I am sitting out on a bench, looking toward the Sister Pines this morning. I have been out for over an hour, watching the light of the new day grow. In the time just after the sunrise colors ebbed, there were tiny birds darting in and out of the boughs of the trees. They seemed to prefer the middle Sister whose branches are most tightly gathered. I would say that these are springtime birds, aside from the fact that it is February first and the temperatures will drop tomorrow night back into the 20s. This morning, they sang and chased among the trees until the sunlight began hitting the needles. Then, they were off somewhere else. They did not come for the seeds that I tossed on the ground yesterday afternoon. Why eat ‘store-bought’ when nature is bringing mosses and fresh shoots of grass up through the soil – and the invisible bugs along with them.
I love the way that the first sunlight and the breeze that accompanies it create a glistening and dancing in the pine needles. I watch the treetops on a nearby ridge wave and sway as though greeting the sun. Sitting here, just being, is still a challenge for me. Bill read to me from Thoreau this morning:
Sometimes, in a summer morning … I sat in my sunny doorway from sunrise till noon, rapt in a reverie, amidst the pines and hickories and sumacs, in undisturbed solitude and stillness, while the birds sang around and flitted noiseless through the house, until by the sun falling in at my west window, or the noise of some traveler’s wagon on the distant highway, I was reminded of the lapse of time.
—Thoreau, Walden, “Sounds,” 1854
It may take some time (and a bit warmer temperatures) for me to learn his attentiveness.
This morning, I did my chanting to the land. Adding the vibration of my voice, and the thoughts of my mind: openness/spaciousness, fulfillment/completion, compassion/heartfelt love, joy/playfulness, and creation/bringing into being. This chant always invites me to connect with the light within and to feel the Scared Light flow through me and outward into the world.
As I sat and watched the sun begin to shine through the corridor of the Sister Pines, I imagined a stream of water running along this fold in the land. I am not thinking of finding the old irrigation pipes or digging and lining an artificial stream bed and pond. I am seeing the water rise up from underground as it enters the land, finding a natural line of flow among the trees to a small dip at the northwest end. I am not sure if from there is overflows the pond to go onward through the land, or if it finds its way back underground there, leaving a full water source for the critters of this place.
I know that a lift in the water table here is the opposite of what all the evidence would say is possible. But since the transformation of my relationship with the Earth is part of a huge transformation back to balance among all the living beings, I invite water here. I invite the trees, bushes and grasses at the northeastern corner of the land to spread and become forest again. I invite the coyote and the hawk, the hare and the deer, the microorganisms and creeping things within the earth all to return in balance for a wild and natural space. I ask the Spirit of this land and of this wide valley to give creatures safe passage to this land and to provide what they need to thrive here.
I can see in my mind the rolling of eyes and hear the clicking of tongues as people read my crazy ideas. For me they are far more sane than the dystopian images many are holding these days.
I know that the focus of my thoughts and the opening of my heart to the world I want my grandchildren’s grandchildren to experience is part of my dedication to being a vessel of Divine Light and Love. It opens me to the land’s teaching on how to support a renewed vitality and harmony of life in my little corner of the world.
Sitting on the bench, letting the day gather around me, I remember that I have been brought here because this land, Black Butte, Mount Shasta, and all the living beings here have offered themselves as my teachers and guides. The sun and stars, clouds and wind, snow and rain are all expressions of the Sacred Source and the web of life. I am here because I am one of this living beings who has been called here to thrive.
If all of this is intriguing to you, take it as an invitation to find a place in nature where you can sit and watch some part of the day unfold around you. Feel the breeze and the sunlight, and notice the creatures around you. Let the habit of talking to yourself in your mind ebb. Be still and listen to the subtle sounds of the breeze and the chirping of the birds. Feel yourself welcomed into all the beauty and life that surround you.
(My primary calling in this life is to be a vessel though which the Light, Love and Life of the Sacred Source flow to the world. I dedicate my life to using my spiritual practice of shamanic journey and my writing to bring healing to the Earth and all living beings. To empower this work, I seek ongoing support through Patreon.)