“The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.”
-- Oliver Wendell Holmes
I just read an email from a friend who has moved to Bellingham, Washington. She says the traffic around Seattle is worst than here if you can imagine that, but where she is it is quiet and slow, and she is sinking into the deep bones of rest and peace. Her new home views a lake and she speaks of the changing colors and of how she can just sit and look at it. I love the peaceful sound of it, so I am with little lapping lake waves this morning.
I took a walk on the mountain yesterday, crossed on Troop 80 and went up to Bootjack and back down. The beauty astounds and I pause, open-mouthed a good deal of the time. I am happy to know that the deer don't know I am there, until I am.
I have been reading a book on seeing your own area as a tourist, as knowing your home as new, and that is my new guide as to how to live my life. It is important to feel what has become native soil for me, while also exploring it with fresh eyes, and so that is what I am doing. I am as open-eyed as a tourist.
I spoke with a woman yesterday who said there is a book out called; Nature Deficit Disorder. It says we need to get our children out into nature, that is where we renew and revive. How else will they find their souls, their totem of life? That last part is mine, but I more and more feel the value of the vision quest as a rite of passage. I think we need to offer our young adults three days in nature alone.
I am also aware in my walking of the difference between forest and grassland, and of how we swung safely in the trees, and then, took that brave step onto the savannas. That is why I believe we should be focused on exploring space, both outer and inner, above and beneath the sea.
I am reading a book called The World Without Us by Alan Weisman. It is about what the planet would be like if we humans were suddenly gone. It seems cockroaches breed in the warmth of our homes. Their numbers would decline. I would guess rats would also have a different life than the one shown in Ratatouille. As I walked on the mountain yesterday, I realized the world would miss us humans, the earth appreciates our presence. I felt and feel her femaleness, Mother Earth. We bring energy to the earth like the sun and Father Sky. We make paths and dissect, differentiate. We are entertaining. The earth would be rich jungle without us and yet I felt our presence is valued. We are in a symbiotic relationship, and we need to find the line where we become parasites and destroy our host.
I sat in Van Wyck meadow yesterday, population 3 Stellar Jays, and for a time, also me. Actually I didn' t see the Jays, but it was probably their time to nap.
I am re-reading the book The Forest People by Colin Turnbull. I was introduced to it when Jeff was 13 and it was assigned reading for school. Colin lives among a native tribe, the BaMbuti Pygmies. They have a sacred something, that only the men know of. Colin has heard it. It makes all the animal sounds of the forest. Finally, he is allowed to go on the journey to bring it forth. It turns out to be a fifteen foot drainpipe. In the past it was hollowed out wood. The people have learned the drainpipe doesn't decompose so makes more sense and it, also, makes wonderful sounds when blown through. They treat it like the log, allowing it to swallow the river water, to drink. It is sacred to them, and only the males are allowed to see it and carry it.
These people are constantly singing and dancing gratitude and praise to the forest. There is one great song that is sung around disaster. "There is darkness all around us; but is darkness is, and the darkness is of the forest, then the darkness must be good."
Colin Turnbull writes, "Now I began to understand what happened at night when fifteen feet of drainpipe was carried into the camp and somone blew or sang into it; and I began to understand what the "presence" was - it was surely the presence of the Forest itself, in all its beauty and goodness."
So, again, I hear the sound of chain saws. How odd to hear them when I read of a Forest People and read in The World Without Us of how are forests and their people are being wiped out, and it is a beautiful world of light and dark, male and female.
I saw the movie The Bourne Ultimatum last night. Usually I am not an action movie buff, but this one is well-done, and comments directly on the power we continue to handle the Bush administration and the immorality and illegality of that.
So, another day begins. It is foggy here, and I know there is sun on the mountain above.
Enjoy the ground of your being and the ground under your feet.
We are richly given to receive.