Daily Feather and Gratitude

Your Daily Feather

I didn’t have time to write this morning before I left for work.
1. Last night, we saw a bat flying between the barn and the sycamore tree. Bats are some of my favorite people.
2. Tonight on our walk, we saw a frog on the road. When I reached to try to move it from the road, it suddenly zig-zagged between my legs and off toward the creek.
3. Working in the Herb Room today. I might be an airy-fairy sanguine personality and a fiery Leo birth sign, and have a special affinity for Mama Ocean, but when it comes to herbs, the things that gets me most excited is the roots. Earth seems to be my medicine: roots and stones.
4. Kittens! Have I mentioned the kittens? I love little kittens. And their mama.
5. Cucumbers. They’re refreshing.

May we walk in Beauty!

“We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice, we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.” ―Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“You say you care about the poor? Then tell me, what are their names?” —Gustavo Gutierrez

Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” —Roald Dahl

History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, but if faced
With courage, need not be lived again.
—Maya Angelou

“Doors closing, doors opening. Doors closing, doors I’m opening. I am safe. It’s only change. I am safe. It’s only change.” —chant (I don’t know the author)

Vine and branch we’re connected in this world
of sound and echo, figure and shadow, the leaves
contingent, roots pushing against earth. An apple
belongs to itself, to stem and tree, to air
that claims it, then ground. Connections
balance, each motion changes another. Precarious,
hanging together, we don’t know what our lives
support, and we touch in the least shift of breathing.
Each holy thing is borrowed. Everything depends.
—Jeanne Lohmann, ‘Shaking the Tree’

Parker Palmer: “The only way to become whole is to put our arms lovingly around everything we’ve shown ourselves to be: self-serving and generous, spiteful and compassionate, cowardly and courageous, treacherous and trustworthy. We must be able to say to ourselves and to the world at large, “I am all of the above.” If we can’t embrace the whole of who we are—embrace it with transformative love—we’ll imprison the creative energies hidden in our own shadows and flee from the world’s complex mix of shadow and light.”

“It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.” —Mae Jemison

Poem a Day: 24

I had to rush around today to do some sudden work that came up, so I rushed the poem. The prompts are Anchor and Nature.

by Beth Weaver-Kreider

feet bare on bare earth
breath in sync with breeze
heartbeat rhymes with
the beating heart of sycamore

on a breath send roots
down and down through
soil through loam around
stone around bone

anchor to the core
of the mother

I’m Still Here

It’s been a good start to the school year, but the focus and exhaustion of beginning a new year has kept me away from the blog for a couple weeks.

Gratitude List:
1. Owls calling in the bosque.
2. Cats that sleep on their backs. Such soft bellies.
3. Strong community everywhere.
4. An earnest and bright-eyed crew of students.
5. Earnest and intentional colleagues.
. . .and monarchs. . .and sunflowers. . .and de-stressing decisions. . .and air conditioning. . .and the indigo throat of the morning glory. . .and long weekends. . .

May we walk in Beauty!
You get to choose the names that you wear, like you choose the clothes you wear. I am going to stop wearing Messy and Disorganized. I have too much to accomplish to be held back by those old rags. I will be She Who Walks Rooted. I will be Seeker of the Open Door. I will be Re-Sister and Per-Sister. I will be Snuggler of Cats.

Roots and Lune (or, A Lune in June)

 Welcome to the renovated Mockingbird Chronicles!Roots

Not a particularly interesting photo to inaugurate my new blog design, I know, and Google Collage randomized the pics, so it doesn’t automatically show the process.  Still, this is a project I want to document.  On Monday (Solstice), I went to my friend Sarah’s house and dug up a burdock.  I planted it out in the woods’ edge where it should help to break up the clay.  I took a piece of the root, and then harvested some curly dock root and some dandelion root.  In the bottom center, the roots are all washed and waiting to be peeled (curly dock top left, burdock bottom left, and dandelion to the right).  Right center: Peeled.  I let them dry overnight, and the next morning Jon said what I was thinking: “They look like bones.”  Burdock is top left, dandelion top right, and curly dock is in the bottom right.  The bottom left photo shows them in their jars after about four hours in the dryer (dandelion and curly dock on left, burdock on right). Now for tea.

Today’s prompt is to write a lune, which is sort of haiku-like, and can be on any subject.  It’s a syllable-count poem of 5/3/5.  These tiny lines of two or three (as in lune and cinquain) are really challenging.  I might try some of these that break the line endings, but I have a feeling that there needs to be a purposeful ending to break up the longer lengths.  It might be interesting to do a series of lune and haiku, interspersing them.  And a lune, of course, is moon-shaped, so it might be interesting to take the sense of that instead of the specific directions and do a 7/5/3/5/7, or even a 9/7/5/3/5/7/9.  Oooh.  The possibilities!

Harbor the wildness.
Look around.
Settle into green.

Gratitude List:
1. Shakti energy.  That is to say, the will and the fire to find the way and to dive in to the process.
2. The roadside flowers of late June: always Queen Anne’s Lace, Chicory, and Day Lily, but also Buttercup, Sweet Melilot, Hag’s Taper, and lavender bubbles of Vetch.
3. This question for pondering: What is your greatest joy?  I want to make sure that one category of my questions is about joy.  What brings you joy in this moment?  What memory brings you joy?  What will you do for yourself today to bring joy to yourself (or others)?  (Thank you, Miss Jan.)
4. Yoga.  Stretching the spine, balancing, breathing–they’re so much more than the simple acts of stretch and balance and breath.  Those are words that fill other spaces and other meanings throughout the day.
5. Date night tonight!  I don’t know when we last planned a date for just us. I feel so adult.

May we walk in Beauty!

Send Down the Roots

(As is the way with internet searches, I found this beautiful piece of artwork with no reference to the artist.  If you know, please send me the information.)

Now is the time
to send down the roots,
fine little hairs feeling their way
spiraling into the moist darkness,
between clods and stones,
around the bones
of those who came before,
through the streams that run
deep beneath the surface.

Now is the time
to feed and nurture
all that lives beneath the surface,
all that searches for depth,
all that gathers strength
from the comforting darkness of earth.

Now is the time to bless
the part of the plant that seeks shadow,
that grows inward,
faithfully finding its way
by blind instinct
toward the center.

Gratitude List:
1. Tea with Marie and Benn, conversing and exploring puzzles with the beloved community.
2. How a puzzle on the table creates a perfect setting for making a new friend.  It fills up the awkward silences, gives you a shared task, and is itself an image of untangling and ordering creating a new thing.
3. Roots
4. Still a few more days of Christmas Break.  I feel myself opening, loosening, drawing toward my center.
5. Richard Rohrer.  Moving on from Cynthia Bourgeault’s deepening words of Advent, I have begun to work more intentionally with his daily words.  Today:

God’s life is living itself in me. I am aware of life living itself in me.
God’s love is living itself in me. I am aware of love living itself in me.

May Love live us.

Onions and Roots

2013 October 108
I know this is garlic and not onions, but the metaphor holds.

Gratitude List:
1. Onions.  All those layers of self to peel through, each crisp paper pulling away as it is shed.
2. Roots.  The roots of the roots.
3. Support.  Again.  There when I need it, from so many corners.
4. Sychronicity.  It has been uncanny in these Advent days how at just the moment that I am experiencing a challenge of some sort, the morning’s spiritual practices are referring to the exact challenge that I am living through.
5. And finally, I think I am ready to say that I am actually grateful for the particular challenges that are currently on my plate.  Likely I have not yet learned from them all that I need to learn, but I think that they are teaching me.  At least I feel myself learning, little by little, how to manage the quick rush of indignation, the wounded wildcat impulse to attack back, the urge to be right, to explain myself. I may not get it the next time, but at least for now, I think I am learning a little.

May we walk in Beauty!

When I Became a Tree

Poem-A-Day Prompt 23: Write a Deep Poem.

On that day when I became a tree,
I felt first the stillness
dawning within me,
felt the silence grow.
Crystals of quiet
formed on my skin
like ice, like stone.

On that fierce and tender morning
there was a receding
within and without,
a tingle in my spine,
in the soles of my feet.

And then my roots began to grow,
fine hairs at first
feeling downward.  Down.
My ears and my eyes
went to my roots,
deep and deeper.
I ran into earth
on that day
when I went to the trees.

Roots snaked down into soil,
seeking deep layers of humus,
caves of small creatures,
seeking underground rivers,
the bones of the ancestors.

On that day when my roots flew
through the silence,
through depths of earth,
they sought the heat
at the heart of the Mother.

Then did my branches
rattle and whisper
among the stars.