Of Course, the August Rains

Was it only two days ago I wrote about how The Stump has become dormant except for little flowerings of two or three types of shy mushrooms around the faerie door? But I forgot about the August rains. Yesterday, I went out and a new stage of frilly white oysters have burst from the northern arc. Something else, shy and yellow, was already melting toward a golden ooze on the southern exposure. Life returns in The Stump’s own season. The first photo is the entire group of oysters, and the others are individual portraits, and the golden ooze from the southern side.

And I too, observe my seasons, shifting and changing, sometimes going dormant for long periods in one or another of my realms of existence. Lately, I have been working with great intention at healing and feeding my solar plexus chakra. You can tell me (as one of my beloved scientific-minded children does) that it is all in my mind, and I will respond, “Of course it is!” That’s where so much of magick resides, in the changing of consciousness at will. I have needed to change my consciousness regarding my ability to get things done. Slowly and steadily, I am seeing changes, more will and energy to do the things that must be done. Step by slow step, I realize that when I want to call up energy to do something, I find a reserve there, small and patient, waiting for me to call it forth.

Like the energy of the stump, my own energies have been, for a long time, hidden beneath the surface, seemingly unavailable. But now, with careful tending, and a little August sun and rain, I feel the bloom.

May your day be bright with sparks of new-found energy in places where you least expect it.


Gratitude List:
1. Reminders to Be in the Body.
2. Things that wake me up.
3. This school. This classroom. These colleagues. The sense of students soon to populate this space.
4. Augusts rains. September sun.
5. Seasons.

May we walk in Beauty! In mercy, justly, humbly.


“There is another world, but it is in this one.”
—W.B. Yeats


“There is a deeper world than this
That you don’t understand
There is a deeper world that this
Tugging at your hand. . .
There is a deeper wave than this
Rising in the land
There is a deeper wave than this
Nothing will withstand
I say love is the seventh wave.”
—Sting (I think I am going to listen carefully to this song in the coming days as I make last minute preps for school)


“I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that you will work them, water them with your blood and tears and your laughter ’til they bloom, ’til you yourself burst into bloom.”
—Clarissa Pinkola Estes


“Why did you do all this for me?” he asked. “I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.”
“You have been my friend,” replied Charlotte. “That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die… By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heavens knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.” —Charlotte the spider


“Whatever you’re meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.” —Doris Lessing


“A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.” —Irish proverb


“We can’t know where we’re going if we don’t know from what we originate. The loss of purpose that so many of us feel is greater than the trajectory of our careers and personal lives, it is a cultural ailment which arises out of forgetting. Our lives are like the fruit of a heritage seed: Each of the generations that has preceded us has contributed to our life’s survival. There is an ancestral momentum to which we are beholden, and which carries us forward when we are in step with it. To hear this momentum, we must turn towards the soul. There, in our dreams, are the clues to what we love and what our lives long for.” —Dreamwork with Toko-pa


“To teach is to create a space in which obedience to truth is practiced.” —Parker Palmer, from Abba Felix tradition


“As technological civilization diminishes the biotic diversity of the earth, language itself is diminished. As there are fewer and fewer songbirds in the air, due to the destruction of their forests and wetlands, human speech loses more and more of its evocative power. For when we no longer hear the voices of warbler and wren, our own speaking can no longer be nourished by their cadences. As the splashing speech of the rivers is silenced by more and more dams, as we drive more and more of the land’s wild voices into the oblivion of extinction, our own languages become increasingly impoverished and weightless, progressively emptied of their earthly resonance.” —David Abram


“Establish the sacred space of the classroom so that the inner and outer spaces of the students are respected.” (I don’t know the source. Tell me if you know.)


Be ready for truth to find you. —gleaned from Parker J. Palmer

Cycles and Seasons

Gratitude List:
1. Fibonacci spirals and the lawfulness of the apparent chaos of the universe.
2. Cycles and seasons. In the middle of challenges, the certainty (at least the hope) that the cycle will shift again to calm.
3. The tang of pesto
4. The people who are afraid, but who stand up for truth and humanity anyway, who don’t let threats or money or power or despair cow them into silence.
5. This reminder from Theodore Parker and MLK:  “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

May we walk in Beauty!

The Doorway of the Dark

young

Now we enter the doorway of the dark, step across the threshold of the year into the dreaming time, the time of release and letting go, the time of journeying to the underworld.

In spiritual and community traditions across the globe, this is the season of remembering, of bringing to mind the ones we have loved who are no longer with us. It is a time to hold to our griefs close to our hearts, and to release them to the winds, like leaves. Some say that these are the days when the veil between worlds is thin, when our connection to those we’ve loved and lost may we stronger, more real.

Yesterday in my church, this took the form of a ritual of memory and grief. We came together and we spoke of loss, and we remembered together. We lit candles and we heard story and we sang.

For the past couple weeks, the robins having been settling in at the dusk each evening here in the hollow. There’s a wild chattering in the treetops, and the wingfolk draw a complex web of lines across the hollow, sailing short distances from tree to tree, tree to tree. It’s like a playground full of excitable children.

What would our webs look like, were they all made visible? Connecting point to connecting point–what lines are drawn between ourselves and those who have gone before, between ourselves and others in the world today?

I draw a line between myself and my first immigrant ancestors, the Weavers leaving persecution in Germany and settling on farms in the Weaverland Valley, invited to grow crops and flourish in this good soil, the Schlabachs making a similar move to Ohio’s fertile plains. What did they know of the ones who had farmed the land before them?

I draw a line between myself and the Water Protectors on the Dakota plains, from the Susquehanna, river of my heart, to the Missouri, whose waters are endangered by the black oil snake that approaches nearer with every passing day. I draw the line to their ancestors, the First People on these lands. This line travels through broken treaties, through colonial suppression, through Wounded Knee, through Little Big Horn. Their work today looks oh-so-frighteningly similar.

What does it mean to come from a persecuted people? To identify as the descendant of those who were forced to leave their homeland in search of safety? That is the story I live by.

What does it mean that those very travelers, those refugee wanderers seeking safety and freedom to baptize as they believed–what does it mean that they settled land where others had lived and hunted and wandered?  Did they have words or concepts to explain Manifest Destiny, Doctrine of Discovery?

Today as I stand on this threshold of the season’s darkness, I will remember back before my memory. I will hold the connection between myself and those hopeful refugees from the pain and trial of the old world to the new. I will not excuse or explain away their settlement of fertile valleys, their claim of land which had once been free.  I will neither take one the shame nor dismiss it. I am their distant daughter, as the ones who stand for Water in the Dakotas are the distant children of those who moved across these lands, belonging to the land rather than claiming it for themselves.  Today we draw new lines. We make new patterns, new webs firmly anchored to the old ones. We wing our way into the dusk, like those robins, connecting point to point, idea to idea, memory to memory, grief to grief, until we have a web that will hold us as we move into the season that approaches.

Gratitude List:
1. Tears of joy and relief
2. Tears of sorrow and release
3. How the trees are letting go
4. Circles and webs of caring
5. Community rituals

May we walk in Beauty!