Survival

Dear readers this post is from the archives of AskGCW.

Rumors of the demise of Mother Earth have been greatly exaggerated. This planet will endure, she will continue spinning on her axis, orbiting the sun. Day will follow night. The sun will rise in the East. The ancient cycle of seasons will endure, the moon will wax, become full, wane, then begin again in darkness.

Full Moon

The ancient cycles will endure even if humans are no longer here to witness the beauty, to name the seasons, and study the stars

Humans are slowly committing suicide as they ignore the warning signs of the stressed and overtaxed environment and atmosphere. I ask you to slow down and listen to your Great Grandmother the Earth. Learn her language. Pay attention to her signs, symbols, her distress call.

When you learn her language, the language of the web of life, you will learn the ancient ways of survival on this planet. You will learn to respect the amazing intelligence built up over eons of time within every living thing and every living system.

Tuning in to the messages and intricate interconnections of the web of life and hearing the voices of all living things here on this planet still means survival.

Technology in your pocket, shiny objects, expensive homes will not save or buffer you from the reality that you are a part of this web of life, a part of nature. We survive together!

Take action to divest yourselves and your human cultures of greed and corruption. Stop over-consuming our precious resources and hoarding wealth for only a few. These things damage the web of life.

Learn to use only what you need. Learn to be humble. Learn to love each step you take on Mother Earth, each breath you take into your miraculous body, each beat of your heart.

Wake up and embrace your precious life on this precious Earth!

Choose life! Slow down, live simply.

Daylilies

Each of our exquisite flowers lasts only one day.

As the sun comes up, our buds unfold like bright stars and open to the light. We expand and blaze brightly, opening our hearts, living in the grace of this moment and the next, and the next until darkness falls.

We shine and glow. We open our hearts to pollinators and beauty seekers. We stand alone or in masses spreading slowly over the years. We live our lives under the sun moon and stars.

We sun colored beauties bloom during the long summer days. Each bloom shines for one day from our unfolding at dawn to our decline and wilting when darkness falls.

We daylily blooms must make the most of our precious short lives in the sun.

The foundation of our growth- our tough roots connecting us to mother earth. They gain strength, multiply and spread year by year. Our arching leaves soak in life-giving light throughout the growing season, feeding our roots.

We live to bloom. It is the culmination, the high point of our year. Our tough and resilient roots draw up what is needed for our elegant leaves of deep green and our exquisite budding stalks in June and July, months of long days and bright sun.

Time stands still on these days as we shine in the light of grace, fully alive in this present moment.

We open our short lived buds and bloom without reserve, each for one precious golden day.

The tree spirit speaks

In my new state of expansion, I feel a freedom like I imagined flying would be, soaring like the turkey vultures that inhabit the wooded valley I once called home. Lighter than air. Free from gravity.

Soaring Turkey Vultures

My new perspective and existence as spirit gives me exquisite sensitivity to the frequencies and vibrations, the interconnected web of energy in all things. I feel the vibrations of the humble earthworm, the microscopic bacteria in the soil that endow fertility, the shy and gliding snakes winding their way through the prairie grasses, belly to belly with our Earth, tasting and smelling the rich soil, the dancing stream, rippling in the sunlight, flowing steadily without resistance to the river.

Prairie grasses

I see the empty place in the canopy where I once stood. I grew tall and spread my limbs wide. I felt joyful to live in my beloved home. Once upon a time…

Now I see that other trees and rooted beings will soon shoot up and claim the sunny space I left behind. taking their place in the canopy. They will soak in the sunshine, draw up moisture from the soil, spread their limbs wide. They will endure lightning, high winds, rain storms, freezing cold, wilting heat. They will thrive and survive through adversity, through lean years and fat years.

They will grow as I did, reaching to the light, sending down roots without resistance. Expanding year by year. Loving life!

Because life is worth it! Life is precious.

Trees and perseverance

From a minuscule seed to a towering giant many decades later, we trees have an enduring will to live to survive and thrive. We know how to persevere.

We develop strong roots and sturdy branches and thick bark to survive. In our tender days and weeks, we must survive hungry insects and gnawing mammals looking for a tender bite, a succulent treat, floods that would undercut our roots, drown on suffocate us, mowers and grazers, weeders, weed killers, cultivators.

Tiny seedlings and concrete

We must live with the prospect of being overshadowed by larger plants, storms, wind that might uproot us or break our branches, lightening strikes that kill our friends and neighbors, the dreaded chainsaw; winter chills frost upheavals, summer heat that could fry an egg.

Yet we endure! Every spring we wake and choose life once again, sending out new shoots and leaves, increasing our roots, growing taller, wider, stretching to the light.

Grandmother Cottonwood summer light

We persevere for what choice do we have? We choose life.

Spring Evening

Sun sinks toward the western horizon. Light pierces through the woods creating long shadows, dramatically spotlighting a single leaf, tree trunk, branch or blossom.

Robin sings the familiar evening songs all robins have sung since this land was new.

American robin

Tender new maple leaves fan out, yellow green against the pale blue late afternoon sky. Ferns unroll their sweet green toothy leaves and stretch out in the cool shade.

Violets shelter close to the ground, lifting their purple faces among the heart shaped leaves. Bumble bees work every possible blossom while the light holds.

The plants, trees, shrubs, perennials, and what are often called weeds grow in a riot, each claiming its place, rooting down and reaching up to the light, each finding a home.

Red squirrel

Squirrels chase and take giant leaps from tree to tree, passing time with a little craziness, a little play, a little high wire act with no net.

Turkey vultures

Vultures make their way home from all across the city, soaring, catching the last updrafts of the day. They can’t resist a few final figure eights, and possibly an aerial trick or two, formation flying with their next of kin before bedtime. They finally approach the roost trees and make a production of settling down with much flapping.

The waxing moon sails like a kite above the houses waiting for night.

Now only the tree tops catch the sunlight, burnishing them a golden green or bronze for a precious moment before all is bathed once again in shadow.

All creatures and rooted beings who make their living here take their essential place in the web of life.

Our Earth turns and the sun sinks below the horizon. Time to rest and settle. Time to watch the stars come out.

Reweave the Web of Life

Tender green shoots reach toward the sun. This is life on our home, Planet Earth. The seasons turn, spring follows winter, the earth revolves, night follows day. All life depends on these ancient cycles and rhythms that we have learned to trust and depend on.

Cottonwoods at dusk

But now the web of life has been severely disrupted, threatening human life on our home planet and creating vast imbalances that magnify pre-existing imbalances and injustices. This disruption is throwing life on our blue and green planet out of tune, off true center, out of kilter, creating untold misery.

The intricate web of life has kept our planet healthy and in balance for millennia, providing conditions for life under the sun and stars. Now the damage to our web is showing up with widespread sickness and death, magnifying the imbalances that provide rude shelter and meager food for billions, a basic existence for many, abundant food, water, good health and riches for some; vast unimaginable wealth for a few.

To help reweave the web of life, begin to rethink your definition of wealth. Let your new thinking inspire new actions.

What is more precious than clear unpolluted fresh air or a deep breath that is easily exhaled? The feel of sun or rain on your skin, the beauty of thriving evergreen trees, blooming grasses and flowers, songbirds building their nests, the sight of a thin crescent moon through bare tree branches? Happy and healthy children? The tastes and textures of a simple meal to be savored? The smile of a loved one? A warm home in winter? What is true wealth?

Evergreens

Can you simplify and downsize your life and still feel wealthy?

Rethink your definition of what is necessary for you to enjoy daily life. Rethink your definition of true health. That includes health for all who people this Earth, and all life forms that grow and live their lives here on land, in sea and air.

The disruption in the web of life on Earth will help to focus your human attention on what is precious, what is true in your life, what changes you wish to make, what you can do that will help all living beings reweave our priceless web of life in which all things are one.

Rethink your true purpose here. Go beyond the surface. Dig deeper in your thinking. Tune in to your heart and spirit, and ask to know your role in the web of life and your role in reweaving the web.

We are all connected as one. We are meant to thrive together in our interconnections, to live in harmony and balance.

We all create and experience the best of life and health together, or we stand by and witness the diminishment of our lives, our families our potential, and our spirits.

We must act with compassion to reweave and restore true balance in our web of life.

Time for Spring Cleaning!

Are you surrounded by an accumulation of too much stuff? Is your brain filled to bursting with too many thoughts, ideas, worries, fears, or emotional baggage?

It’s time to spring clean, time to release the old, the worn out, that which no longer floats your boat, makes you happy, gives you joy. That which holds you back in life.

Do you have the confidence to let go of objects that gather dust, furniture that over-stuffs your rooms, knick knacks and tchotchkes that came into your life for some reason years ago that you keep out of habit, things others chose for you, clothes that no longer reflect who you’ve become or who you are becoming?

Making room in your home will allow more flow in your life! Your space will breathe with more light and air and better energy movement.

Do you have the courage to face and heal the tired old habits of thought, the stale and possibly smelly emotions that keep you stuck, the fears that hold you back, the worries that muddy your precious days?

Clearing emotional baggage will help raise your frequency and assist in bringing clarity of purpose and more joy and creativity to your life.

De-clutter your mind and spirit, spring clean your soul and glow with clear energy, thoughts and actions that support who you’ve become, who you choose to be, who you wish to become.

You are the interior designer of your entire life! You get to choose what to think and feel, what to bring in to your physical presence, how you want spirit to express itself in your life.

Every design choice you make – what to keep, what to discard, what thoughts to entertain in your brain, what emotions to address – creates your life now!

Promise of spring

Sunlight gradually returns to our beloved valley. Winter still reigns with ice snow and cold, but the promise of spring warmth and light and growth feed my dreams.

Soon our community of living beings will wake up. Sharp green shoots of prairie grasses will poke up through last years dead stems and leaves, attracted to the light and heat of the sun.

My tightly closed buds will once again swell and grow large, unrolling tender green leaves as they open to the strong spring light. My beaded seed pods will grow and mature in weeks, finally splitting open to release my seeded fluff on the world.

Cottonwood leaves and seeds

The vultures will return from their southern vacation to ride the warm updrafts above the evergreens, weaving their figure eights across our valley as they perform their cleanup duties and take their place in the web of life.

Our fur bearing friends will once again play in the treetops and build their nests or dig their burrows, mate and give birth, raise their young, and seek their daily bread.

Hibernating snakes toads and frogs will slowly emerge as the sun warms their hiding places. They’ll soak in the life giving energies of heat and light, warming their bodies in pools of sunlight.

Songbirds will soon return and bring color, music, movement, activity as they select their nesting place and build their beautifully constructed summer homes, lay eggs and raise their young.

Female red winged blackbird

The eternal cycle of life and the seasons will play out once again in this small valley we call home. We dream and plan for spring, the season of renewal and awakening.

The Plant Spirits Speak

We are ancient, wise in the ways of growing things that have existed on this planet for a hundred thousand centuries and more…

Summer Hosta Blooms

We create and hold sacred space among our copses and fields, our tall grass and short grass prairies, our city parks and farmsteads, our old growth forests and newly planted windbreaks, our shady riverbanks, our dry desert landscapes, our steep mountain slopes, our modest backyard gardens.

Each community of varied growth adapted to the climate, the realities of the place – each with its own wisdom, it’s own web of life, all plant citizens interweaving and complementing each other, communicating, living in harmony and balance.

We live and breathe and grow in what humans might erroneously call silence. We are not silent! It is just that your ears cannot hear our vibrations. Your eyes cannot see our energy. Your logical minds do not yet comprehend our plant wisdom. Your ears cannot hear or understand our communications.

But we speak to you eloquently in a language you can understand – with our winter sleep, our spring renewal, summer growth, and autumn release.

Golden cottonwood leaf and bark

We speak of the alchemy of light, the stability and necessity of roots, the miracle contained in a tiny seed, the ease of growth and expansion, of choosing a place to call home and settling in for the long haul. We speak of reaching to the sun. We speak of interdependent communities, of varied members living together in harmony. We speak of patience and acceptance. We speak of weathering the storm and enduring.

Can you hear us?

We lift our branches and leaves to the sun, rooted to Mother Earth.

A word to humans: Dear ones, for our continuing health and well-being and the well-being of this entire planet and all her inhabitants, we need soil and air and water free of artificial enhancements, pollutants and additives that act counter to our long term needs and create imbalances in the web of life. Please act to make this so within your circle of influence!

Winter gifts

Have you gone outside on a midwinter day to lie on the cool crusty snow, letting the Earth take your weight and support you, the snow molding to your shape?

Winter deer path

Have you gone out to lie down and soak in the cool fresh air, to absorb the Earth Energy that powers you? To know your oneness with all of life?

Let the nearby trees weave a lacy net of branches for your protection. Know the solid fabric of their roots below the surface, creating a strong foundation for your physical life, holding and anchoring the soil that gives us life.

Let the clean cool air refresh and revitalize your energy, lift your spirits, the blue sky inspire your dreams, expand your mind, enlarge your knowledge of what is possible.

Dream and rest under the sky, letting the blanket of snow cushion and cradle you.

Let yourself be one with this Earth and accept her precious winter offerings.