Scratchings of the heart and mind
Years ago, someone shared with me that a ring around the moon meant a forecast of rain. When I've remembered to pay attention, I've seen a pattern of consistency to support that...
Two nights ago, I saw a ring form around the moon; it was large and evident.
Then, last night, I saw one again... to a lesser degree.
Tonight, I woke to the sky stirring. The heavens cried; they heaved relentlessly... and I wept with them. A storm of surrendering.
And when all became calm and quiet, I acknowledged an internal serenity. I felt cleansed. But, I wonder how the earth feels; the remnants of chaos can find no place to go... other than to shift itself from one part of the planet to another: from the toxic cauldron of the fires... to the tears of the sky...the rivers to the ocean. I'm reminded that the Earth always has a 'back yard.'
The language of Earth... and Spirit.
I grew up on a farm in South Africa where it was normal for us to collect eggs from our large chicken coop out back... and to have a pet crow.
When we drove home from school after our long thirty minute drive, “Jo” would hear our mustard-colored station wagon crackle along the long, winding dirt road then align himself perfectly with our car whilst flying beside us - racing with us till we reached the house.
Years later we had a pet pig and a pet donkey on a different farm. The pig, “Miss Piggy,” would slide with us down the Slip’n’Slide; “Ee-Aw,” the donkey, would stand at the front door and bray while peering his head into the house over the double, divided farm door. He would walk with us down the road to the little shop, “The Kaffi,” where we could buy 2 gummy feet for a cent.
We did all of this barefooted and adult-free: the days of miracle and wonder.
After several decades, I landed up in this beautiful, hilly place of Topanga... like a seed that finds the perfect environment to grow its roots. It's the place I’ve been living for the past few years, raising three young girls who walk barefooted along the quiet street of our neighborhood and collect various feathers from our front garden -- over 500 acres of State Park -- that juts up against our little home. They pick foliage from the ground and make ‘potion.’ They build fairy gardens and track the hawks that fly above the park, circling the dry, pale grass while giving out occasional screeches. They fall asleep to the sound of owls, the transcendental rhythm of crickets and the quiet tick of a clock in the kitchen, where the baby mice waltz upon the quiet, dark floor with squeals of delight once all is quiet.
Sometimes, the girls wake to the curdling cries of coyotes in the middle of the night... a celebration of their bounty. And, who now, as I write these very words, howl to the passing by of a siren along the hills of Topanga.
It is here, in this wonderful community, where I live the life of the farm that resides in my heart and of my early childhood memories. It is here that, for the most part, we are woven into the same cloth of consciousness and are catalysts for magic. It is here that we hear nature’s gentle call to the importance of Earth on our spirit and wellbeing, allowing us to slow ourselves down... to breathe... to sit quietly... to go within. And, to find ourselves.
It is here where we pick Dandelions... and make wishes.
Multiple ripples into the Universe.
My sister, Gaby, and I (around age six).
Seeded within the Earth
Kissed by the sun
And drunk on droplets
Blossoming into hundreds of duplications of itself
Waiting for the perfect moment
To be carried by the wind
Or silently ‘wished’ upon
Into infinite opportunities
And the abundance of inexplicable magic...
"On Children" - Kahlil Gibran
"Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable."
In the morning, I sit outside and throw the shells of my pistachios upon the earth to decompose. I scatter wild seeds for the birds that frequent my back yard, the state park that juts up against my property, within the hills of Topanga.
I consciously scatter the seeds far and wide, covering a large area to ensure that each bird can feed without the feeling of scarcity. And, while I sit at the window and drink my morning tea, excited to watch the unfolding of all the birds who will readily descend upon the ground to peck away with abundance, I notice that...
Many of them unwittingly gravitate to the 'fool's gold;' the empty shells dotted here and there. They upturn the shells, movi
ng from one to the next, in the hopes of churning up treasure.
Even the small birds who find the courage to brave the domineering Blue Jays instinctively go for the shells, but soon learn that they are empty.
Aside from a few small birds who peck away at the small seeds amongst the ruckus, none of them seem to notice that the seeds are vast; they all gravitate to where the action is taking place... where the Blue Jays, the playground bullies, are chasing one another off and creating a sense of scarcity amongst themselves. They have single handedly accomplished a feeding frenzy and the idea of scarcity all by themselves.
The first things that come to mind are “survival of the fittest;” “animal/human nature,” and that greed and ownership is seemingly so blueprinted within us that even from a young age, we steadfastly cling to things, with white knuckles, while declaring, "MINE!"
What also comes to mind is that sometimes crumbs will do; like little steps, one foot in front of the other, taking the crumbs will amount to a satisfying meal. And, as my mom would sometimes say, “Slow and steady wins the race.”
When the world is aggressively fighting over nuggets while simultaneously going hungry, you can pick at the crumbs and still get your fill. It's not to say that one should refrain from seeking out delicious doses of yumminess within the world, but I think it's fair to say that those portions of yumminess will inevitably reveal themselves along the way.
And, when the rains come again, all those neglected or looked over seeds will be sprouting and the earth will adorn a beautiful layer of green: evidence of the ripple of life and planting seeds.
A while back, while hiking on the local trails in the mountains, I stopped to chat with someone who shared a quote with me he'd once read from a fortune cookie.
I bellowed with laughter at the idea of something substantial coming from a fortune cookie, but what I hadn't realized is how that quote would change my perspective on the world by shaping the cerebral geography within my mind.
"There is nothing you can do about the wind; you can merely adjust the sails."
In one of nature's most authentic documentaries, when you lay upon the Earth and look upon the mass of sky, you'll witness birds riding upon the current of the winds. In these moments they are not fighting the wind, they are going with it; they are adjusting their sails - their feathered wings - to rise above and soar and flow.
In the Native American culture, feathers are ubiquitous and symbolize power, honor, trust, freedom, respect and strength. They were given as a sign of honor and respect by the chief to those who had succeeded in personal achievements or who had done something heroic or brave for the benefit of the tribe. (The feathers of the Bald and Gold Eagles are the most respected given their relationship and connection to the heavens and their ability to fly at great heights.)
The wind is always going to blow; people will continue to be who they are and behave in the way they do; tragedies and life will continue to happen with fragility, sadness, heartbreak and misunderstanding, but it is our relationship to ourselves, the adjusting of the sails, that will help us to move through life's unfolding with more ease... to be that floating ride... that feather upon the breeze.
The feather can symbolize all these things and, like the Native American culture, can serve as reminder to oneself - and to others - to live a life with integrity.
Feel it... then flow.
A warrior in training. Traveler, writer, poet, photographer & designer. A mother to three warrior girls who are the mirrors to mastery.