Since Pre-Historic Times

Has humanity ever existed without ritual and ceremony? Would we know anything of return without the seasons?

We are pulled to each other, drawn to the heart’s hearth.

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My fingers are drawn to the delicate icy lace on the edge of a leaf, melting the touch of that other hand. The crystalline pattern comes away in my grasp, impermanence incarnate.

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My mind travels distances that my body can’t follow, into a future of ecological devastation. I trace paths in concentric rings around my life. My steps are well worn near the places I depend on as touchstones. However grandiose my thoughts may become, in the end I am as small as any other life, my instincts creasing the grass, undifferentiated from what has come before.

I am filled with desire and it does indeed bring suffering. I am in its grasp and I don’t know that the grip will be something I can loosen in this life. My heart cries out…I want it all to remain…this ability for fragile life to move through seasons, long after I, and mine, have gone.

Seasons.

Nature, you most holy of mirrors.

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During the nights, I dream. I am walking beside myself, giving counsel. I reach down to the ground to pick up a black and white hawk feather. I stroke it as I listen to this other me, I understand and empathize. It’s as if you are feeling too much, too grounded. It is ok to take in a wider perspective. There are tears, relief.

On this day, I find a path on the hillside and I begin to walk and cannot stop. In this particular place, I can hear the centerpoint pulsing out its invitation. Deep in the rolling woodland is a heart that time and fences have yet to permit me to reach.

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Where have you seen this before?

At the creek it was Flickers, here in the deepening oaks it is the Acorn Woodpeckers. Two follow my footsteps, announcing my search. Waka-waka-waka. Waka-waka-waka.

Standing alone I see it. And as I approach, the alarm is sounded. From where I thought there were only two, I am bemused to learn I had misjudged. There are dozens. I am surrounded.

Home. Sustenance. Source.

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I am a rude human. I move on. The pulsing yokes my heart and demands that I move deeper, but from behind me I am called, a call to which I will always return.

Mommy.

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(Photos…Hunt Hot Springs, Mystery Pond at home, Vulture Flats. Thoughts…emerging out of this big big heart. Family…cousins and generations…gathering for one of the best Thanksgivings ever. Sustenance…from the land where I am known.)

How was your holiday? How were you nourished?

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9 thoughts on “Since Pre-Historic Times

  1. Incredible photos! Even though we always miss you on the East coast, my heart is happy when I read about and see you all having such wonderful family times on the West coast. Love to you, K

  2. Look how much your bean has grown. Beautiful beautiful photos and beautiful words full of sincerity. I panic slightly seeing how quickly Fern appears to be growing; I feel like holding my hand up and saying “stop! no! you’re growing so fast I can’t keep up!”, time doesn’t stop and they keep getting bigger, so quickly, the babes do. Kisses. xo

  3. this is so incredibly beautiful and resonant. my heart throbs to read your words, echoes of my own desires for seasons, for life, the patterns, the emergences. i love when you go there, to that path, to those woods, to those birds, to those internal places where you are always searching and somehow also always knowing. and mommy means so many things in that context. i love to see fern’s bright, ever-blooming face too! thank you for this wonderful post, this is true thanks-giving.

  4. Hi
    I have been reading you blog for a bit of time now, not sure how I originally found it, but the reason I continue to read is because it makes me long for a relationship and awareness of the bay area that I see throughout your posts, you see I am a bay area native. Well, I have returned and found myself not sure where to start in my adventure of knowing this land in which I am now inhabiting. Could you perhaps post a list of places to explore and know? I would really appreciate it

    Thank you so much
    Emily

  5. my thanksgiving was spent in colchester england- my sister is living there for a semester. just me and zhi went. pretty epic adventure. we went to paris first. if i had time to blog i’d write a post on it. i need to find that time. i need to. i loved these last two posts so much.

  6. Reading this post is like diving into the warm pool where the three of you had a joyful bath – it’s so good and so right you don’t want to get out.

    These are my favourite lines I think :

    “It’s as if you are feeling too much, too grounded. It is ok to take in a wider perspective. There are tears, relief.

    On this day, I find a path on the hillside and I begin to walk and cannot stop. In this particular place, I can hear the centerpoint pulsing out its invitation. Deep in the rolling woodland is a heart that time and fences have yet to permit me to reach.”

    I know so well what you mean – and I believe this heart is in fact beating inside you, Mary. All the time.

  7. mirror.
    your photos of what is real, and nourishing.
    and i can feel them bringing broth to your lips, they know what you need.
    the burdock.
    the buckwheat?
    and the hooven trail that goes through the foothill oaks, now that is my scene, my dream.
    i know the colors and the breath of frost
    that leave wanting to know more, to become the season
    to be fully woven into it rather than just observe it.
    i have a large family but i am still searching. i feel along when with them.
    they keep me under wing begrudgingly.
    i’m still searching.
    the oaks is always the first place i go.

    xoxo

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