Archive for March, 2013


Little Leaf

Little Leaf 5

We live in such a busy world of movement, noise, activities, responsibilities, information and constant media updates about all things important and mosty not, and of instant everything that keeps us in perpetual motion, dashing from one thing to another, one thought to another, sifting, sorting, prioritizing on the run in a constant state of mental mind chatter. Attention spans can be very short, communications brief, quick and on the surface (who writes letters anymore, or has the patience to read through an e-mail communique made up of more than one short vertical message..three paragraphs taking up too much time…).

Woe is us, who have lost the art of Presence, Depth, Deep-seeing and the practice of and intimacies  Deep Engagement with those around us, and in our connection to the natural world..the Earth’s primary scripture of connection and belonging!

There are four lines from a beautiful blessing by the Celtic priest/poet John O’Donohue in his lovely ode to “Presence” that I carry with me every day, and these four lines remind me always of the delightful gifts of slowing down, opening my eyes and heart in a spirit of focused alertness to be present to the wonders that surround us in people and places as we move about the world.

The four lines are:

Awaken to the mystery of being here~ Have joy and peace in the temple of your senses~Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention and ~May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.

And so, on a particular day of seeking sanctuary, play and exercise as well, I entered the woods once again at Kettle Pond, with camera…my treasured deep-seeing companion.. and moseyed about just walking, just seeing the depths throughout the woods and the varieties of colors and textures of bark, roots, fallen leaves, mosses, and rock.

In such a relaxed and slow stroll, we can often fall into a kind of altered state..really a state of seeing from the center of Soul, all superficial worldly subjects of concern falling away. And for me, and perhaps for you as well, entering this alternative state of consciousness allows for a different kind of focus..both laser-like in clarity, and diffuse in perception combined.

And suddenly…I saw it. A leaf…a little tiny leaf.. open and trusting, spread out upon a large and friendly boulder, surrounded by the chaos of the breakdown and decay of a season gone past and returning to the earth. It was darling and sweet, like a tender baby clinging, or rather, resting upon the support of sturdy sanctuary. Had I been moving fast through the woods to finish my walk and get back to my outer life..like grocery shopping, driving to town to pay a bill, scooting around quickly to get back home and check e-mails..I would have missed this, with eyes straight ahead to finish my walk and get on with things, mind chattering about things I needed to do next.IMG_4004

Presence. Presence to the present moment from a place of centered wondering/wandering. Looking..and really seeing..and full of anticipation for the element of surprise!

I am never disappointed by the conscious decision to slow down and practice the art of deep-seeing..and I always always find that I am rewarded by the surprises and delights that open up to me when I surrender to this. Of all that was going on around me in the cacophany of color, shapes and textures of the woods on that walk, it was this little leaf that was the greatest gift of beauty, tenderness, vulnerability and trust that was the gift and teaching of this moment of “time out” and be here now. I am so grateful.

I am also grateful for the technology available to us in the photo programs in our computers that allow us to crop and see even more closely the wonders that surround us that we otherwise might miss. When I was growing up, I often asked for a magnifying glass or microscope kit for Christmas and would spend hours collecting treasures from nature and seeing them enlarged, up close and personal, revealing then what could not be seen of their intricacies and complexities with the naked eye. Up close and personal through the technology of “cropping” the exquisite colors of rock and moss, the delicate and fragile skin of leaf, and the patterns and veins of life within the once-living leaf are revealed.

Rock 2

 I am always enchanted, captivated by and in love with the great Mysteries (which are often little) hidden in plain sight.

Presence.

From Christine, the Greening Spirit

shawl

 

 

**If you also love good food that is natural, healthy, delicious and full of life..please check out my food blog sensuous soups and suppers! Then go take a walk in nature!

http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/tempting-tomatoeggplant-basil-teasers/

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The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer. ~ Dylan Thomas

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Veggie Altar 1

It has been a fierce and wild winter. Not so much a continuous snow here on the coast, but rather cold, and one major blizzard with the immense power of its furious Winds which buried us in heavy wet snow, shredded and took down trees and power lines, leaving many of us without electricity, heat, light and water for over a week.

Nature wields un-imaginable power that we ignore at our peril. Perhaps that is why the ancients, indigenous peoples and the pagani of the earth took such care to honor, celebrate and ritually appease that immense FORCE for life and death that is inherent in the energetic Greening Spirit of the Cosmos.

I have felt that so strongly this season. Perhaps it is because I am of a certain age and have witnessed, experienced  and gathered the teachings, challenges and gifts of many turns of the wheel of life, and I have not yet emerged from the spirit of actual winter this particular year. Perhaps it is because just recently, my own mother has passed and in the almost-spring phase of February and March when one starts seeds and seedlings indoors for the eventual garden,  dreaming of Life,  I have been rather  out-of-sync momentarily in the process of grieving. The great FORCE of the winds  and the destruction that it has brought with it, taking down and decimating so many young and elder trees alike, combined with the ending of my mother’s life had made me feel the inevitable far end of the spectrum of the opposites of existence: the visible and invisible, the great sound and the Great Silence, the Force that pushes Life UP! and that same force that breaks and  takes Life DOWN!.

Winter right now is at the very end of the cycle, saying “goodbye” just as simultaneously Spring is seemingly gently nudging us to wake up and say “hello” to the great  Life Force of the Greening Spirit that has had enough of stillness and frozen sensibilities, and with the greatest Force, thrusts us and all living things up and out of real or symbolic darkness into the New. It is for this reason we often in great excitement “plant” our spring bulbs or Narcissi and tulips, gladioli and daffodils with a sense of excitement: to participate and help  the process of birthing and renewal along…to see and smell GREEN and enjoy all the  fresh and vibrant colors that were asleep while grey, brown , black and white blanketed the earth for their allotted time.

This past week, because of the ruthlessness of the winds that took down so many trees, and the death of my mother, I went to the markets in search of a little prepared potted narcissus to bring home for an altar in honor of letting go of the past, and to honor the new, bringing the green, the color and the scent of new life into my “living room” itself. I needed to do that because I had been unable to cry and let the tears flow for all that had ended and demanded a goodbye. I was however quite surprised and  frustrated when I found just the perfect little pot with several miniature yellow blooms and buds ready to open, and then realized that I had left my checkbook and debit card at home by mistake and did not have enough cash on me to purchase the flowers! Oh how I needed to see and sense the Greening Spirit of Life on that special altar I had set up at home for comfort and inspiration.

Veggies 1I returned home and started to prepare dinner, going to a bowl filled with winter squashes, avocados, sweet potatoes, and garlic. And there..THERE..right amidst this bountry, was one large sweet onion…. sprouting green shoots, just like the narcissi! I truly had not seen it before in that state as I moved about the small kitchen preparing meals..how could I have missed this only onion on the plate, firm and hard still, but with the tall green shoots straight up, thrusting out of itself from the ineffable power of the driving Greening Spirit of Life wanting to flower and bloom! I had  missed bringing home the potted narcissi because instead here was an Onion, which if cut and chopped for cooking, brings tears, TEARS that are frozen behind the eyes, sometimes not even knowing that they were there in the first place.

The Universe and Great Mystery and I dance together, and I believe always that there is the potential dialogue between us if we pay attention and listen deeply. This was the perfect plant of life for my altar at this moment..a plant that symbolized both nourishment, an aid for the flowing of tears, and soon, a bloom as well..an onion that embodies within its seemingly solid and finished self..the spark of new life that mysteriously MUST move up and out….”the force that  through the green fuse, drives the flower…”

It is unstoppable!

And there will be a flower on one of those green shoots eventually..a globe of purple or some secret onion color…the promise of Spring, the power of the Greening Spirit and renewal will soon be here. Is ALWAYS here!

I am grateful for the way the Great Mystery and I play together.

Veggie Altar 2“And remember this: SPRING is the secret work of winter.” ~ John O’Donohue

**Note: you are invited to check my other blogs/sites:

http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

http://lunchandlearnseminars.wordpress.com

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