Survival

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.

Find your sweet spot

You as humans are creatures of the light. But you need the dark to be healthy and thrive. You must create a balance.

First you must sleep in the dark, dreaming, recharging and renewing your bodies and minds, then waking and soaking in the light, acting, getting things done, creating the life you dream of.

Within this balance of light and dark, action and rest, you find your sweet spot so you can create and sustain a thriving life.

I as a towering cottonwood tree must find my balance between spring growth and winter rest, between roots and branches.

Grandmother Cottonwood

I would not want to topple over in a windstorm for lack of roots, top heavy with huge and heavy limbs. I would not want to waste my energy sending cottonwood sized roots deep and wide into the soil to support a small and modest crown the size of an apple tree.

To be healthy, the Earth and her atmosphere must strike a balance between hot and cold, wet and dry, storm and calm, ebb and flow, flood and drought, summer and winter, health and sickness…

All living creatures, the Earth among us, must find our balance, our sweet spot for thriving and living in our world of cycles and seasons, of fear and love.

Climate change

Our world is heating up and we are stressed!

Our ancestors became acclimated to a cooler world. The capacity to survive within those parameters has been passed down through thousands of generations of all animals, plants, humans birds, insects, sea creatures from the blue whale to tiny one celled organisms from desert sage to all manner of mushrooms, to towering cottonwood trees.

Grandmother Cottonwood

All of us live and thrive here on our home planet within a limited range of conditions.

We are slowly being pushed out of our comfort zone. Our home is becoming a stranger to us.

The seasonal changes become erratic, the timing is off. Trees maintain their leaves later in the year, and become vulnerable to ice and freezing rain. The weight of thick ice on thousands of leaves and branches can topple and crush a huge tree.

You might be comfortable in climate controlled buildings or cars. You might not get outside much or tune yourself closely to nature’s subtle rhythms and harmonies, so you might not know with the evidence of your own senses that our world is shifting out of balance.

I speak for the great web of life. I speak for the rooted ones, the four legged fur bearers, those with wings, the six and eight legged communities, all living creatures that form our web of life with intricate interconnections and relationships.

Squirrel and walnut tree

We are all in this together! We need each other to survive!

Dear humans, please find a way to work together, heal your animosities, your grudges and resentments. Release your emotional baggage in healthy ways, heal once and for all your ancestral enmities.

Clear yourselves so you can be at your full light and power, at the highest vibrations you are capable of. You are needed here and now to heal this Earth and bring our home back into harmony and balance between all beings…

…between hot and cold, day and night, summer and winter, give and take, life and death, resistance and flow, fear and love.

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.

Heat got you down?

Nature’s wisdom and rhythms suggest a nice rest, a siesta today until the sun is lower in the sky and you can move around the yard and neighborhood with greater ease and comfort as the evening cool settles in.

Wilted and drowsy plants wait for the cooler evening to perk up. Animals seek their cool and dark burrows, or the dense shade under trees and brush.

The height of summer is upon us. As your ancestors have been doing since time began, seek the shade and breeze, rest and nap during the intense heat, wait for your second wind later in the day as the air cools. Then you can get things done when your body regains energy.

When you act in harmony with nature’s rhythms your life flows more easily.

New Moon

The time of the new moon means it is time to renew and refresh your plans. What is most important for you to bring in during the waxing moon?

Now is the time to decide what you want to bring into your life in the next two weeks. Focus on those projects & ideas that inspire and fire you up. Now is the time to do your research and gather what you need to sustain you as the moon waxes and grows and gains strength and light.

What do you want more of in life? Plant those seeds at the time of the new moon. Nurture them through waxing moon. Rest on the full moon, then take action and tie up loose ends during the waning moon.

When you live by rhythms of the moon, you effortlessly increase the power of your effectiveness in the projects and plans your heart has chosen for you to accomplish.

You can accomplish smaller goals in a month, planting the seeds, gathering what you need, then taking action and finally resting and enjoying your accomplishment.

You can plan your large projects this way as well. One large goal or project divided into smaller steps, Each year, 13 cycles of planning and acting, culminating in your year long finished project.

Flowing water

Work with the energies of the moon. Go with the flow of energy so you’re not always fighting against the tides of her powerful energy. Learn to live in harmony with the moon.

You are a creature of the earth, the ancient rhythms of moon and tide, day and night, summer and winter. Relax into these powerful cycles and let your life flow.

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!

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.