Last week a bucket truck and workers clad in day-glo vests carrying chainsaws were seen in the vicinity of GCW.
Instead of trimming weak branches and removing dead wood as I had hoped, her western trunk was cut off several feet above her roots. Huge chunks of wood, splinters, and bark now scatter the ground around her for many yards.
I feel a huge sense of sadness and loss at this action. The landscape and horizon here on our patch have been changed forever.
For some reason a part of her eastern trunk was allowed to remain, so a portion of her once magnificent crown still gathers in summer light through silver and green leaves.
It is not known if the men in chainsaws will return to finish the job and bring her completely down.
Her remaining lifespan and physical being have been severely curtailed, but her spirit endures.
I know she will continue to speak. Her wise and loving spirit cannot be destroyed, cannot be diminished or eradicated.
You are the creator of your life. But think of this… You are also the destroyer.
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.
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!
Do you allow yourself to make the kind gesture, let yourself reach out to others when that is your first impulse?
Do you stop yourself from creating new friendships, visiting family members, having friends over when deep down you know you would thrive on the connection?
Some day, dear ones, your friend may move many hundreds of miles away, your family member may fall ill, your loved one may die. Your life in thisbody is limited and finite so you must make the most of each moment.
(Please remember – the life of your spirit is infinite and unlimited!)
Do you feel you are not worthy of love, connection, or deep abiding friendships with amazing people? This dear one, is a distortion in your thinking. Begin compassionately and lovingly to create new habits of thought that support your highest good!
Trust your spirit to know who to spend time with. Trust the whisperings within you that move you toward connection and wholeness and expansion.
Allow yourself to participate fully in the great web of life that connects all living things with the resilient and powerful threads of love.
Betty’s note: Recently, my youngest brother, Steve died unexpectedly. I hope Grandmother Cottonwood’s words will resonate with those of you who’ve lost a loved one.
Now that a loved one has left his body behind and his spirit has crossed to the light, we must grieve this unimaginable change, this shattering of expectations, hopes and dreams, this kind and loving presence in our lives, now gone, this ground of the known universe, this brother that has been with us since earliest days.
In the blink of an eye, the measure of a breath, the beat of a heart, our lives have changed and we are forced to let go, to allow his spirit to continue on in a new form, in a new dimension, one that is not so easy to wrap our minds and hearts around.
His physical form has left the building, but his spirit, the expansive peaceful part of him that is love, that is eternal and indestructible, lives on.
Have you seen? I have lost many branches in my long life, The dead sumps and scars are here to be seen, the bark still protruding where it once protected a dear limb, now white and rotting on the earth at my roots.
Have you lost something precious, someone dear? Does your heart grieve? All living things know loss. Sickness and health. Injury and healing. Having and losing. Grasping and letting go. Falling and rising again, perhaps to a new reality you didn’t ask for and don’t want.
Can you sit and breathe through the tears? That is enough for now, simply sit and feel and breathe, even though your tears may fall. Can you love yourself, the part of you that feels what all others who have walked this earth have felt? Can you simply love yourself as you sit and breathe and feel?
For love heals. The breath heals. Feeling heals. Tears heal.
Expect nothing. Simply sit and feel and breathe. Like waves on the shore – in and out in and out, the rhythm of life.