Autumnal Greetings! I hope you are enjoying the blog posts giving you a thought of nature to take into the week. We reach second harvest — for this is Mabon – the autumnal equinox in the northern hemisphere. This is a season of balance, equality and preparation for the coming dark months. Everything in nature is constantly giving and receiving energy from everything else. We remember the wisdom of cultures past and present — Corn Mother, Epona, or Persephone. Taking in this harvest of apples and squash, of collecting seeds, and preparing the soil for next year, we are thankful for the abundance of our Great Mother Earth. Bright Blessings, Kestrel
The Buddha says “the wave and the water are one”. The fishes that are immersed in the water are forever in their element. They trust the water completely. It is home, safety and continuity. They are born and die there. And, separated from the water, the fish panics and will die without it.
Besides the obvious analogy of air, what in my life is so critical that without it I panic and perhaps fade to death? What am I taking for granted as a security that I don’t even realize surrounds me? Mindfulness reminds me to acknowledge these pieces in my life — not to take them as a given — rather as a gift. The love of my spouse or the safety of my country, for instance. How impermanent these are, and yet I have the chance here and now to immerse myself within them. Like a fish in the water!
Breathing deeply of the air around me, I acknowledge and appreciate those things in my life that just are — for in this beautiful moment, I know peace.
Night! Does the word fill you dread? Wonder? Anxiety? Peace? Our lives are balanced between light times and dark times — the days, the seasons and our lifetimes. Day is the time of doing, taking action, meeting and greeting – the stuff of living. Yet, night is the time of being, dreaming, resting and recovering — it is also the stuff of living.
But sometimes we feel anxiety in the still darkness of night. It is not unknown to us — we experience it every turn of the sun. It hasn’t hurt us — we awake in the morning from our dreams. Why then do we fear the dark anymore than fearing the light of day? Rather if we embrace the evening and welcome the night, we can relish the shift — the downturn of activity into the upswelling of rest.
Taking time to honour night’s calm can help us appreciate the day’s busy-ness. It can put us better in balance with ourselves — both sides for we need both action and rest for health and happiness. So … at this time of year when we can experience both in balance, take some time to embrace the night!
The parched ground, the drooping leaves, the panting animals, the heavy foot — it’s been dry for weeks — no Rain. Where did She go? Why did She leave? When will She return? Another day of radiant Sun — beautiful himself, but not sparkling like when Rain is his mate. The Lady is tired — She needed a rest to rejuvenate and recreate her youthful self — to create energy to pour onto the land — to accept so that She can give. Like all women, She needs some time to herself. She needs to gather her energy to that She can be what She needs to be. So She can serve the Earth, the plants, the animals and us. When She has had her alone-time, She will reawaken.
She is once again the youthful energetic woman. She can once again play with the Sun and create dewdrop crystals and rainbows of light and colour. She comes full of life and vigor. And Sun, at first afraid, hides away from the splash and the flash. Until the initial torrent is done and then, together, they create sparkles and rainbows and prisms. Ahhhh! The ground sighs, the animals laugh, the plants drink, and we rejoice.
I, too, am like the Rain herself. After giving so much, I need a rest. When I have taken in what I know I need, I can give more freely, more vibrantly, more openly to those I love. The dry times are hard — how do I help them survive? Or perhaps I can trust that the Sun will not burn them so badly until I can give again — until we can sparkle together. I am Rain; You are Sun; We are crystal droplets and rainbows!
“Eeek, a spider!” shrieks a little child. Why? What has that spider done to harm the child? Likely nothing — but their ways of movement and capturing prey seems almost alien. So unlike the cat that we keep as a pet — the same one that hunts the spider. We respect the hunter in the pussycat, but fear a house spider. I won’t kill a spider. I move them — shift their webs if they are inconvenient or put them outside if found indoors. Besides the hunting is better out there!
I think the spider brings out my sense of freedom, of living independently, and making your way in life as a solitary being. It’s not often that you see two spiders sharing a web. Each of us has our own web to weave in much the same way. My web is not your web as my fate is not your fate. Of course, in the path of life our ideal morning webs must be damaged in the process of survival. But then we feast … and heal … and tomorrow there is a fresh web. All ready for each day’s surprises.
So shift your spiders — say thank you for keeping the garden bugs in check and reminding us that each day is an opportunity for a new freshly woven web. Namaste
I hold a piece of bloodstone … deep and beautiful greens with speckles of blood red — like stars in a dark sky. What have I to say to a stone so ancient? You are so marvelous. I honour your journey into my hands today. When I hold you, do I touch that magical journey? Am I a part of your story? “Of course, you are!” the stone says. “All things are inter-be.” Generations after generations across the earth and sky, molecules, atoms shifting, sharing, moving. A dynamic dance in the cosmos. The rocks hold their own for a relatively long time in this dance. Stable, mature, confident — yet, like us, still they are impermanent. All things transform .. and so must I. Oh the stories if rocks could talk. Telling their tales of smooth patches, rough patches, spots and holes — like our skins as we age — telling the stories of our lives. This wrinkle is from smiling — this one from surprises. This spot reminds me of joy in the summer sun. Love your face with all its give-away tales. What a shame when medical science erases our journeys with laser beams. I’d rather be like the stones.
I love the fell of cool, wet mud as it squeezes between my toes. Walking on and walking in the Earth brings peace and pleasure to my self. This is true knowledge — stepping into Earth and knowing that I am part of this greatness. I am a piece of Her and this is ever my home. We bring a little bit of Her into our homes when we enjoy pottery. Useful, practical pots can hold water or seeds. My mud pot would not be even and smooth … as life is not always even and smooth. My mud pot has the shape of flowing waves … here the smoothness is wrapped upon itself. Calm and gentle then wild and dangerous. This pot has the sense of abandon — going with what is but keeping shape to hold things being helpful. My life is a wavy pot!
Blessings of First Harvest
Greetings! It’s been a while since my last post — the busy-ness of spring and summer was just not conducive to reflective writing. But … today is Lammas — First of the Harvest Holy-days. As we begin to gather from our gardens, we appreciate the abundance of our Earth … the gifts given freely from the Mother to us every year. With this post, I will begin a series of blogs focusing on our Earth Mother — all the creatures, the elements, weather and more. I invite you to join me by reading the post and contemplating what each theme means for you. I’d love to have you share on the themes here so please feel open to sending your thoughts. Bright Blessings to you this Lammas, Kestrel.
Another sense that we often overlook is sound. Our world is so full of sounds that it can become noise. By focusing on singular sounds, we can encourage a sense of calm and freedom. For example, find a place where you can hear birdsong … then stop walking, close your eyes, breathe, and listen carefully. Allow this natural music to fill your mind and take you to a still place.
In our everyday, we hear a lot of music. We tend to pick the same radio station or music tracks over and over again. Try something different this month. January is a great time to do something new. So why not choose a music genre that you don’t usually hear. And really listen. Stop, close your eyes, breathe, and listen. Allow your brain to engage with the new combinations of notes and tones. This is like exercise for your sense of hearing.
Sound can also play an important role in meditation. The resonance of tones are associated with centres in our bodies. By creating the tone or even just listening to it, we experience a connecting and soothing affect. The word AUM is made up of four tones ahhh-oooh-mmmm – then silence. The first tone resonates in the lower body, the second in the centre body and the third in the head. These are followed by a moment of silence allowing the resonance to flow over your whole self. Usually this is repeated three times. Give it a go!
Colour is not the only thing that can brighten your senses this month. Your sense of smell is a wonderful tool for bringing memories and feelings. It’s really simple – If you are sitting at the breakfast table just stop for a moment, close your eyes and breathe in. What aromas come your way? Perhaps it is coffee with its enlivening scent. Perhaps it is maple syrup that reminds us of warmth. Take moments throughout the day to stop and breathe in. You will be amazed at what comes your way.
To be a bit more deliberate about the scents around you, aromatherapy is a wonderful practice of using natural essential oils to support your mind and emotions. As it is often in bath products, we are familiar with lavender as an oil that brings relaxation. Yet, at this time of year, we may rather need something to brighten us or lift our spirits. Oils that are used to stimulate and increase your energy include orange, lemon and rose. For a quick hit of relief, just open a bottle and breathe deeply. To get a longer lasting effect, consider putting some oils in the bath or using a diffuser.
We can take our sense of smell for granted, but it serves to stimulate our digestive system, arouse us sexually, and warn us of danger. It is strongly linked to our emotional body and memories can be awakened simply by getting a whiff of something we associate with the past. Clear the air in your home to be sure that you are able to take advantage of this sense to support your health and well-being in this month of January!