Tag Archive: Nature Trails


Grumpy Rock

NOTE: Amongst my FB friends, we have been talking about seeing faces in the trees and in nature. I thought it would be fun to repost this… the nature spirits are all around us!

Mr. Grumpy Rock:

It’s probably because I have Cancer Rising and a Pisces Moon, that I have quite an imagination and a  highly intuitive sense that allows me to peek into the “invisible” world that co-exists right alongside the material one. I “read” faces of people, imagining their personalities and hear the “music” (major or minor key?) in people’s voices,sensing their mood,  and I “see” distinct personalities in nature as well. Driving past a stand of trees, I can see the ones that are family groups, or lovers, or free spirits within their arboreal community. I see shapes in clouds that reveal a story, and  I have experienced looking down at reflections in pools of water that tell me what is happening up in the sky.

Today while driving out of our little lively local library, someone was coming in at the same time. Our windows lined up for a brief moment as we passed each other going in opposite directions and we were in direct visual contact for a mili-second. What I saw was a face that was very very crabby if not downright angry..not sad, not worried, not flat…but quite unpleasant and cross, and I thought..”my word, I don’t think she would be pleasant to interact with just now..”(or maybe ever). She reminded me exactly of a woodland entity I met while on one of my nature walks at a nearby preserve. She reminded me of ….Mr. Grumpy Rock.

One of our seaside nature preserves is an old forest, with immense rocks, boulders and deep pits  hewn out of the earth during glacial events..a very interesting territory with narrow paths, knobby exposed tree roots,  overhanging canopy and lichen-covered boulders of various sizes and shapes. I love the variety of plants found here..sassafras, sweet fern, yarrows, goldenrod, St. Johnswort, red sumac and other herbal treasures. Oak dominates, but the forest is host to many other species of trees and entering its sanctuary is like entering another time and place in history when coming off of the mainstream road of the present. There are many paths that wind and meander and one always has to IMG_4002eventually make a choice to stay on the path or move to the side and investigate a bog.

On one particular walk, when the leaves had fallen and the trees were unclothed and courageous to the elements of the sleeping season, I followed a bend in the road that was lined with a community of large rocks and boulders along one side. I always have my camera with me..always..for who knows when something extraordinary  or of exceptional beauty will be revealed without warning and I serve to capture it for the purpose of remembering.

And so I started down this new path bordered by these large boulders and was suddenly startled by a most definite scowl..the face of a very disgruntled rock who I think was also grumbling and mumbling to himself as I passed by. Not that he was aware of me, actually.. he was really just too into his own story, and centuries of discontent had etched itself permanently upon his face. He wasn’t sad. He wasn’t suffering that I could see, but he was just one of those types who by temperment, was just plain crabby. And the older he got, without a change of attitude..the bigger and wider his scowl became.

Well now. Isn’t that just the way it can be with us humans who, without paying attention to how we habitually think and talk,  can also have that tape of kvetches, complaints, discontents and resentments playing over and over in our minds on an unconscious level, tempering the music of our voices and creating the shape of our facial expression. One of my Aunties used to tell me when I was growing up and grumpy and out of sorts that if I kept looking like that, it might freeze that way on my face permanently..a really harsh destiny, self-inflicted. Nobody in the forest dared to mention that to Mr. Grumpy Rock..but it was obvious that he was not having fun. Is it fate? Or is it at some level a choice to be in a snit, perturbed, irritated on a regular basis, argumentative, and witholding of good will and gratitude for what IS working well, even amidst the challenges, upheavals and seasons of life?

So I go back to the brief eye-to-eye encounter I had with a passing human today, in which I was reminded of Mr. Grumpy Rock. Perhaps it was just a momentary pique on her face, worthy of compassion..but inviting a cautious wide berth just in case. Perhaps it was an expression worn daily and perpetually, frozen there in a particular stance in life..certainly an uncomfortable destiny.

For me..I hope what gets etched into my own face are crinkles of laughter around my eyes, and lines of welcoming smiles turning upward around my mouth. It’s not all perfect and it’s not always easy. But the “lines” on our visage actually have their origin somewhere deeper and closer to the heart, where the real stories are. And then we decide..

As an addendum to this story, I also met a neighbor of Mr. Grumpy Rock. His next-door neighbor Grumpy Rock Sleepyactually. He’s been listening to Mr. Grumpy’s Rock’s  low grumblings, and complaints for many years now. And he just closes his eyes and tunes out..his name is “Sleepy”. He’s very old, patient and tolerant. Good friends are like that.

***Recently one of my little grandsons was having a crabby time and you know the grumpy face…lower lip out, frowning line..grumpy pout. I told him that if the Face Fairies saw that look and decided to freeze his face, he might look like that forever…. he looked at me uncertainly like “is she maybe right?” and we smoothed out to something more pleasant. I know he won’t forget that because little kids are still in the half-realm of magic at his age (pre-k)

Keep the eyes of your imagination and heart open!

from Christine, the Greening Spirit

woodsme

***Need a Quickie? Check my Simply Sensuous Sweet Potato Supper/Snack on my foodie blog:   http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com/2013/03/13/a-quickie-simply-sensuous-sweet-potato-supper/

o

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/

%d bloggers like this: