Grow to the light

Tree grow tall to the sun, our source of energy and we root deeply to the earth, our home base, our ground of existence.

We may grow in a group together, but we do not lean to the right to the left to help another smaller tree to more light.

Community of cottonwoods

We do not weaken ourselves to help others grow. We are strong together, each taking our place in the light. When a mature tree dies the young saplings crowding underneath will shoot up quickly into the sunlight, finally finding their own place in the canopy.

Be like a tree. Do not weaken yourself or sacrifice your energy and power or hold yourself back because another adult is weaker, has less energy, is farther behind than you.

Of course you will help and protect and love your children. Human children need more care, attention and togetherness than cottonwood seedlings.

Grandmother Cottonwood

If you want to, show them where their power lies. Reflect their strengths to them, let them access the source of power within themselves

Weakening yourself to help other grown people never works because the others do not know what to do with your energy, your power, your knowledge. They will squander your gifts while draining you. For nothing!

They will either learn to access their own power and stand on their own feet or they will not. If they do not, please bless them on their life’s path and let go of your misplaced responsibility

Your job is to grow to the light and spread your branches!

Potential

We living beings are born, our seeds sprout, our eggs hatch, cells divide and whoever we are, we begin a joyful time of tremendous growth and transformation.

Whether you are a tree sprouting from a minute white seed embedded in cottonwood fluff, a tiny songbird hatchling breaking through into the light, or a human baby leaving the warmth and comfort of your mother’s womb, the growth at this tender time of life is exponential.

Newborn baby

All creatures come to this life with amazing potential within the limits of the energetic blueprint of their species.

For me, Grandmother Cottonwood, my greatest potential is to reach maturity, to live a long life, rooted to the earth, stretching tall, soaking in the sunlight through my thousands of leaves each springs and summer, developing new seeds each year…

…then letting my seeds go on the wind and watching my valley fill with white cotton floating on the breeze, my tiny seeds finding secure places to sprout and send down roots, then watching them grow while they meet the challenges of weather, predators, mowers, insects, earth movers, herbicides, heavy feet or hooves.

Cottonwood seeds

For those with two legs, reaching your potential can be a lifelong process of recognizing challenges to your body heart and soul, discovering or creating solutions, moving through them with grace, letting go of old beliefs that keep you stuck, accepting limitations, listening to the promptings of your heart, paying attention to the dreams of your soul, the deepest desires of your spirit and finding healthy ways to get where you want to be.

Reaching your potential is a constant movement toward wholeness and soul satisfaction in your life.

Sense of wonder

Morning sunlight illuminates silver spider filaments, pearlescent and rainbow colored in the soft glow.

They are the strings of a celestial instrument, tuned to the vibrations of the divine.

Amazing spider web

The music, the color audible and visible to those who believe in magic, those who leave logical thought behind for a time and connect with the spirits in all things. Those who expect miracles. Those who live in constant wonder and amazement at our amazing Earth and her many gifts.

Miracles abound for those who notice, who see and hear, who observe with a quiet mind, an open heart.

Let this heavenly music, this sense of wonder, this connection to the miracle of life on Earth feed and nurture your soul.

Monoculture

Nature abhors a monoculture… That can be a planting of one type of plant like potatoes. Or fields of nothing but corn or beans as far as the eye can see.

A monoculture can create a dependence on one kind of food, one source of nutrition to the exclusion of others. These planted monocultures deplete the soil of nutrients and vitality, requiring every more artificial pesticides and fertilizer, further depleting the health of the soil and water.

Dead tree

If the crop fails, so do the humans who depend exclusively on it.

A monoculture can also be planting one kind of tree in a town, such as ash or elm. A disease or pest specific to that type of tree can come along and wipe them all out, leaving a sun bleached and unhappy town behind. In a human created monoculture, the strengths of each plant or tree can become vulnerabilities.

Monoculture is not nature’s way. Nature allows a mass of many different plants that complement and feed each other and the wildlife who live nearby. They are all adapted to the land and soil, the climate, the water supply. Nature, when left to herself creates thriving diverse communities!

A monoculture of thought is like a gated community. Uniformity of beliefs and habits can seem like a strength at first. Keeping those who look, think, and believe differently locked out may give the illusion of strength and safety and power, of rightness.

But these seeming strong points create isolation from new and vibrant ideas, adaptations to changing conditions, evolution in thinking and beliefs that can help individuals, families and groups move forward in life with opportunities for connection and growth.

Instead of getting stuck and dying of the viral infection and malnutrition of hate & fear of the other, bring some variety and newness into your life.

Plant your garden with a profusion and variety of growing things that thrive together. Let your diet be varied in what you eat, Let your mind be rich in interesting new thoughts.

Monarch butterfly and wildflowers

Let your beliefs transform when they are getting stale, stuck and dusty by welcoming new people into your life. Let your acquaintances delight you with their interesting take on life, their intriguing ideas and customs, their different ways of eating and living happily on this planet.

Open your heart and mind to the richness and variety of this earth and all who dwell here and life will thrive with true health and vitality.

Butterflies

In this season we can observe those with colored wings, those whose life path is transformation, feeding on summer’s nectar.

Yellow swallowtail feeding on bee balm

There is enough bounty for all. The variety of wild flowers, orange, purple, gold, white, opening to the late summer sunlight, hosting the fluttering masses in an ancient symbiosis.

Before frost comes, before the killing cold, more eggs appear on host plants to become the tiny caterpillars of late summer, who feed, eat and spin their tiny chrysalis and silently begin their metamorphosis.

Monarch butterfly on wildflower

Emerging, unfolding new tender wings, absorbing the sunlight, gaining strength, following their age old ancestral pattern of migration, life, death, transformation, rebirth, .

Many who observe this fleeting beauty believe in miracles.

Creation/destruction

You are the creator of your life. But think of this… You are also the destroyer.

Prairie grass sprouts after a fire

In your home you paint fresh color on a wall, destroying and covering the old color. You may tear down a wall to create a larger room. You may give away or repurpose old clothes you no longer use to make room for new more fashionable and better fitting clothes.

In your life you dismantle those beliefs that no longer resonate or serve your purposes, and you create new supportive beliefs. You withdraw from relationships that hurt and diminish you and create new uplifting connections.

You create and destroy and create again. You make and unmake, you build up and tear down. You construct something fresh as you deconstruct the obstacles to its creation. In this way, you grow and create the life, the home, the environment that you desire.

You create and destroy just as nature does. A tree grows supple, flexible, tall, shady. After many years it becomes huge, brittle and breaks easily in a destructive storm. The sun can now reach the earth allowing new seedling to grow into the light as they feed on the decay from the old wood.

Tiny seedlings and concrete

As humans you must realize this is part of the pattern of your lives and your civilizations, your history. The new and fresh is built on the foundations of that which has served it’s purpose and can no longer sustain itself.

Your challenge is to discern when the time is right to release your tight grip on what has been and reach out in trust to what is coming and help to shape this new reality into a life that is lived fully, with a whole heart.

Knowing this pattern will help you weather the times of destruction in your life, divorce, the death of a loved one, a job loss, a move, a natural disaster. All of these events are difficult, perhaps devastating…

But please know that you will create a new life again from the ashes of the old. You will endure!

We will endure!

We plant spirits, the spirits of nature, and living plants in our hundreds of billions have endured, persevered, and adapted over the lifetime of our home Mother Earth.

Vine tendril

Some of our number have gone extinct only to be replaced by new plant life forms better adapted to new and different climatic conditions.

We plants adapt and endure even now with the warming oceans, super-storms, human alteration of our valleys, rivers, plains, mountains, and forests.

We will endure into the future as we’ve endured for billions of years trusting our seeds, spores, runners and roots to the future.

We are constantly changing and adapting to our home, interwoven with all life in the vast and complex web of existence.

Come out and play!

Have you kept yourself in the glow of your computer screen too long this year? Are you glued to the couch, too comfy in your recliner?

We the nature spirits of your land, invite you out to play! Let our shifting and dappled midsummer shade mesmerize you and bring you into the present moment and release your worries. Let the sailing clouds on a deep blue sky enchant you.

Tree swing

Let the flowing and sparkling water of a nearby stream fire your imagination and light up your childlike enjoyment of the simple things in life. Sail a paper boat, watch a large leaf float downstream, skip stones, drop rocks in the water and watch & listen for the splash…

Go to the playground and swing, climb a tree & observe everything above & below you, create a bouquet of wildflowers some might call weeds. Go barefoot. Twirl around until you get dizzy and then rest on the grass. Smell the clover. Watch for lightning bugs after dark. Take a moonlit walk.

Pure joy!

You are too serious! Leave your cares and worries behind and come out to play!

Disruption!

My peace has been disrupted by heavy equipment, its heavy vibrations shaking the earth, sending out un-harmonious energies, compacting the soil at my root zone.

Why buzz cut all the underbrush here in my shade zone? Why chop and mince all these beautiful growing things to the ground as if they were garbage?

This disrupts our community and sets us back. We grow together, or not at all.

Grandmother Cottonwood and friends

You with your heavy tracked chopper machine, do you really think you have dominion over the earth and all growing things? What will you do when the gasoline runs out?

I ask that all who live here show some respect to your fellow inhabitants of planet Earth. Live and let live!

Long after this chopper of live growth is gone, long after the machine has crumbled into rust, long after fossil fuels are history, the trees that grow from my offspring’s seeds will tower over this Earth once again, shading and sheltering all who grow nearby.

Each individual in the community of rooted beings will find their own niche to thrive and grow and live in peace and quiet here in our modest hillside community.

Harmony with nature

Perhaps you fear the power of storms, avalanches, earth quakes, lighting, tornadoes… hurricanes…bob cats, mountain lions, bears…

Nature is not your enemy!

You are not here to conquer and subdue nature, but to observe and learn her ancient language, understand her patterns moods and rhythms and live in harmony with her.

Flooded creek

To respect nature is to live in unity and accord with the forces and seasons of the natural world, reading her signs, staying clear of any dangers you perceive, taking shelter when needed, paying attention to her slightest cues and hints of what is to come.

These signs will touch your early warning system: your intuition that is born of your existence on this planet. You must pay attention to what is around you and how that resonates in your body heart and mind!

Living in harmony with nature can mean nurturing the plants and rooted growing beings from the towering trees to lush shade loving ground cover, learning their ways, what they need.

Hosta in bloom

Living in harmony with nature can mean caring for your domesticated animals, letting them teach you, observing their ways. It can also mean a kind and healthy balance between the habitats and habits and needs of wild creatures and those of the human world.

As you commune with the spirits of nature, you will know your place in this harmonious web of life and learn to exist in peace with all conditions and all creatures.