It’s not all pretty. The earth knows terrible things. She receives all deaths, gentle and brutal. She bears the pain of every birth. She turns all things back into herself; she worries the bones to dust. She is changing, always changing. Layers shift. Her own bones crash and break. Tides heave. Rock erupts into fire. It’s not all pretty. Beauty never is.
The worst thing is to allow the mind to wander here and there, unattended.
As I stood on the porch this morning, doing my nature meditation, that sentence rolled through my mind, like one of those signs streaming behind small airplanes at times of public festivities.
I had just stepped onto the porch into a cool world with gray- and pink- striped skies. The bare birches were full of flitting chickadees, and I heard a song bird which I didn’t see (this is like a jewel in this location and season). The magpies were quite busy close to the ground, making a wave pattern in flight. Two pigeons were strutting on the lawn, heads down; something startled them, and off they flew. I heard the sound of their wing feathers beating the air.
When I wake up each morning, I am attentive to my breathing. However, in the time between getting up and getting myself outside, my mind begins to wander.
This morning, standing on the porch, as I led myself through my steps to greater attention— I felt how I became more embodied, clearer, and more able to see and feel the details around me– the sky, the air against my skin, the bird movements and sounds. I transitioned from a duller state to a sharper one, which included an awareness of my heart. The birdsong felt like it was playing the harp in my heart.
My intention for this year is to perceive and apprehend from the space of the Heart (there is a reason for capitalizing Heart– this Heart is the Heart of the World, which all of us have in common).
In light of this intention, the worst thing is to allow the mind to wander here and there, unattended. When that is the situation, I am not perceiving and apprehending from the space of the Heart.
I know I am entering the space of the Heart when I am aware of my body and breathing, when I am at peace, when I feel joy, and when I feel connected to the world around me.
Such a small, but regular and daily, commitment contributes to bringing me fully into this world as a Conscious human being. In order to maintain it, I must be faithful to my daily practice. I am grateful to all the others, worldwide, who are making similar efforts to wake up. I feel your presence.
We can let go of the need for a controlled environment with everything in its place. We can.
We can let our arms out to our sides and allow the waters of Yemaya, of Stella Maris to support us from underneath. In fact, it is necessary to do that if we are going to float at all.
We can let deep, slow breaths fill our bellies, and we can let them be soft and nourishing to our heart.
We can be okay with not knowing. For however long that takes. It’s okay if it takes a long time.
We can Open to Grace, we can wait, we can allow holiness to infuse our discomfort, our confusion, and let those feelings be transformed into something that feeds life in us, sustains us, and moves us closer into the spiral, or further out, following a sacred current.
Each one of us has to be our true self: fresh, solid, at ease, loving and compassionate. When we are our true selves, not only you but everyone around you will profit from your presence. Just like a beautiful tree: if the tree is anything but a tree we will all be in trouble.
Today is the New Moon and a solar eclipse. Inwardly feeling the related sense of darkness when I got out of bed this morning, aware of the debris that still clutters my perception, I was comforted by the sunrise. My spirits lifted with the rising of the sun in the clear sky over the Chugach Mountains. Nature never fails to offer me just what I need if I am “there” to receive it!
Along your own way, you will meet up with sisters who have answered their own calls. After years of trudging alone to the single note of our own call, we begin to sense first, then to see their dirt-smudged, tear-streaked faces. Their scars look comfortingly similar to our own. We are a ragtag tribe of outcasts, moon howling, spiritual homesteaders. The notes of our own call begin to merge and blend, and we become a symphony of stragglers, circling in sacred ritual- we are never truly alone. Our wounds are treasure maps tracing our stories back to the moment we said no, enough, no more, now, this time, my time. They bind us, these wounds, these calls, one to another on this dark wooded path.
This morning I went out on the porch for my short nature meditation. It was cool and damp and the skies were gray. I think I sighed. But then, I spotted an area of white clouds surrounding blue sky. Immediately, I felt delighted, hopeful.
Then I noticed the fluttering of birds in a tree across the street, and the soaring of magpies. I was delighted by it all. It occurred to me that it is my choice– I can choose delight. That can be my intention.
If I can walk through my day carrying the torch of delight, how different my day can be!
I had a most delightful time washing the dishes after that! Wow!