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.
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.
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.
Nature, you most holy of mirrors.
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.
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.
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.
(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?