Saturday, April 18, 2015

Morning Walk

When I return from visits in to the city the forest reminds me of how vast it is. I sit in nature in the city and the presence of humans is never far away. I play with these times away and back, noticing what my relationship to nature is. Today the forest was a wild unknown place though I have walked the trails for many years now. I walked through the meadow just as the first rays of sun came through new leafing oaks and maples at the edges. I stepped just inside the edge of the forest and sat in the lush tall grasses as the dawn chorus was in full tune. I feel how much tension my body carries from my time away from this glorious land.

I let the bird song fill my body, let the tension sink in to the ground. The dogs wandered nearby, noses in the air, alert to nuance I can not detect. There is such relief in this cool mountain air, tender sweetness in the music. I can not imagine my life without a wild place to settle in to for a time. To be acquainted with a place, day after month after season after year after decades...that remains largely unchanged by any other than the life pulsing through...
this is a rare gift. This morning I notice how large the drift of wild mock orange has become, doubling in size in the many years I have come each spring to cherish their blossoming. And the wild apple tree planted by a bird or wayward core toss has grown from a maiden to a woman and she is in full glory bloom today. Her branches are brilliantly alive hosting bees of all types. I can't get enough of the subtle hues radiating in the flowers. This transient sensuous wealth stirs deep longing and invites lingering moments of savoring such extravagance. Spring is sexy.

Spring is fast, energized, tumultuous, passionate, conspicuous, beguiling, seductive  and irresistible. The forest floor is carpeted with her offerings. I have yet to visit my favorite places...orchids, wild ginger, mariposa lilies and other dear friends invite me to walk, take time to investigate and sit. And sitting now writing these words I find a few small hitchhikers have joined me. Making friends with the ticks....they have to make a living too...but perhaps on another being!

Friday, April 3, 2015

These last weeks Dandelion has been of deepest fascination. Their resilience, abundance, healing properties, tenacity, tastiness….all of this has captured me….along with their photogenic quality especially when viewed close up.

They also almost never grow alone, they are social. And now that I have encouraged them to grow in the lawn there are legions of them that delight me every spring. Last summer I stopped watering the lawn. In the wilderness where these dandelions grow the lawn has been what I’ve considered the fire safety zone around the house. So the decision to let it go brown felt edgy to me. I cut it close to the ground so truthfully there was very little organic matter to burn. The only things that remained green were chicory, rosemary and dandelion. Those tap roots must be fabulous storage tanks.

This year with the spring rains the dandelions are lush. And I am in love with them. I’ve been feeling in to the metaphor of dandelion these weeks of lent, the period of time in the catholic faith of my childhood between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. The church I attend most often now is the Church of the Holy Wilderness as one brother in law calls it. So Dandelion has been giving me a series of sermons these weeks.

Today I found one dandelion riveting. The photo captures a moment when those seeds that have been growing together, gathered on their single flower journey, have become the seeds themselves about to fly off into the world. They are so spectacular together to my eye.

A woman I dearly love died just a few short days ago. She was to me like one of those dandelion seed parachutes, radiant in her expression of love. She let her seed leave the safe place of attachment to the earth, while the rest of us are as yet still becoming those seeds awaiting our own time to fly.

Dandelion tells me there is a possibility to be as love while I am still here…to open fully, to glow in beauty, to bloom wherever I am, to congregate with others, to offer nourishment, to grow my roots deep, and then let go and fly when the time is right…