When winter knocks on the door and you are snowed in, you can’t leave the house, can’t escape yourself. All human movement in the white world ceases for a time as the wind roars, snow swirls and drifts pile up against all obstacles.
Here you are in the house, cozy and warm, yet there remain many long weeks until the spring thaw comes. You will endure the cold, the wind. You will survive this harsh and bleak time of year when life seems to have abandoned the world.
Winter strips bare the bones of Mother Earth, lays the reality of the frozen world before you – the tree wraiths with their black branches dancing in the gusting wind that cuts like a knife.
Many compare winter to death. But, dear ones, life waits deep in the roots of the sleeping trees and grasses, Deep in the soil below the frost zone, beneath the blinding drifts of snow. Life bides her time, resting and waiting for the warm mild days to return, the bright spring sun that draws all life upward to his life giving light.
When winter overtakes your being, find time to rest and go inward. Connect with the spark of existence that is deep within your being and know that life will return once again when the season turns.
Dear friends, thank you for your patience while I paused my blog due to an illness in the family. My family member is doing well. We’re back now. Many blessings, Betty
Now, in the words of GCW:
If I could weep, I would not weep, for our Earth and her many inhabitants have survived upheaval, turmoil, danger, disease, war, plague, drought, famine, violence, death and destruction over the eons life on this planet has existed.
Beneath the fear, the terror, the hate and destruction seen in current events, beneath the profound deprivation visited upon so many families lies the spirit, untouched by death and destruction, enduring, gaining in wisdom from lifetime to lifetime. Unbreakable, unshakeable.
At the heart of your spirit lies peace.
At the heart of your spirit lies a loving and profound silence in which all things are possible.
At the heart of your spirit lies the unfolding of love, the love that carries us from lifetime to lifetime with joyful anticipation, that permeates the billions of living beings on Earth, that infuses the cells and DNA of all living things.
The very web of life is composed of the energy of this love. All spirits are joined as one in this magnificent web.
When times are difficult, when you feel fear, when all you’ve known is breaking apart, tune into your spirit for the wide angle view. Like a soaring bird, your spirit will help you rise up and see your life, your family, your community, the events of the day from 1000 feet up.
When you are able to gain this spirit perspective you can feel the temporariness of fearful and dangerous events, the immensity of peace and love surrounding and permeating this world, this universe.
Dear reader, this post is from the archives of AskGCW.
As trees, we must practice patience. We begin humbly, as a tiny fragile looking seed finding a home in the soil where conditions for life and future growth exist- moisture, light air soil, warmth… the sense of home and belonging.
Here our first roots unroll toward earths’ magnetic pull. Our precious seed leaves burst out and open, stretching to the light. This is our home for life, this patch of soil and sun.
We are settled here. We are content and patient in the place chance has chosen for us. We live lives of endurance, growing slowly year by year adding height and girth, our bark expanding and thickening.
We practice patience as our new green branches turn woody in months gaining in strength and size over the years. We stand tall according to our nature, we soak in light, pull in nutrients and moisture from the soil, feeding ourselves, providing homes for birds and insects, wildlife, tiny mammals, mosses, lichen. We do this for decade upon decade.
For generations, for lifetimes we thrive and survive.
You might consider us to be miracles! From fragile seedlings to magnificent mature trees, we have a strong will to live and endure, to take up the space we need, to soak in our share of sunshine and pull in the sustenance we need from the Earth.
We patiently endure droughts, torrential rains, lightening, storms, extreme cold and wilting heat. Year after year we patiently adapt to the conditions of our environment. Sometimes these conditions cause stress and then we benefit from your care concern and attention.
We are the calm green backdrop to your lives, providers of cooling shade, beautifying your neighborhoods and landscapes, holding the soil, clearing the air, sheltering your farms towns and and cities, greening your cemeteries, ranging over mountains and ringing lakes.
We lovingly watch your children grow from infants to adults, we witness with affection the growth and development of your grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Dear reader, this post is from the archives of AskGCW.
You humans have built an amazing civilization. But I wonder, Dear Ones, does it lift you up in ways that feed your spirit and serve your soul?
You all have within you the energetic memories of a time when humans were in tune with the spirits of the land, connected to nature, free to choose their path and direction, when they lived a simpler life and danced around a fire deep into the night.
Let me be frank. You have been domesticated and tamed. Of course at first your need for domestication was about survival on this planet with unpredictable weather, predatory animals, unstable food sources, sudden accidents…
And now you have these basics, you have evolved systems of farming and food storage, medical care, learned to keep yourselves safe, the dangerous animals at bay…
But now what? Have things gone too far?
Have you sold your souls and your autonomy for the convenience of a sleek little phone, 2 cars in the garage, a paid off mortgage the best schools for your kids?
I’m telling you, you can reclaim your wild spirit, your deep soul that is your birthright, while retaining what is good and useful in your civilizations for your survival on the planet and a thriving life.
What is your definition of a thriving life?
If you are restless, if you feel you are missing that deep part of you, that something precious has gone, learn to tap into your true and untamed and fierce heart. Do not give yourself away or betray this part of you for love or money or the illusion of safety.
This inner fire is your true inheritance from those ancestors of the deep past who survived, from those who painted on torch-lit cave walls, who learned to speak to spirits and survive in harmony with our Earth’s rhythms and cycles, who found life a sacred trust, a gift of the ancestors.
Reclaim this deep abiding center of yourselves by living consciously. You get to choose what to keep, what to let go of in your life.
You alone can discern what makes your heart sing, what causes dullness and heaviness in your spirit, what lifts you up, what drags you down.
Live as though every moment is sacred, every living thing is holy, every person precious, with your wild untamed heart and spirit at the center of your beautiful life
My crown and trunk have been severed and cut up, shredded, hauled away to be burned or used for mulch in someone’s garden … I am only a stump now…
…but my roots still live! New tender green sprouts rise up now, between my thick old bark and what was once my sapwood. Anyone can count the rings now in my exposed heartwood and tell my age.
My little shoots absorb the intense summer sunlight, growing taller each day, shooting up into the sunlit open sky. Trusting life again, fragile, yet stubborn.
I am a survivor!
Dear ones, does new life what to renew itself through you after the storms and traumas you’ve been through? What new growth, new ideas, new energy unfold into your consciousness and begin to move you? What new inner stirrings let you know you are not yet dead, not yet defeated, not yet ready to give up?
Contemplate this question: Is it time to recommit to your life here, to choose this life you’re living once again with full knowledge that life can bring hurt, pain, loss frustration, trauma, injury and also joy, happiness, contentment, blessing, wholeness, bliss, transcendence?
I know that you are stubborn, you endure, you are a survivor. Why do I know this? Because you are here now in a body on our planet Earth at this time. You are meant to be here! Somehow, for reasons we may never know, all living beings have chosen this life even in these difficult times.
Just when you think all is lost, pay attention to your inner world, your spirit and you feel the stirrings of renewed life and unfolding growth inside, the will to live. Give it time to grow stronger, to take root, to gain momentum.
You as a human being can choose life again and again throughout your span of years. With all its uncertainty and impermanence, choose life.
Tiny new plants claim hairline cracks in stone to spread their roots. Small mammals survive on discarded crumbs. Insects hatch in a dribble of water. They choose life. They cling tenaciously to life. They do what is needed to survive and thrive. They apologize to no-one for living!
Life will find a way.
When you have passion for life you will find a way to live fully. You are stubborn, a survivor. Even if others wish to impede your right to life, to instill fear, to diminish you, you will find ways to carry out your life purpose and be who you are meant to be.
Your dreams desires and plans all depend on you being here now in your body. On your taking your rightful place at the table, partaking of nature’s gifts, breathing deeply of Earth’s fresh air, walking freely upon our beloved planet.
You belong here in this vast teeming web of life. I repeat. You belong here. You are meant to be here. There is no mistake!
Life is the spirit’s way of experiencing what it is to be in a body– plant, animal, insect, or human, and receiving an education like no other. Life imposes limited conditions on the body while teaching perseverance, endurance, and making the most of what you’ve been given.
Make your life count. Live in your body. Open your heart to those you trust, sit in the sun, breathe deeply and give thanks for your gift of life in this body at this time.
Life is not easy, your days are not guaranteed. You may suffer, you may hurt you may grieve. Yet, even still, life is the most precious gift of all.
Live fully within the conditions of the life and environment your spirit has chosen for you.
From a minuscule seed to a towering giant many decades later, we trees have an enduring will to live to survive and thrive. We know how to persevere.
We develop strong roots and sturdy branches and thick bark to survive. In our tender days and weeks, we must survive hungry insects and gnawing mammals looking for a tender bite, a succulent treat, floods that would undercut our roots, drown on suffocate us, mowers and grazers, weeders, weed killers, cultivators.
We must live with the prospectof being overshadowed by larger plants, storms, wind that might uproot us or break our branches, lightening strikes that kill our friends and neighbors, the dreaded chainsaw; winter chills frost upheavals, summer heat that could fry an egg.
Yet we endure! Every spring we wake and choose life once again, sending out new shoots and leaves, increasing our roots, growing taller, wider, stretching to the light.
We persevere for what choice do we have? We choose life.
I am perfectly attuned to my chosen patch of Earth, my rooted place, my real estate, my home. I’ve gone all-in, set up camp, sent my roots deep, made a commitment.
I may be here longer than the longest human lifespan, so I must make my peace with my choice of growing site, make the best of it, learn to love it.
To survive I must be flexible with the changes happening around my patch of earth and sky. If I am brittle and rigid, I might snap in two during a heavy windstorm, losing limbs right and left.
To survive, my roots must reach deep, for shallow roots would not hold my weight or counterbalance my majestic limbs, and I would topple in weather conditions that would undermine and weaken me.
I have made my stand, sent down roots, taken my place among the community of trees, knowing my interconnections with all the living beings of this place – those who rely on sunlight, water, earth, and air for their lives.
Whatever happens, I stand strong and tall. I carry out my purpose; reach to the light and root to the Earth, my home.