Many years ago while back in university, I took an Ecocritism English class. The class was a study of nature writing through various authors on how they viewed our environment in North America. The writings were over a span of three generations. One of our assignments was to complete a literature review on a piece by Barry Lopez. The piece was called “A literature of Place” in which Lopez speaks of becoming one with nature and how it shaped his writings and perspective of life. As part of f the assignment , we were also asked to go into nature, turn off all technology and write about our experience.
It was early morning hours and the sun sat on the edge of the horizon like an eager child, waiting to greet me. I live on one of the highest ridges’ in this county enabling me to see forever in all directions. An honor and privilege to live on this ridge. As I walk I am completely immersed in my surroundings. This morning there is no wind only a powerful, piecing silence as the earth picks up my vibrations and spirit as I tread across it. I hear the swish of the crow’s wingspan as he flies ever so close, greeting me as I enter his world. He greets me, and he knows me, like this field knows me. The earth and I connect and I am humbled by the greeting it extends to me, for it embraces me and we become one. Its’ welcome gives way to humbleness and excitement. It is the comfort and ease of our relationship which makes this special. I have a strong bond with this land; it grounds me and it never lets me down, it’s always there always faithful and glad to see me. The earth always has something new and exciting for me to watch, to feel, to sense and this morning is no different.
As with Lopez this field and I keep each other alive with our stories as the land has gift for extracting those stories from us. It desires to hear our needs and our yearnings. Our stories need to be shared and passed on to our families and our communities in order that others feel the comfort and connectedness of the land, the earth.
We need “another kind of logic, another way of knowing?” something that excites us and provides peace within us. The energy from the earth allows for that logic, that sense of being non-judgemental, forgiveness, extending comfort and ease and it is always there with a new story to share with us. The earth’s energy is powerful and animated. We must be vulnerable and allow the relationship to evolve, for the earth has many things to tell us and by listening we can develop and understand its logic. Another way of knowing.
On this winter solstice, one of the most powerful times in the earths’ history, go out on the land today, walk it and feel its vibrations. Let it pulsate through you, allow it to touch all of your senses and feel it embrace you. Exchange stories and tell it your wants and needs. It only wants to be your friend, and it will gift you “another way of knowing” to enable you to find your inner peace.
thank you for this post …. Happy Solstice ❤ 🙂
thank you Jean… what a wonderful tradition !! Our traditions define us as people, as community or as countries. They can be momentous, and powerful and they keep us connected and strong……hugs Jean XO
It’s quite a few years ago now that our New Year’s Eve Wishing Stone Ritual was born. My son and I make our way to Newtown Cove, just outside Tramore, here in Co. Waterford in Ireland.
We each select the most perfect stones we can find and cast them into the sea. Newtown Cove is a magical place ~ high cliffs on either side and the hauntingly beautiful Newtown Wood just behind.
Such a simple ceremony, but one in which memories of the year just gone and hopes for the next are added to the whispering, or sometimes, roaring, waves.
If you would like me to cast a Wishing Stone for you, wherever you are in the world, just let me know, either in the comments here or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll know what that stone carries and the sea…
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thank you Jean… I love butterflies.. they symbolize the cycle of birth-death-rebirth throughout nature/life , and also within our own spiritual and personal growth, the every changing cycle of life…with the endings, is a beginning elsewhere…. hugs XO
I was out today taking seasonal photographs for hubby’s carpet business and was all delighted when I found a glittery butterfly that matched one of the warm plaid carpets he stocks.
Just as I was completing this assignment the lens fell out of my glasses so I had to take myself off to the optician’s shop to get that sorted.
When I arrived back into the car, I was totally stunned to find a real, live butterfly resting on one of the samples piled high on the passenger seat.
Its perfect beauty and softness warmed my heart more than I can even begin to describe and brought me back to a poster I had hanging in all the places I lived during my endless student days. It was this quote from Henry Thoreau.
“Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you; but…
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An absolute beautiful tribute.. so rich and deep… thank you …
“For that is where no questions will be asked, for there are no more question, just a pure and loving silence that tells you beyond any shadow of a doubt that all is well and you are exactly where – and who – you are supposed to be. And that is all you will ever need to know, for then, you can simply keep breathing and continue to BE you in the way that only you can be. And that is why you are all here, to be what the very essence of you tells you to be. And when you do that, everything else will fall into place, and it will do so in a way that may take your breath away, but it will do so in the very best way you can think of”.
In March of 2013, myself and fourteen others from our city departed for El Salvador. Our mission was to construct ten houses, and restore hope for families in some of the poorest villages in Central America. The villages and its people had been shattered by the many natural disasters which had ravaged the country over the past thirteen years. Many of these families were still living in open makeshift tents or houses, completely open to the elements and other dangers.
We would be gone for total of eight days, and little did we understand this would be no ordinary trip; it would be an incredible journey of reminders for us all. As we gathered to work each day we heard the people’s concerns, their desires, their hopes and we witnessed their love of family and community. Daily we were in awe at their generosity and graciousness, in spite of all that they had suffered. We also saw and felt their gratitude for those who came to assist.
For myself it was a connection with humanity; no judgement no ridicule only kindness and love for everyone we met. Many times during the week, tears would “well up”, as I witnessed how they came together as a community to assist each other or when I heard their stories of not having enough food or medicine for their children. Their reality would sit and stare me in the face many times during the week.
One thing was obvious; they did not want handouts. They wanted our knowledge and assistance in how to rebuild their communities. They wanted to learn how to run our power tools and use our tape measures. We were the teachers and they were the students. Every day, we worked side by side with them as human beings. We were all the same; differences did not exist, the only language spoken was love and gratitude.
By chance our trip was over the Easter season. The celebration of rituals and traditions they shared with us made it a beautiful time to reflect. It reminded us that we were a part of something much bigger and more powerful than just us. It was a feeling words cannot describe; it had to be experienced in order to be understood.
As we mature and experience our own tragedies in life, we learn life is precious and no one is guaranteed tomorrow. This was affirmed many times in El Salvador by what we saw and experienced. Our hearts and part of us remain in El Salvador, as we continue to wonder and care about the people we left behind. El Salvador has break taking beauty, and its people are generous, and loving, in spite of the hardships they have endured. Economically the country is very poor; however they possess wealth beyond words, for there is no way to measure, their love and connection to their families and communities. Something, we, in western society, chose to ignore or discount.
Once we were home, many of us would again reflect on why we are on this earth and why it is important to care for each other regardless of culture or language. I also believe there are no coincidences in life; God had a plan when he selected our teams. We possessed our own gifts; we are his hands and feet. Together as a collective and with his guidance we WILL continue to make a difference!
I truly believe that with all my heart!
Love this story….. thank you
Johnny had an IQ higher than Einsteins’s and that’s where his problems all started. He was smarter than his teachers. His teachers didn’t like that. Johnny was actually smarter than everyone on the planet and absolutely NO ONE, liked that, especially the people in power. So the adults in Johnny’s life tried to dumb him down, the way many educational institutions dumb down their students. His mother fought them, but couldn’t win, so she finally just took Johnny and ran.
They ran to a small town, with a big library and when Johnny read every book they had, Johnny’s mother moved to a bigger town with an even bigger library. That became a pattern…
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