You are born each spring
as the ice acquiesces to the sun.
For weeks, maybe a month
you are as smooth and
pure as new skin.
Adolescence starts in June
when the lily pads start
experimenting with independence, and
suddenly you bloom into fullness
as the reeds tower along your shores
for a time of glory. Continue reading “Lake”
Somehow it is well into 2018 already. February will be over before we know it, and I finally feel better, almost like myself again. I wonder where the fall and early winter went, or where I was for them. I am glad to be here now. It feels a little like waking up from a dream, the scary or depressing kind that you are ready to leave behind. The issues that came to light during my illness haven’t just gone away, so I must be diligent about continue to look at them: the need to be in control, to ask for and accept support, to be viewed as competent and in the know, the constant push to do more and be more. Maybe it helps just to have clarified the issues and to have called them out. The work is not done, but perhaps there is a bit of a path now.
Skiing and walking outside these past few weeks, now that I feel up to it, has been a reminder that I am most content when being present with myself, others, and the natural things of the world. Moving through a snowy and quiet forest, tromping with my daughter around a blindingly white lake, following a deer path along an icy ridge-line, all while breathing in the cold and clear air — these things are what is real and what matters. It’s not the photo I take or the likes that it gets on instagram, or the new followers that it entices to join the crowd. It’s the actual experience. This is obvious, but I think it’s easy for us to forget that in this social media driven culture that we have found ourselves fully invested in. I need to check myself regularly – it’s so easy to get sucked into the allure of virtual validation. Continue reading “What Life Belongs To”
Last evening I went out to pick the last of the day’s ripe blueberries, and as I was lingering in the garden enjoying the cool dusky air, I noticed the sunflowers. In the last week, there are four of them that have grown almost as tall as me and are starting to show signs of blossoming. Their heads are still tight in a bud, but you can tell they are eagerly waiting the day when they can show their petals to the sun and offer themselves to the world.
I just read an excerpt from the last chapter of Anatomy of a Rose, a book by Sharman Apt Russell, and it is about being cured by flowers. She points out that for a long time flowers have been used as medicine – from prescription drugs that contain some part of a flowering plant to folk medicine, flowers have healing properties. There are hundreds of ways to let plants, and specifically flowers, help our bodies heal: from evening primrose to sage to cornflower to prickly poppy, flowers have the power to cure what ails us. Continue reading “Cured by Flowers”
Go out into the woods, child, go out. Let your feet carry you on the worn path behind the house, down to the marshy shore of the lake.
Go out into the woods, child, go out. Wander into the dense tree cover, trail your hand over the bark of an adolescent maple tree, and find your shelter among the roots and branches.
Go out into the woods, child, go out. Splash through the puddles that pool at the base of the valley and listen to the call of the Sandhill crane in the fields as it stands at attention amidst the dying autumn crops.
Go out into the woods, child, go out. Lay down in the hay-field and let your gaze drift with the passing clouds as the leaves rustle their lullabies.
Go out into the woods, child, go out. Race through the blazing midday light, and once you are tired, pick up a stone and let your hand fit its shape to the smooth sun-warmed surface.
Go out into the woods, child, go out. Rest in the shade of an old oak tree and feel the wisdom and strength of deep roots and patience fill you up with something you didn’t know was missing.
Go out into the woods, child. Go out.
Henry David Thoreau once wrote the words, “In wildness is the preservation of the world.” Though Thoreau lived in his cabin on the shores of Walden Pond many years ago, those words hold a deep truth. Wildness can mean so many different things to so many different people, but whatever it means to myriad humans across the globe, I have found embracing wildness to provide healing, inspiration, introspection and reason to explore. I have found wildness to be a foundation from which to do my work in the world, and I have found wildness to drive my choices as I tap into the potential of life on this beautiful earth. I have found wildness reason to cultivate community and exist in the world in a way that aligns with beauty and truth.
Here are 10 more reasons to embrace wildness, in all its forms, in the months to come. Because you just never know how making some little changes to your way of being might contribute to the healing of the planet. Continue reading “Why To Embrace Wildness”
It happens every year in many parts of the world. The days get shorter, the gardens get tilled under, the lawnmower goes into storage. Heavy coats and hats and sweaters get pulled out of storage, and chili starts sounding good again. Frost appears in the morning grass where dew used to be, and you can see your breath when you walk around the block. And then it snows. Winter is coming.
Granted, not every place on the earth sees harsh winter weather, but plenty of places have their fair share of cold and wind and dark.Daylight in the northern hemisphere wanes as the winter solstice approaches, and sometimes if we aren’t careful, whole days can go by without feeling any sun – however cold it might be – on our faces. Cabin fever sets in, and we start to wait for spring.
But…..maybe it doesn’t have to be that way. What if we could embrace whatever Mother Nature decides to dole out and made getting outside a priority no matter how cold or wet or snowy or dark it gets? I think it’s worth it to give old man winter a little love. Because a whole season with no natural light and letting a little cold weather keep us inside? Every year? No way, man. No. Way. Life’s too good to spend it waiting for summer. Continue reading “5 Ways to Fall in Love With Winter”
What would it look like to dance with a mountain? To be so attuned to the natural world that you could two step or swing dance with an ancient pile of rock and earth? To live so fully in your own wild nature that you could communicate with the world in a way that makes the sky weep in understanding and the plains shiver with anticipation of what is possible when life chooses harmony over dissonance? To figure out how to identify the part of ourselves that is akin to rivers and hilltops and soil and trees and holding that as our center point? Continue reading “To Dance With Mountains”