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.

Become water – a shamanic journey

Can you imagine with your heart and mind and all your senses, your body dissolving and becoming one with a stream of water? First, imagine yourself there in the stream, floating. Feel the silky water supporting your body as you float.

Now breathe and relax any tension in your head and face, your neck, shoulders, trunk, arms and hands, back, buttocks, legs, feet and toes.

Feel your physical reality gently dissolve and merge with the stream of water, allowing more and more space between your cells, letting any pain or anxiety drain away, releasing all worry, all fear, just letting yourself be. Don’t worry about breathing as water, it will come naturally.

Sunlight on shallow water

Can you imagine your cells gently becoming water droplets and moving easily with the flow of the current? Can you imagine yourself growing transparent? How does it feel, smell, look and sound like?

Nothing is more relaxed! You are suspended in the water, one with the water. You are the water!

There is nothing you have to do, nowhere to be, nothing to grasp, clutch, hold on to or resist. There is no need to hold yourself up, to think or worry or fight against. You float free, allowing the current to carry you.

Can you feel yourself flow easily around boulders, rushing where the stream bed is steep, falling over stone ledges, standing still in deep pools? Can you feel the warm sunlight striking the water and see it bending into the vibrant colors of the rainbow?

Now your stream merges with a larger river. Enjoy the beautiful landscape as you drift past; the trees, the wide river valley, as you flow smoothly, one with the life-giving water.

Now after many hundreds of miles, you enter a huge estuary, full of birds and wildlife of all descriptions, drawn to the life-giving waters. The river widens out and becomes salty as you enter the ocean surf and move out beyond the crashing waves into open water. Finally, you are home, where all water joins to become one. Here you can expand even more, suspended. One with all that is.

Enjoy the sensation of oneness with the water as long as you want to. Allow the water to clear and heal you. Allow it to sustain and support you. Let yourself be.

When you’re ready to call back your physical being and find your way back to solid earth, let your feet touch the floor, tap your cheekbones and chest, breathe.

Revisit this water journey whenever you want to relax and know your oneness with all that is.

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. 

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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…

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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?

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.

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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.

New Beginnings

Note from Betty:

Dear friends, Grandmother Cottonwood is coming out of retirement.  Since leaving my day job and working through some health issues, I’m feeling a strong pull to begin channeling GCW again and sharing her words with you.

This connection with the magnificent cottonwood tree lights me up and inspires me – so by doing this blog, I am practicing what she preaches! 

May her words inspire and bless you.

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GCW in summer

     On this day, you begin again. You start fresh with a clean slate. You live here and now in this flickering light under my canopy, your heart navigating the journey, your feet bringing you here, step by step.

Now past and future dissolve into this one present moment.  It is the breath, filling and emptying; the breeze stirring my leaves in silver shimmers high above, touching the summer sky.

We are alive!  We have been given the most precious gift of all – Life here on this beloved green planet at this time and in this place.  We each have our place in the ancient circle of life that has sustained our planet for millennia.

If you think your presence here is an accident, a mistake, think again!   A billion or more coincidences, factors, and conditions had to line up perfectly to allow for your creation.

If you think you are helpless, think again! When you align your energy with source, you are a powerful force to be reckoned with

If you think you can’t make a difference in the world, think again!  Every choice you make, every thought you think sends ripples into the universe, creating patterns of energy that interact with others and form what you know as reality.  Choose those thoughts, ideas, feelings, and words that you wish to see made manifest in the world.

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All- that- is desires and needs your presence here, shining your light fully, sharing your unique gifts, your loving energy with clarity, grace and joy!

Your spectrum of awareness

Many of you are sensitive to the spirits and energy that support, surround and permeate this world of mass, volume and matter. You have a wider spectrum of awareness than those who call you crazy, those who fear your power, those who cut you down to size, those who scoff at your light.

Do not allow others to talk you out of what you know to be true!

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Soaring birds

You who can feel and hear and know the presence of spirits; do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by it all? Learn to set boundaries, to invite the compassionate helping spirits on your terms, on your schedule, and send those who drain you away.

Your voice is powerful! Use it to keep yourself clear and to connect with your inner strength and power.

Your roots connect you to the Earth. Draw up her energy to empower your body. You sensitive ones, especially will be most effective when you are grounded in the earth as well as connected to the heavens.

Focus your attention and set your intention to work in harmony with the spirit world.

You sensitive souls are needed here with your wider range of awareness to interpret higher vibrations, to channel healing energy and beautiful works of art, to help us all live in harmony and wisdom. Your gifts are a blessing to this earth. Know it is so.

No boundaries

My love knows no boundaries. It does not know time, space, distance, or dimension. It is eternal and indestructible.

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Purple iris and yellow sedum

Perhaps you doubt this truth, perhaps you do not remember the serenity, the calm, the dropping away of obstacles worry and dread that come when you are tuned to the frequency of love.

My dears, you have known this frequency, this feeling before and you will know it again. It is the foundation of all that is. You have known it before, as an infant or child, or perhaps between lifetimes. It is an integral part of you and cannot be separated from you.

It is your birthright to remember and know and feel this love. Allow yourself to reach beyond the clutter of your mind to the ocean of love at the heart of all that is.

Your circle of awareness

Know this, dearest ones, over eons your human awareness has shifted from the tiniest nuances in our physical world.

It has shifted from the subtle nuances and energy of the body, the energy that surrounds each of us and overlaps, the energy that creates the power and majesty of the night sky, the rhythms of the moon.

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Full moon

 

It has shifted from the spirit in all things, the earth as a living thing, our very mother. Your awareness has shifted from the earth as mother of all species, all living things, all stones, every atom of existence.

From these subtle and quiet points of awareness amazing wisdom, creations and discoveries have been brought into being.

Where does your awareness rest now, most often? The “news”? Those who would funnel ugliness and discontent and anger directly into your brains? Has your awareness shifted to include mostly financial concerns? Do you see life from this perspective only?

Has your awareness been devoured by the little shiny thing that sets the agenda for you? That little thing that chooses your news, headlines, the path of your thoughts and fears? The sound bites you remember? Then you misunderstand and miss out on the variety, the beauty, the magnificence, of all that life on planet earth has to offer you.

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Crow perched on sycamore tree

It is easy to shift your awareness back to the center of your being, the life blood, the soul satisfying actions that give you life.  You must be willing to open your eyes and heart to the reality you desire.

How do you manage your circle of awareness? It is your most precious commodity. You get to choose the focus of your thoughts, what you allow into your consciousness. Choose and manage it wisely!

You are needed!

Know your gifts

Dear ones, each of you is endowed with amazing gifts, talents and sensitivities. Perhaps your family did not recognize your uniqueness, suppressed your power or did not understand your sensitivities and your true nature.

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Hawk in bare tree

Your gifts and talents complement the talents and offerings of others. Together a world is created in which all can thrive! Not everyone can be an artist, not everyone can be a teacher, not everyone can be a mechanic… not everyone can be a magnificent cottonwood tree.

We are meant to depend on each other, from the lowliest blades of grass to the majestic oaks, to the creatures of the woods, to you, the two legged ones.

You are meant to be here living fully, plugging into source as your power supply. Your life task is to own and develop and share your unique gifts and to be fully yourself! So much creative power is at your command! Get comfortable with it!

All creatures on this earth belong to this great web of life. Without you and your gifts, the web cannot be as full and complete as it is meant to be. Without you, the web would be like a tapestry missing a primary color, a puzzle missing pieces, a house without a family.

Yes, I have said it before, and I repeat myself: You belong! You matter! You are needed!

Communications network

There is an energetic network connecting all cottonwoods on this continent. Yes, we communicate in our way. News travels fast. Our news traveling through energetic vibrations.

When lightning strikes, when weather conditions shift, when seasons change, when the vibrations and frequencies of human activity and emotion affect our physical tree selves, all in our network know it and feel it.

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Community of Cottonwoods

You may remark at the similarity between our ancient network and your invisible web, the internet.

What you call internet is a reflection of the invisible network of bonds that have existed between all members of a species, all humans, all cottonwoods, and if you tune in closely enough, all living creatures since before recorded time.

Everything connects to everything else.

These energetic bonds or cords enable psychic phenomena – A mother knowing when her child is in difficulty even though miles separate them; a sensitive person knowing and feeling the emotions of others; somehow being at the right place at the right time when you are needed.

Imagine in your mind’s eye, each person in your family, neighborhood, town, and state. Visualize them connected with golden threads to every other person. Imagine this for every plant, every tuft of grass, connected to all other living things with threads of energy and communication.

Those among you sensitive enough will know and feel the truth of this.

Try an experiment. Tune into one you’ve had problems with and send peaceful thoughts and friendly thoughts if you can. (Just like sending “web mail”) See if the feeling between you is different next time you meet. In a sense, nothing is secret because of your connecting cords

Remember, since all creatures are interconnected, your feeling and thoughts affect all others if they know it or not. Choose to feel the best you can. If you feel poorly, ask for help in clearing that so you can feel better, even a little bit. Each act of healing no matter how tiny how seemingly insignificant creates a more peaceful world.

You are a hub in a magnificent network! You matter! Your feeling and thoughts have incredible power!

What do you choose to radiate to your network?