Sometimes you are privileged with a glimpse of the other world, when the light shines up from the west as the sun sets and dazzles something wet. The world is just water and light, a slide show through which your spirit glides.
~ Fanny Howe
Beauty is the harvest of presence.
~ David Whyte
It never ever ceases to awe and amaze me how fast spring moves across the landscape here in the Bogs of NE Ohio. When we arrived, the trees were mostly bare and still taking their winter nap. Then, one day when you’re not really paying attention, the Green Man moves in with his paint brush and suddenly green begins to spread out and take over.
Pathways of green spring up where it was once brown and dry with last year’s leaves. Violets, dogwoods, wild strawberries, and redbuds bloom. The air is scented with the perfume of lilacs. And the light has subtly shifted.
Self-knowledge is not clarity or transparency or knowing how everything works, self-knowledge is a fiercely attentive form of humility and thankfulness, a sense of the privilege of a particular form of participation, coming to know the way we hold the conversation of life and perhaps, above all, the miracle that there is a particular something rather than an abstracted nothing and we are a very particular part of that particular something.
~ David Whyte, Consolations
This visit, along with this past year and all it brought, has been an exercise in learning about relationships, community, and myself (as well as my Self). Life lessons appear to be on speed dial or something. They keep coming fast, sometimes landing hard, sometimes gently incorporating themselves into my thoughts or being or life.
The first week of Emergence Magazine’s course A Deep Dive into Spiritual Ecology (Part 2) took place last week. The guest teacher was David Abram, author of The Spell of the Sensuous. I read The Spell of the Sensuous last year and loved it. It was such an interesting look at how our relationship with earth and the other-than-human is influenced by language.
Listening to David Abram speak was a lot like listening to poetry. He offered up beautiful and thought-provoking ideas and exercises to help us better connect with nature, with the earth, with the conversation that is constantly going on around us between wind, trees, birds, and everything out there. Mr. Abram’s assertion is that everything is alive, or at least we should start with the idea that everything is alive, even the rocks, the boulders, and the mountains. This led to an engaging bit of conversation about technology and whether or not it is alive.
A story must be judged according to whether it makes sense. And ‘making sense’ must be here understood in its most direct meaning: to make sense is to enliven the senses. A story that makes sense is one that stirs the senses from their slumber, one that opens the eyes and the ears to their real surroundings, tuning the tongue to the actual tastes in the air and sending chills of recognition along the surface of the skin. To make sense is to release the body from the constraints imposed by outworn ways of speaking, and hence to renew and rejuvenate one’s felt awareness of the world. It is to make the senses wake up to where they are.
~ David Abram, The Spell of the Sensuous
I reckon that’s enough rambling from me for now. Thank you so much for visiting with me on this warm, almost summery day. We’ve had some lovely sunrises and sunsets lately. The moon as it set yesterday morning was big and pinkish-orange, and it floated above the trees on the horizon just before sunrise as if trying to imitate the sun itself. Sunset here is a little later than on the Eastern Shore. It’s scheduled for 8:18 PM here, where we’re on the back edge of Eastern Time. (At home, on the front edge of Eastern Time, sunset is at 7:50 PM.) I’d invite you to watch the sunset with me this evening but I will be in Gita class. If you have time and the inclination, step outside wherever you are and let me know what sunset looks like for you this evening.
Please be safe, be well, and be kind.
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 1,756) The many flowers of spring. 1,757) A Happy Merry Everything party this past Sunday. We celebrated Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and all the birthdays. We had decorations, Christmas music, and even some trick-or-treating (complete with costumes) as the kids ran around the outside of the rental house to the different doors to collect candy from the adults. It was so much fun. 1,758) Bucket fishing with the Little Wookie and the Little Peanut. One of them dips a bucket in the water at the edge of the pond, usually in a weedy spot. Then the bucket is emptied onto a screen/sieve (something their dad made for them) and we look to see if anything was caught. So far there have been tadpoles, pollywogs, snails, crawfish, and the occasional small fish along with lots of mud, muck, and decaying plants. The boys put the critters into another bucket that they’ve half-filled with pond water so they can look at them for a little while. Eventually (usually within a few minutes), the critters are gently returned to the pond where they can get on with life. 1,759) Dropping expectations and exploring anticipation. 1,760) An afternoon to rest and relax.