Light Floats

Flatirons at Dawn

“There is a moment in every dawn when light floats,
there is the possibility of magic.
Creation holds its breath…”

~Douglas Adams,
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Image of Flatirons by Nancy L

Seeing the World with Sacred Eyes

Sacred Bark
Sacred Bark

“The way we see the world shapes the way we treat it.
If a mountain is a deity, not a pile of ore; if a river is one of the veins of the land, not potential irrigation water; if a forest is a sacred grove, not timber; if other species are biological kin, not resources; or if the planet is our mother, not an opportunity – then we will treat each other with greater respect. Thus is the challenge, to look at the world from a different perspective.” 

~David Suzuki

☾ ☽

I climbed up Buffalo Ridge yesterday. I nicknamed this ridge that shelters our home to the southeast Buffalo Ridge months ago –  it just has the energy of buffalo roaming free for me.  Well, yesterday I climbed to the top of Buffalo Ridge. And now, as I stare out my window at that ridge, it looks completely different to me.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been talking about climbing this ridge for 2 years and I FINALLY did it!  Yes, that’s part of the change.

But my internal shift involves more than just accomplishing something that I set out to do; Buffalo Ridge is now known to me in a completely different way. I have an intimate relationship with this ridge now; I look at Buffalo Ridge and see the rocks I scrambled over to reach the very top. And I see the circle of old pines that I sat beneath and rested. I remember startling the deer that were bedded down on its slope in the heat of  mid-day.  And I remember all the cactus just on the verge of blooming as well as the little white flowers already in full bloom.

Buffalo Ridge Flowers
Buffalo Ridge Flowers

Today I look out the window and I don’t see a ridge that I climbed. Instead I see an ally that watches over my home and neighborhood. I see a friend who shared some beautiful secrets with me. I am connected to Buffalo Ridge in a new way, and it will never again look like ‘just a hill’ to me!

Living Ground
Living Ground

Magic Morning

Flatirons in Snow

“Let me bring you songs from the woods…”
~Jethro Tull

A bit of serendipity…

This morning I ended up taking a hike in Chautauqua Park. I had an appointment, but the Universe had other plans for me!  I was already in Boulder when I found out that my morning appointment was cancelled. What to do with 2 hours? What to do?  So many possibilities!

Flagstaff Mountain called out to me, and I found myself driving to Chautauqua.  It was a beautiful morning to be outside, sunny and cool with a few inches of day old snow blanketing the mountain. As I began hiking straight uphill in snow, I questioned the wisdom of my decision. But legs and lungs soon adjusted to the climb and the view of the Flatirons was enough to keep me going.

Along the way, I relished the silence – what is it about snow on the ground that makes the woods so still?  I felt like I was walking in sacred silence. Step by step, I picked my way carefully up and down the snowy slopes. Walking in snow became my morning meditation practice. With each step, my mind cleared and my heart opened wider.

Mama Pine

Down in a hollow where I have never hiked before, I met this old Mama pine tree.  I stood and listened to her view of the world for awhile.

I leaned against Mama pine’s trunk, listening and looking up into her branches, After 5 minutes in her space, I felt like I had been at a meditation retreat for days!  And my heart opened even wider. Such is the calming, cleansing power of old trees.

Tree Web

Thank you Mama pine for sharing some of your essence with me.

You helped me make it a magic morning.

☾ ☽

“…a Sign that the Universal Mind
has written you into the Passion Play”

~Jethro Tull, Skating Away…

The Hair of the Goddess

Rules for Trees

1. No holding branches

2. No touching roots.

3. No losing your leaves

4. Keep your tree straight.

by
Dana Scharein Dague

🌱

The World

The trees are like the hair of the world.
The city is like the heart of the world.
The wind is a flute player
playing in the night…

by
Noel Berry
(excerpt) 

Both poems are from the book Salting the Ocean; 100 Poems by Young Poets.  All of the poems in Salting the Ocean were written by kids in grades 1-12.

Tree Joy

The trees are whispering to me,
reminding me of my roots, and my reach
… shhhhhh…
can you hear them?
Selflessly sharing their subtle song

~Jeb Dickerson

A Walk in the Woods

“Said the river: imagine everything you can imagine,then keep on going.”
~Mary Oliver

I went for a walk in the woods a few days ago. I love paths that are a bit wild and natural even in the middle of town. On this particular day, I am on one of my favorite trails; it meanders through  a dense patch of woods next to a big wide creek. The path has been left untouched for decades in many places and I love wandering there. But walking into some sections of this trail brings to mind Dorothy hesitantly walking into the dark scary woods with the scarecrow on her journey to Oz. Or maybe it’s Gretel wandering in the forest with Hansel, looking for her way home. Either way, the path can be a bit unnerving. I find myself humming that old Lou Reed song, “Walk on the Wild Side”, as I walk.

Deep dark untamed woods hold big, scary, archetypal energy for me and lots of other people; all those wild, uncivilized natural spaces where we might just meet something bigger and hungrier than us on the path. It is exciting and and enticing and scaryall at once. I think this is why our ancestors spent so much time trying to tame Mother Nature. Generation after generation of Americans have spent huge amounts of time and energy trying to corral and control Mother Nature;  e.g. clearing away the forests that once covered the northeastern US like they were tidying up a closet by throwing almost everything away. Or The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredging and straightening and pushing around the Mississippi river decade after decade – we all saw how well that worked out for New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina made mincemeat of the Corps’ dykes.

Even logical and reasonable adults plant grass over mile after mile of suburban neighborhoods, then burn thousands of hours of free time and gallons of gasoline every weekend mowing their lawns down with military precision until the grass is a socially acceptable “tidy” length that resembles some perfectly green and uniform man-made carpet. We humans cannot seem to leave Nature to her own devices, can we?

Mother Nature scares the crap out of most humans. Mostof us either hide away in man-made homogenized boxes and pretend Nature doesn’t exist or we head out loaded for bear to try and kick Mother Nature’s butt and make her our bitch. In the end, neither way works very well.

I go visit an old tree every time I walk this path. Her diameter is larger than my wingspan. I remember the golden mean ratio – exactly how tall does that trunk diameter mean she is?  And how many rings does her trunk hold? Her rings must carry the wisdom and the history of this place at the edge of the path, this spot that she has anchored for at least 80 years . This tree has been here at the edge of this path for many, many years; she has seen all this human silliness before.

That’s where true wisdom comes from, being silent and still like an old tree; just absorbing what happens in whatever place I find myself today. And in taking the time to make the connections between what happens today and what happened yesterday on my path – and 2 years ago and 200 years ago. I need to remember to stop; get still, watch and listen to everything happening around me. And to take the time to reflect; to remember and store that longview of history like an old tree does.

I leave grandma tree and move on down the path. As I wander, I look up at the sky and realize that a storm is rapidly brewing on the horizon; it’s time to head for the safety of my house. Once home, I sit by the window in my study and watch the wind and rain thrash at the trees. Lightning splits the skyagain and again. Mother Nature is flexing her muscles. Even my tame garden seems a bit scary now. I watch the storm from a safe perch inside.

The path I choose again and again is not tame and civilized like a perfectly groomed suburban lawn. But it’s also not a solitary cabin surrounded by wilderness; I don’t require a life so wild and scary that I quiver with fear like the cowardly lion every time I venture out into the world.  I seem to constantly be searching for the middle path; in my mind I picture land on the boundary between wild woods and tame suburbs. That feels like the space where I belong.  It is the space where I feel most at home.

There has to be a way of living that is more in synch with my own inner nature. I want be find that way, to dig in and explore that middle path. I wonder if it is possible to live in way that is engaged with Mother Nature, fascinated and respectful of her powers rather than trying to subdue and mow and bend her to my will? And at the same time, can I develop a connection with Mother Nature so deep that I’m not left feeling completely helpless in her storms?

What is the middle path through this landscape? How do I become an actual friend and ally of Mother Nature? There are a thousand different opinions out there about how to walk softly on the earth; go vegan, buy local, grow your own, buy a hybrid, solar power… But I am wondering about diving deeper and making choices where I work with Mother Nature rather than doing things to her.

Whatever I choose has to come from my heart truly connecting with the natural world.  I wonder what will my life look like if I open up and deeply connect with Mother Nature? What would it look like to be close friends with this Earth? This feels like a shiftin my path… like rounding a bend on a trail and seeing a whole new vista opening up in front of me. And just like any great adventure, this new terrain is exciting and a little scary, but not too scary…

Wet Mother

There’s a message in the water, they say
Yes! I cry
She says dive in, enjoy
Love your juice
The wet messy wonder
In the flow of life.

There’s emotion in the water, they say
Yes! I cry
All tears and fears
Rage and sorrow
The entire saga is there
Within your flow.

This Earth’s all about the water, they say
Yes! I cry
Whales sing their song
A love for mother ocean
Who birthed you
And flows within still.

You are more water than solid, they say
Yes! I cry
The better to flow
Within, ride ocean’s wave
Connect with mother
Warm wet mama.
Juicy blue.