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.

Grief

When you grieve, let yourself rest. When you grieve, let yourself be. When you grieve let yourself feel and experience the waves of emotion that move through you.

If you try to resist the waves of feeling, you may find yourself tumbled , knocked down, drowned by their unexpected and surprising power. Resistance is futile!

The only way through is to let yourself float. That is to feel what you are feeling and ride the waves of emotion as they show up. No matter how unwelcome the feelings are, let yourself feel them rise and build, crest and then drop away…

Like a chip of wood in churning water, the waves of emotion won’t drown or sink you, but take you for a wild ride that is a part of your life’s journey.

All who walk this earth in human form must at one time or another know the storms of grief. You will survive, Dear One, as you ride the waves.

Revival

Have you been shut up in the house due to extreme cold, heavy weather, ice and snow? Has the sun hidden under thick layers of gray cloud for many days?

Please dear friends, come out of your warm winter cages and move your bodies. Breathe in the fresh cool air. Put one foot in front of the other, find a way to let nature heal and revive you with her pure clear air, her life giving light, the birds that sing their ancient songs, the animals that play their age-old games.

Nature revives you with her healing power of renewal. Witness the dark leafless tree branches writing on the sky, like ink on parchment – nature’s own calligraphy. They are soon to be covered in lacy green leaves unrolling to soak in the warm sunlight.

Each step you take, each breath moves vital energy throughout your body circulating your life force, connecting you to the rhythms of life, rhythms of the earth.

Let nature revive and renew your 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.

Let nature heal you

Dear ones, when you are hurting, let nature soothe you. When you need a rest, let nature refresh you. When you need space, let nature provide a refuge.

Pair of geese swimming in the evening

When your heart grieves, nature gently embraces you with her fresh greens in spring, her new shoots, her bursting growth, flowing water, swiftly moving cloud formations, impromptu thunder showers that threaten, break with intensity, then dissipate and roll away to the east, leaving a pure blue sky.

Let nature soothe your soul with the deep rich colors of autumn, the dappled and shifting shade on a hot summer day.

In winter, the deep silence enfolds you, even in the coldest cruelest months there is a stark beauty , an elegance of light and dark of bare reaching branches against the pure white snow. Breathing the pure clear air, walking through the quiet woods, moving your body can bring serenity to your day.

Snow covered wildflower

Once again in spring the wildflowers open and share their delicate beauty with all who take the time to notice. You see a haze of pale green about the woods as new leaves unroll.

Nature can soothe with her steady rhythms, the stream, deep and running fast in spring, frozen in winter, always new yet ancient, timeless. Changing seasons, the return of geese and ducks and robins, nest building season, times of incubation, hatching, fledging and flight.

Let yourself lean back against a tree and absorb the loving energy, feel the solidity, let it anchor you to the earth. Here you can create a stronghold for your heart and mind and body. Here you will find a peaceful refuge when times are hard, a place of solitude, renewal, and safety.

Pay attention to your feelings as you commune with nature. Playful squirrels might bring laughter and fun, the bright colored songbirds might help you feel hopeful, the drumming of the woodpeckers and their bright markings, the breeze through the branches can give you a backdrop of peace. Twin fawns observing you from a thicket can bring a sense of awe.

Let nature soothe, heal, comfort ,and restore you. In every moment, you will find a new possibility in her healing powers to discover and appreciate.

Allow yourself time in nature each day. Take her in through your senses to renew and restore your life.

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.

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!