There are little red crumbly things all over my deck and chairs this morning. These crumbly bits of tree buds are a mess and their accompanying pollen is probably the cause of my daughter’s asthma Fiesta the last week or more. Boo. However, the rain softened them and they let go, uncapping tiny infant green points of leaf reminding me that really, there is magic in the world. Science…pollination, germination, creation, magic. And wild turkeys eating the bird seed from under the feeder. I think we’re all going to make it.
I wondered at some point if I was ever going to settle in and be done with the chaos of change and sacrifice and finally bring my children to the place we will finally call home. Seemed like it would never happen. Now here is am on my deck drinking coffee watching the early activity of birds in the still-bare branches. The area behind my lot is undeveloped park land. It could almost feel like living far out of the city if not for the water tower and tall hospital in the distance, and the cries of fire engine sirens. The Redwing blackbirds are feasting on bird seed and the wind chime sings very softly in a light breeze. For the first time in years I don’t need to “do” anything. I have ideas and projects but now just the coffee, and the birds and the trees.
This is what it looked like when I finally saw it last night. This was what it looked like when coming out of the earth’s shadow. Of course, Michigan was being a jerk and was cloudy for the rest of the event but I got to see the last leg of the eclipse and it was beautiful. This was not from my camera. I have a camera phone and while it is good, it isn’t good enough to do this! Anyway, it made me feel small and full of wonder. I’ve seen the moon a lot of times (of course….). And I understand all about what an eclipse is and why and whatever, but it made me feel somehow united with history or all of the people who have seen this before. Maybe a long time ago, they were afraid of it because they did not understand, and I can appreciate how that must have been. Just because we understand it now doesn’t make it any less of a mystery or any less magical. Now and then the world does something different, even if we expect it, and I think it’s an opportunity to stop and look and be amazed, and put down our smart phones. Unless, of course, we’re trying to take a photo. 🙂 Honestly, though, things in nature can remind us about the patterns of our lives. What comes into your life bright and shining, and then gets overtaken by darkness, whether illness, stress, being busy, forgetting, loss of enthusiasm? If we follow the earth’s lessons, we know that bright and shining “thing” does come back out from behind the shadow, and if it’s a hazy, dark, or scary place in between, that’s all right. The shadow won’t be staying for long.
Life is about finding the beauty in the mundane and the simple things around you:
- Watching the grass as it runs with the breeze
- Feeling your skin spark when you know there’s a presence in the room
- Feeling rich in life even when your pockets are empty
- Hearing sounds outside at night and feeling safe and warm
- Knowing you are blessed every second of every day
- Asking for help and feeling gratitude wash through you
- Concocting a spell and knowing it is perfect!
- Feeling the sacred rhythms of nature and being in sync with them
- Flooding your divine nature with love, and light and laughter
- Cleansing your soul always because you don’t want to feel the weight of the world on your shoulders
- Bonding and melding with all things and sensing the miracle that is life
- Wasting not a precious moment on anything that does not enrich your body, mind and soul
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So, the sun came back, like they said it would this year, every year, forever. I imagine what it might have been like for our ancestors who knew nothing about “axial tilt” or why the days got shorter and shorter, why the sun looked lower and tinier and weaker every day until nearly, nearly gone, they waited in fear that it might not come back. But here it is.
That was a really, really long night. Did anyone notice? Yet, at my house, there was not much sleep to be had. My little girl was sick, coughing all the night long. What I know for sure is that every time I was up with her, it was dark until eventually, it was light, but it was late. Long night and a lot more to come, I think. It’s not even yet January. So in the dark months, what shall we do? Maybe dream, write, study, reflect, and hopefully sleep a little more than we did in the busy months of light. Here, there is grey, silty light almost every day. I saw the tiny infant sun today for about fifteen minutes before it clouded over again. It dissolved into cold rain. There will be more like this, but maybe with snow and ice instead. Still, if I did not have this, there would be no rest from the overwhelming, active, growing and flowing green of leaf and wash of blue water all summer long. It all serves its purpose, this hibernation. There’s a beauty to it, the stark night with its tiny golden orb rising in the east barely making it above the horizon. There’s a sort of forced peace, compulsory rest, and a turning inward of thought, where feelings become dreams.
I always thought I was more of a hawk sort of person, or even better, owl. Maybe even the death raven, that matron of the battlefield. However, no, it appears that I have garnered the attention of crows. It started in the early fall, when more animals were moving around, more birds still talking, and even hawks hunting. They all chatter away when I’m walking from car to my work entrance. They’re having a whole conversation up there. I didn’t pay much attention. Our sky is very busy here. Near on to Samhain and I noticed that the loudest voices were the plaintive, somewhat mocking voices of crows. Not sophisticated, kinda gossipy, crows. I looked up and said hello to them. (I’m pretty sure the lady passing by thought I’m just not quite right.) I guess they decided to be my new friends. They’re everywhere I go now. They told their friends to be my friends too. Kinda like facebook but for birds. I came out from work and one of my new buddies was sitting on my car, just eyeballing me. This photo isn’t him but it reminded me of him. So what can I learn from this stark scavenger? They have a lot to say. I had forgotten about them for a week or two in the rush of things to do and the preoccupation of my sliding mood and distracted thoughts surrendering to winter. This morning, one of them got right up on the roof by my work entrance and issued a very loud and pointed “caw caw caw caw” right at me. He’s got things to say, and in the deep bowl of this great big night we call “winter,” I will try to listen. He’s wry, and he scavenges what he can to survive. He’s a social bird, and gathers up with his buddies if he has to defend his turf. He isn’t delicate. Doesn’t seem too apologetic about it either. So while I would rather have something glamorous and mysterious like an owl friend, I guess the winter crone has sent me one of her messengers. I think it’s a message about death, and forsaking. It’s also a message about survival and using my voice.
This is an excellent discussion on building relationships with the spirit of place.
If we want to use our powers in order to help the spirits of nature (and humanity) to come back into a state of balance we need to form alliances with these spirits first. Too often do we assume to know what nature “needs” without actually checking in with her and her spirits. Even if we have human science to back up our opinion it always makes sense to make this one additional step. After all science can and has failed us more than once. It evolves, its understanding of the Laws of Nature deepens – but the Laws of Nature themselves don’t change. They are eternal as long as this Universe isn’t recycled first. I don’t see happening soon. Therefore better to check in with those guys (Faeries, Land spirits, Gods of Nature, Mother Earth) who know themselves before messing things up even more.
But how exactly?
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