Joy!

I want you to know what you might call the joy, expansion and contentment I feel rooted to my home and reaching for the sun, moon and stars.

It is my life’s work to grow to full mature height, to put out new leaves and bead-like fruits containing numberless seeds each spring, to be fully present in my physical being, to inhabit my allotment of earth and sky, to pull in nourishment from soil and sunlight, rain and air. 

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GCW in summer

This life is all I know, the seasons changing, the weather moving across my valley, wind storms and lightning, torrential rain, or mist, heat and cloudless summer days.

My leaves, shimmering in the breeze, turning golden as the sun dips toward the south, each one released in its time, thousands of them forming a brown carpet at my roots, enriching the soil that feeds me.

Now the late summer slides moment by moment into  fall…  fall into winter… Soon, I will know the deep rest, renewal, and quiet of winter. I welcome this time of release…

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GCW in fall

Yes, I have lost branches, they’ve rotted, fallen away and thumped heavily into the soft earth at my roots… I let them go without regret… My crown is thinner now, down to the essence of what is needed for life.  No more, no less.

Until I am ready to release life itself, I shall continue stand here with patience, knowing and welcoming every creature that shelters with me; knowing those that fly above and burrow below, those 6 legged crawlers  and spinners that live in my bark, the scaly ones that slide silently through the underbrush, the fur bearers that visit, the winged ones large and small that nest in my branches or perch momentarily on my crown day and night. I know their songs, their colors, their habits, I know the grip of their tiny claws, the vibration of the beat of their wings.

I know intimately those rooted ones in our community – the grasses, thistles, oak, locust, sycamore, the sunflowers, goldenrod, the cone-flower, the milkweed the Queen Anne’s Lace… there are too many to name… our roots, stems, and branches interweave, our energies overlap – we are a living neighborhood.  We know and communicate with each other. We thrive together!

This life is so precious to me.  It brings me joy!  Can you feel it too?

Nature and time

You divide what you call “time” into even increments. You measure the immeasurable with clocks and watches, shiny addictive devices. You live by the schedule imposed from outside yourself. You order your lives according to the numbers and commands of the little gadget in your pocket or on your wall.

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Waxing moon and sycamore

You allow your ideas, beliefs, bodily needs for food and drink, rest and sleep to be ruled by a pale and ineffective substitute for the real thing. Do these ideas and concepts and gadgets run your lives instead of the sun that bathes our planet in life giving light? – instead of the cycles of nature?

The more “civilized’ you are, the farther you are from the seasons, rhythms of nature, of sun and moon, and dawn, noon, evening, dusk, planting, reaping, nesting, fledging, aging, death, and rebirth..

You have been created to order your days and nights according to the nuances of sunlight and moonlight, and the needs of your body. This is the wise way of all nature.

Your bodies – all living things are minutely attuned to this light – the angle of the sun, the length of days, the quality of brightness, the position of the sun, moon and stars in the sky…

There is no match for the wisdom of your bodies in concert with the natural world. Work within the wise ways of nature. Become a student of her cycles, her life giving energy.

All time is now, dear ones. There is only the infinite now. It is where you must attend your focus. Pull your mind from past and future, from the pull of your devices, and live in the light, for you will only be balanced, focused and centered in your power in the here and now.

It is the eternal present where the true richness of life unfolds.

Come and visit!

I’ve gotten my “haircut” for the year. Most of this year’s leaves are already scattered around my base, yellow and decaying, becoming food for next year’s growth and shimmering display.  A few of my dying leaves, still attached, flutter in the fall breeze sending silvery light through the woods and prairie margins. 

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Grandmother Cottonwood

Come and visit us here in the woods. Quiet down and listen to the sighing the singing, the flowing and fluttering, the heartbeat of the natural world that supports and feeds and nurtures each and every one of us.

Come visit your fellow earth inhabitants! Know that we love you!  Turn off that shiny “smart” object, put it in your pocket and commune with us.  Tune into your wild nature and remember your roots in the rich earth.  You are a beloved spirit, an irreplaceable part of the web of the whole.

We nature spirits and beings long to connect and uplift you, to soothe and comfort, and hold your feet firmly to the earth, the magnificent green planet that is our home.

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Hackberry tree bark

Lie on our fragrant cushion of fallen leaves, listen to the rushing creek, the birdsong, the crickets. Know that you belong, that we all belong together.

Non-permanence

Nothing in this universe is permanent but our indestructible spirits.

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Purple poppies

All is in constant flow and flux. What you call a stone is made of minute energy particles coalesced into matter, yet on a deeper level, permeable. On an even deeper level, nothingness.

Somehow, we are in a place where we perceive matter in solid form. Yet the pattern of non-permanence is shown to us in our cycles of life death life. All living things come into being, then must decay and pass away.

All landscapes erode, all cloud formations dissipate, all musical tones die away to the ear, bedrock becomes sand, and yet all deaths give rise to the new.

The upstart cottonwood sprout will surge ahead and surpass me some day as I enter my season of decline. Our parents will pass on, our beloved shade trees will succumb to age, our favorite pets will cease to exist on the physical plane.

Yet, the fabric of existence endures, as new rock is formed deep in the earth, as new clouds form on the horizon, as our children mature, bear children and become parents. This fabric is woven strong of spirit.

Pay attention

Pay attention to the here and now, for life does not happen inside your head.

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Spring ephemeral – Jack in the pulpit

 

Life does not happen on the TV, on your “smart” phone,  or in your computer. It unspools from your heart, that rhythm instrument each of you humans possess, but sometimes forget. It arises from the feelings and emotions of your body. That is life! Feel it! Be one with it!

Attune your life to the rhythms of your body– the heart and breath, your earth, your sun and moon, our seasons. So many clues exist to help you order your waking and sleeping, your eating, your quiet and active times with perfect balance and health.

Yet you allow the gadget called the clock to order your day. You march to its beat, you obey it’s dictates. You have given it power to tell you when to sit, and when to move, when to eat when to sleep. Your body is not consulted. And your health declines.

You allow the big box with moving images and the shiny hand held blinking things to arrest your attention, to take you away from your power and flow, to distract you from your life’s purpose and the precious days and nights that make up your lifespan.

Someday, as it must, your lifespan will come to a close. Will you mourn those precious moments you spent in your head, ignoring the here and now, the countless hours on your “smart” shiny thing, the days and weeks mesmerized by the moving talking images that you will forget in a moment when the power is switched off?  You yourself are ephemeral, your body will not last.  How do you choose to spend your time?

Back away from the devices. Pay attention to your body, to nature, to your feelings.  And live.

Have faith, spring is coming

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Little snow monkey

Hang on, winter weary humans, spring is coming! In the meantime, don’t wish your life away! Have faith like my roots that reach deep into the soil below the place where ice and cold and snow can touch them – deep into the warm dark earth, our home.

Have faith and trust that all is well! Behind the heavy cloud cover is the blue sky, beneath the snow, the grass waits, beneath the dead leaves and frozen soil, all manner of living things sleep, ready for the return of the sun.

Do not despise this time of year. Do not hate your circumstances. Do not live in the future imagined sunny day; for when you live in the fantasies of your mind, you negate the only thing that really matters, your most precious gift, the present moment!

You make yourself powerless when you live only in your head! It is your body and heart that live here and now. Find a way to fully inhabit your body, for then you will find true joy. Find something to take pleasure in each day, even if the snow lies until June!

You have been given a treasured gift- life here on earth. Use it wisely