit when you thrive.

Let yourself reconnect with the joy and delight of childhood as you lay in the grass, smelling a sweet clover blossom as if for the first time, observing a firefly at dusk, looking up in awe at the moon and stars.

Know once again, and feel the peace, oneness, and belonging to our earth that will heal and renew your tired spirit.

Blessings

Have you noticed all that blesses you and your life lately? Even when things seem dismal and dreary, you are surrounded and gifted with may blessings, large and small. This is your birthright as an inhabitant of planet earth

Blessings do not have to be expensive gifts, something shiny and new and different, or related to your financial well-being, something out of the ordinary, or from the jewelry store.

Yellow Swallowtail butterfly on purple coneflower

Think of these as blessings:

The clean pure air you breathe every moment of your life, the amazing workings of your body, the beat of your heart, the flow of blood within you, your awareness making itself known through your senses,

the sight of the sky at sunrise and sunset, the sounds of birdsong, the fragrances of flowers, the sparkle of fresh snow, the colors and movements of a butterfly, your warm and comfortable home,

the creative spark within you, manifesting in your creating art, or designing your living space, devising a garden, creating a new process to make life easier, the relating to your children in loving and effective ways each day.

What can you add to this list of blessings?

Use your creative power and imagination to discern acknowledge and enjoy the amazing blessings in your life.

Inner winter

In winter, the ice and snow and wind keep you snug at home, keep you separate in your warm wrapping of sweaters and blankets, down comforters and scarves. The roads and walks can be dangerous with slippery ice and packed snow. It can send you humans reeling and sliding with no warning… so you stay at home.

Grandmother Cottonwood in snow

I ask you, is there a winter in your heart that keeps you isolated and separate from others? Does this inner winter cause you to fear venturing beyond the confines of the known, the familiar, the safety of your known world?

You can turn this inner winter to spring. As you heal, you can thaw the frozen thoughts and beliefs, have patience until the poor visibility clears. You can get yourself unstuck from deep snowdrifts and move forward. You can begin to melt the ice within you that keeps you isolated and alone.

Have patience dear one, the spring thaw takes time as the weather gradually warms. When the earth is no longer frozen, the runoff permeates the thawed soil bringing new life to the earth, new hope and growth.

The deep freeze will soon be over, and you will regain your flexibility ease and flow.

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.