Full Circle is a super-short video about the elements - earth, air, fire and water - and our relationship with them. It was created by the very cool Global Oneness Project and I got it through KarmaTube, brainchild of the fabulously selfless Niphun Mehta. Niphun is the man who started ServiceSpace, one of those great ideas that makes one proud to be a human being.
This note was sent out by my old friend Crow (aka Bruce Taub) to honor Mother's Day earlier this year, but it is just as relevant today.
"All the stones around here, each has a language of its own ... and our Earth has a song." ~ Wallace Black Elk
I believe we are children of explored stars ... children of the great first mother. I believe every tree, plant, insect, and animal is a child of the stars. I believe every tree, plant, insect, and animal "talks." I believe rocks talk ... and oceans and rivers talk. When I am alone in nature and listen I hear voices - my own, birds', trees', rocks'. The energy each of us emits in life is simply a manifestation of our being alive ... and is received by all we touch. It cannot be otherwise. So too, the energy emitted by other beings, even rocks, is received by us, and manifests the consciousness and wisdom of that other being in us. Each and every entity on Earth has wisdom to share and a tale to tell.
The Earth is our Mother. Let us honor her, as we honor all our ancestors, and the stars from which we've emerged, and the heavenly material from those now dead stars which constitutes us ... stone and bee, whale and bird ... sisters and brothers all, the very same heavenly material in each and every one of us. Then let us bow, every rock and every leaf our teachers.
With gratitude to the indigenous people, without whom i might not have known these truths, to my friends who are teachers, and to the reminder of these truths provided by Martha Fast Horse. Happy Mother's Day each and all.
Walking along Church Street in San Francisco with a friend the other day, I saw this lovely, vibrant mural that covered a concrete wall framing almost an entire block...
The artwork was so lovely and fine, and I admired it so much that I tracked down the artist. Her name is Mona Caron - and I was charmed to read this on her website:
"Looking at nature closely, one may notice the intricacy and beauty of even the most "valueless" and unseeming little plants, regardless of their color or drabness, their perceived value or usefulness, or stage in life.
These heroic-scale portraits of the seldom noticed and literally downtrodden, are my tribute to the resiliance of all those renegade life forms that may or may not fit within the designs of our society, but keep growing nonetheless. They are also an homage to beauty that is free and available to all, if we can claim the time to pay attention to it."
Here's to eveyday beauty; to how lovely and extraordinary it truly is, and to those who champion it! How they enrich all whose lives they touch!
I've always drempt of having a cutting garden.. and now I have one! Somewhere along the way to realizing this dream, I began collecting rose bushes. I started last year with one Gertrude Jeykell bush - an old fashioned double pink rose with a truly divine scent - and when it went crazy this Spring, all covered with blooms, I too went crazy and bought myself several more David Austin old rose varietals.
I couldn't find more Gertrude Jeykells - I would fill my entire garden with that rose if I could - but I did find "Hot Cocoa" - a gorgeous rich red-brown rose that I first saw in Sally Robertson's glorious bread and breakfast garden (even if you don't have a patch of ground, Sally can paint a garden for your walls), and Sparrieshoop (the generous climber you see in this photo - it's also a cutting rose!), Benjamin Britten, and Scarborough Fair. All of them smell wonderful and fill a vase beautifully! These roses are magic - they're casting a spell that makes me want to just hang out in the garden all the time!
The weather has been so erratic lately that Spring has come as a surprise to me this year. An almost impossibly beautiful shade of green - a hue both shy & vibrant - has returned to my garden like the unexpected delivery of something I'd almost forgotten I'd ordered.
Perhaps most amazing to me is seeing the lilac bush I bought last year emerge anew. All winter it's been a lonely little twig that I've sadly thought I should be digging up to put out of its misery. But now it's back - full of those vibrant-hued leaves, along with a similarly resurrected dwarf red maple, two (no, four!) fat lily buds floating on the pond, and an exploding flurry of water iris buds.
It may be just that I am a new gardener, unused to seasonal display, but to me these miracles are proof that things aren't always what they seem, and just because something appears to be dead doesn't mean it is. What a glorious gift, like the proverbial rainbow; nature's cyclical pledge of renewal.
This quote by Neal Stephenson comes to me sometimes when the evening news is too full of murder and greed, or my heart stumbles too close to the edge of despair:
"Nothing is more important than that you see and love the beauty that is right in front of you, or else you will have no defense against the ugliness that will hem you in and come at you in so many ways."
As if in response to the need Stephenson identified, Christóbal Vila's 3.75 minutes of healing beauty balm, reminding us that indeed beauty is all around us if only we have eyes to see it:
Every since my work as Vision Nest Studio with FireHawk Hulin, I've been paying attention to nests. I'm drawn by the powerful metaphor of incubation they suggest, serving as a container for the transformative process; a safe space for Life to emerge.
When we were planning the first Vision Nest Studio, FireHawk shared an inspiration he'd had for our name.
Synchronistically, I'd just watched a television Special on bowerbirds and their nests. The bowerbird is an artist - each bird builds its nest from what is around and each is completely unique, with its own aesthetic. So the bowerbird turned out to be an apt symbol for the group of totally unique individuals that took our class, and its nest a perfect metaphor for the space we built for their emergence as fully creative beings.
There seems to be a theme emerging, so I thought I'd post about it, wondering if perhaps we all need a few nests in our lives... I know I do. If this metaphor resonates with you, too, perhaps you would share something about the nests that hold your forms of emergent Life?
I thought it would never happen, but finally I have updated and revitalized Gatherings, the ecopsychology e-zine I helped launch over 10 years ago. It has lain fallow for the last couple of years, but people have never stopped submitting articles, poetry, photographs and news, and now they are all published online again! Have a look, and if you like - submit something yourself!
I did something delightfully unexpected (and deeply nourishing) the other day. I took time right in the middle of one of the busiest periods I've ever experienced to join my friend and creative mentor FireHawk Hulin in a photo shoot at Hakone Gardens.