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

Grandmother Cottonwood speaks

Because of my rooted nature, I am by necessity a homebody. I observe and experience my world…and I am never bored!

I am exquisitely tuned to the shifting air currents and breezes, the temperatures that rise and fall, that are different at my crown and my roots.

I know minutely the angle of the sun as it moves through the yearly cycle of seasons, I know patterns of bird migration, seasons of nesting, hatching, fledging, the first flight; the burrowing habits of the fur bearers, the call of the owl, the secret places they drop their feathers, the movements of the deer at dawn and dusk…

I am witness to the patient gliding and flicking tongues of snakes in warm weather as they embrace mother earth with their bodies; the buzz or quiet wing beat of insects as they go about their business of crawling all over me… or nesting in the soil nearby.

I know the prairie grasses, from their first show of green in early spring to the late summer when they’ve grown taller than a man, seed heads heavy and nodding, swaying in the wind.

Prairie grasses

I know the exquisite blue of the sky, sometimes perfectly clear and fathomless, sometimes holding storm clouds that move swiftly to the south, sometimes holding clouds slow and heavy, blotting out the sun, stalling over our valley for days.

From my height, I feel the sunlight gilding my upper branches on clear mornings. I know the gentle swelling and unrolling of my leaf buds in spring, the effortless growth of my bead-like seed pods from tiny and tender to dry and brown and bursting with tiny seeds.

Cottonwood seeds

I know the flight of my cottony seeds on spring winds. I fill the valley with my white fluff. I know them all. I know every leaf on the crowns of my offspring.

From my chosen place on this great planet, I observe the beauty, the variety, the oneness of all things and I am richly blessed!

GCW’s speech is to be continued in the next post…

Cycles rhythms and seasons

I sleep in the dark winter months after letting go of my cloak of golden autumn leaves, waking as my sap rises in spring and my buds unroll to soak in the sunlight…. It is my yearly cycle of life, death and life again. This is who I am! I am at peace.

Observe the age-old cycles of the moon, from full brilliant light to complete darkness, then back gradually to full light again. Each phase of the moon is necessary to the next, an integral part of the whole pattern.

She teaches patience, timing, renewal, shining brightly, allowing herself to rest in darkness, then rising and shining again.

Almost full moon

Do you as a woman resist the time of blood each month, call it a curse? Do you fear the change of life, fear that you will be finished, washed up, that you will be invisible, a dried up husk?

Do you as a man fear the time of life when your physical strength diminishes, when you slow down?

We are all creatures of Earth’s rhythms and cosmic cycles, each species with its own patterns and timing. You too have your seasons of growth, death of the old, rebirth, and regeneration.

Your ever present breath, like waves on a beach; your constant heartbeat, your rhythmic footsteps; your patterns of waking and sleeping accompany you all your days and nights on this earth.

Let your rhythms soothe you, let the breath and heartbeat carry you to sleep at night. Let them calm you when you are anxious.

Let your footfalls and the easy swing of your arms grace your day as you move about your business. Can you slow down and pay attention to these subtle movements within you?

Dear one, this season you find yourself in is your reality now! You are precious as you are! You are as you are meant to be!

When you know this, you will learn to live in harmony with the cycles and seasons of your life, large and small.

Waves of emotion

My dear beloved ones, do you flow with the rhythms, cycles and seasons of your lives, or do you resist them and run your life by the clock, the work schedule, the calendar, or the convenience of others? Life is so much easier when you allow yourself to be as nature in her ageless wisdom created you.

It feels wonderful to ride the wave of your life as it rises, crests and peaks in periods of well-being, happiness and maybe even joy…

The wave you are riding may at times dip downward into the shadows, into a place you may not have been before. Perhaps the wave takes you to a place of darkness, of strong emotions, grief, or illness.

Can you remain steadfast as you pay attention to the energy that wants and needs to move through you? Can you be still and allow yourself to feel what you feel? Can you focus on your breath and heartbeat as you feel?

(Ask for help from a healer, therapist or friend if you are feeling overwhelmed…)

In time you will rise back up into the light, renewing and recharging yourself, rediscovering your passions, reinventing your life – like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly!

It is in the nature of waves to rise and fall, then rise again.

The cycle of life comes around once more as day follows night. It can assist you in letting go of the old tired ways of being, washing through you, clearing you of the unhealthy patterns and feelings you’ve held onto. Know that, like the moon, you will move into the light once again and shine brightly!

All this is life, dear one. Hang on for the ride!

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.

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.

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.

Long winter’s nap

Take a tip from the animal community and hibernate a little while – otherwise known as taking a long winter’s nap…

Also the society of deciduous trees recommends that you go dormant awhile. Let go of excess baggage & rest during the dark and cold months when you feel the need.

Can you let go of racing thoughts, to-do lists and rest when your body signals the need? Can you let your awareness dissolve into dreamspace for a time and renew, repair, and rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit with high quality sleep?

Does your brain command you to do, do, do and give you no time for rest or relaxation? A revving engine in a rusted, broken, worn out body will get you nowhere!

So, take good care of your body! Take it in for regular maintenance! Sleep, wholesome food, movement, fresh air, relaxation! This is your soul’s vehicle on earth. Surrender to its needs, pay attention to its rhythms and messages.

The wisdom of your body is subtle. Pay attention and come into balance, body, mind and spirit.

Hug a tree, feel the peace

I welcome all who wish to rest here under my spreading canopy. I invite you to renew your spirit here, leaning against my trunk. 

DSCN6344 (640x480)

Message from Grandmother Cottonwood

Let me take your weight as you lean on me.  Let your body and soul relax.  Allow your batteries to recharge with my energy.  I am a safe place for you to let go of stress, to tap into the energy of earth and sky.

Do others think you’re crazy when you hug a tree? 

You know what they do not – It just feels good to hug a tree!  You are sensitive enough to feel and know the peaceful loving tree energy that flows from heaven to earth.

dscn4225-480x640

GCW in winter

I am here for you – an anchor, refuge, healer, a solid peaceful presence, loving and kind.

Come rest with me, come lean on me.

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!