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…

Can you stop talking?

Can you stop talking for a time each day and sink deeper into your mind to a place that does not know speech?

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Cottonwood leaves and seeds

Can you stop thinking, obsessing, ruminating, judging, and analyzing for a time each day and allow yourself to rest from the constant barrage of thoughts? A moment of peace?

Can you observe the flood tide of words and thoughts in your mind floating downstream and out of your awareness? Can you put down your shiny device, turn off the TV, the radio, the computer, the little object that beeps, blinks, and demands your attention? It may seem impossible!

Can you make some room in your mind for silence? Can you clear a space – your own private, peaceful refuge within your mind?

Can you slow down your pace just for a few minutes each day and touch the central core of you, the infinite, the loving, the deep, the expanded heart and soul of you? Can you become intimate with your true self?

Cottonwood seeds

2016-05-30 10.05.47 (640x480) (640x480)Spam or the fluff of life?

Dear ones, all of my kind bless the earth with our confetti of cotton, our gentle shower of seeds, our annual pouring forth of faith in what is yet to come. You may think the deep drifts of tiny cotton puffs along the sidewalks and streets are overkill, too much- spam if you will. (Have you seen what the silver maples did last month? Later the oaks will pelt you soundly with bushels of acorns that fall like hailstones.) But I digress.

Life is sacred and must be honored. My seeds, perhaps millions of them are each a chance at fresh new life. They are sown on the wind with trust in the process of life! Most will end up fertilizing your yard or garden, or will be washed into the creek, but some will find the right place. All factors will line up: the moon phase, the soil type, sunlight, rainfall, slope of the land, shelter from drying winds…

The lucky winners will feel the stirrings deep within, then send down tiny roots and reach sunward with bright little seed leaves. The luckiest among this select group will grow tall, avoid the mover’s blade, the hungry grazing animal, the drought or devastating flood, the gardener intent on weeding alien seedlings that appear in her flower bed, the crushing earth mover, the wayward boot or bike tire…

Several of my offspring are sure to put down roots, to grow and flourish and eventually tower gracefully above the other trees and provide a home for the diverse creatures of the creek fringe. They will take their place in the timeless cycle of life on this our beautiful green earth.

Do not curse my fluff, for it is the fluff of life!