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.

The Joy of Being

Even in this dark and frozen time, I am alive and thriving. I am fully aware in the way of trees. My spirit never sleeps.

Grandmother Cottonwood

Here in my beloved home my roots reach deep into the soil. I do not question my existence. I do not worry. I do not fear. I simply am.

I do what trees everywhere do. I root to the earth and grow effortlessly toward the light. I respond to the seasons, sending out seeds in spring, bursting with growth in summer, releasing my leaves in fall, sleeping in the winter.

I am expansive. I am so much more than the magnificent tree you see before you. I feel what you humans would call love for this life.

This love is me. It is my energy, it is who I am. It may be invisible, but those who have the sensitivity, the ability to feel beyond the five senses will know it.

Life here on this patch of earth under the dome of the eternal sky, day and night, sun, moon, planets, and stars brings me what you humans might call joy.

Perhaps joy is my true purpose here…

…the joy of being, the joy of living, of expanding toward the light, the joy of knowing the precious gift of life!

Message from a tree

Stop awhile on your hike, your walk to work or school, lean against my trunk, absorb my loving energy. I have much to give.

I share my strength, my shade, my beauty with you. You can trust my solidity. My roots anchor me securely. I will not wobble or fall, back away or collapse as you lean your full weight against me. I am here for you, a sure presence.

Grandmother Cottonwood

I share my loving energy with you. What you might call my love is all encompassing. It does not question or expect or judge, it simply radiates like joy from the core of my being, embracing and enriching and interweaving with the entire web of life.

I share my tree wisdom with you. I have weathered many storms, many cold winters, droughts, floods, beating summer suns, loss of limbs, nearby construction projects that have felled many of my companion trees, yet I endure and thrive. I continue to send my roots into the earth for nourishment and reach my branches to the light life-giving sunlight.

Hackberry bark

Those of you who pay attention with your heart and your 5 senses can learn from the trees. You might learn patience in the face of change. You might learn endurance in all seasons, all weather conditions, You might discover a new way to think about unconditional love.

You might learn that to be strong and stable you must develop deep roots and connect with Earth energy. You might learn how to gracefully claim and take up the space that is yours and spread your branches to the light, because it is your birthright.

You can learn much from a tree. Trust, root deep, love, endure.

Winter’s rest

As the light slowly returns to the sky, as the northern hemisphere of our Earth turns once again toward the light, the energy of all living things slowly shifts into a time of pause and rest as the light grows little by little each day.

Deep midwinter, a time to rest and draw inward, a time to tune into your body and your breath, time to relax and let go of your striving pushing and must do, must have mentality.

Grandmother Cottonwood in winter

Your entire being is exquisitely tuned to the light, the seasons. Trust the wisdom and honor the needs of your body mind and spirit. Yes, you may be able to override your instincts and rhythms for awhile, but at what cost?

When your body requires rest, when your mind requires contemplation and when your heart needs to turn inward, you will have to let go of your expectations for “getting things done” that is so near and dear to the human heart.

Winter is a time to dream, a time to plan, a time to rest. When you empty your mind of whirling thoughts and big ideas and the need to push forward for a time, you make room for fresh new creative energy to enter your life.

Frozen creek

Getting things done, enjoying increased energy, getting started on your pet projects will come in time, my dears. Have patience during the darker colder months. As the light grows, you will gain energy and stamina and your sense of purpose will return.

For now, allow yourself to close your eyes, cover yourself in comfort, breathe, sleep and dream. You rest knowing this time your body needs for renewal will not last forever.

Trust the rhythm of your days, the seasons of your life, the wisdom of your body. Trust the needs and longings of your spirit.

When you love and nurture yourself in this way, you truly know what it is to love yourself unconditionally.

The Evergreens Speak

We are delighted and proud to bless this Earth with our heavenly fragrances, our beautiful crowns of green all year long, our deep roots that hold and weave the soil into a strong fabric, our spreading branches that shelter and provide homes and food for many living creatures, feathered, winged, fur bearing, six and eight legged.

Cedar in the snow

We take seriously our charge to lovingly shelter your homes, playgrounds, parks, schools and farmsteads, to provide beauty and stability, to act as silent companions to the dead in graveyards, to decorate your homes and places of worship in the dark and cold times of year when all other growing things are brown and sleeping

We are honored to enter into your homes and buildings to provide the structural support of the walls, floors, roofs, the natural beauty of our wood-grain in your trims and furniture. We lovingly share our beauty and our strength with you.

We evergreens spread our cloaks of green standing tall and proud, loving all beings, loving this life, this Earth, sharing sunlight and air with all living creatures, knowing the stones the soil and bedrock, rooted deeply and reaching to the light…

Evergreens in snow

We spread our fragrant green limbs in blessing.

Solstice

Low angled amber sunlight, long shadows, black skeletons of trees now visible as last summer’s dead leaves whirl away on the wind. Flocks of geese flying in formation.

Grandmother Cottonwood

Shafts of sunlight reach further and further into the house, striking a chord of memory from past winters…

Seeking out and momentarily lighting up hidden corners and far reaches. Illuminating interior hallways…

Inviting for a moment that which is hidden and dark to receive the light, to shine and glow in the clear and rare blessing of the winter solstice:

The slanting amber sunlight that turns all it touches to gold.

Prairie Seasons

Now the grasses and wildflowers, brown and gray after the first hard frost, heavy with seed, begin their long sleep under winter’s blanket.  Another year’s growth now dying back, dropping seed onto my dark and ancient soil.

Growing like a riot in the hot and sunny seasons, reaching to the sun, rooting into the earth. Dancing the ancient dance of life on this planet!

Remembering summer, not long past, as our magnificent tall and slender grasses waved in the wind, soaked in the strong sunlight of the endless summer days.

Tall prairie grasses

Remembering the exquisite opalescent skies at dusk.

Remembering our roots reaching deep into the earth to anchor us and draw in nourishment. Remembering our huge network of interwoven roots holding the soil as the storms blew through the rains washed over and pounded our grasses almost flat.

Our deep roots giving grasses taller than a man stability on their slender stems, the strength and resilience to flex and sway with the constant summer breezes, the great masses of big bluestem undulating like waves on the sea, in constant motion.

Here is abundant life in summer! Any bit of open soil claimed by another fallen seed. This beautiful land, a variegated community, a web of growth.

I am home to furbearers, insects of all descriptions, frogs, turtles, snakes, songbirds, birds of prey. Our summer prairie teems with life, teems with promise.

Redwing blackbird

Now in late fall a time of rest as the sun turns its face to the south, draining warmth from the land.  Now  we fold our tents, burrow deep, send life down into our roots, slow our breathing and hearts to sleep awhile, out of the freezing cold.

Wildflower seedheads

Our summer has been a riot of color, growth, raucous birdsong, feeding butterflies, burrowing mice, dancing green grasses, blooming wildflowers. 

And now it is our season to rest and renew ourselves for next year’s gathering, our exuberant celebration of life under the huge dome of sky and light that gives us life.