I awoke before dawn, and felt a palpable difference in the air. A difference that had nothing to do with the day of the Month. I felt Spring. I can not say exactly how it felt, I do not what words to use to describe the sense. I Can say the day felt Softer. I thought, "maybe this is the arrival of Spring."
For those who live in other parts of this earth, you might not know that snow still covers my gardens, several feet thick in some areas, ice graces the tops of puddles in the morning, and no frogs have emerged to sing through the evening. Even the trees are slow to bud, as seen in the fallen red maple twig in the photo above.
Yet, in this pre-dawn moment, the atmosphere, the scent, the sense all changed. A new sense presented itself through my yurt walls, as though the sentient trees could feel the earth's rising energies, and sang a new song, as though the summer birds fluttered in a new warmth giving the forest and me extra company, as though a wave of new elementals had arrived last night, ready to cozy up for the Spring revelries and musical entertainment, as if their presence warmed the the very air's vibrations.
And the change seemed to occur overnight
Usually, Spring arrives slowly here. I cherish that pace; the pace allows me to notice and savor each shift. Mud season bringing sweetest sap, Goldfinches singing their ways into our hearts. All while winter continues to blow occasional gusts and storms. And Usually, we hold court with winter beyond any imaginings of time ~ this allows me me sink into the gifts that the north winds brings ~ gifts of contemplation, deep healing, deep mysteries, perseverance, humor and patience.
It was only 4 days ago after all that a gentle snow fell overnight covering the land tenderly and lightly. Arriving like an easy breath In and out, a gentle reminder of life continuing, reminding me ~ we are here, still, breathing, even after great change.
And now, Spring. Overnight. The waters run stronger, the birds fly in mystical geometries ~ duets, lines, figure eights, and more. Hawks circle, geese in V's by the 1000s. And the singing has returned: songbirds fluttering and warbling, woodpeckers pecking and announcing their territories.
It is said that a forest is healthy with the presence of birds. The same must be true for me. With their presence and song I feel a weight lifted ~ from the air, the forest and from my heart.
Today, the wide spectrum of Spring arrives, dancing in many hues of lightness and on a wider and wider path. Spring arrives today bringing warmth and music.
Branches of tea from my home to yours. Roots reaching out and through the ethers, from my heart, to yours, connecting us where ever you are.
I offer another edition of the etheric tea party, hoping you can join me in celebration of our lives, of the our connections and of tea! Today, I offer a humble cup of ambrosia, knowing that with this post, the lines of connection spread like mycelium through the ethers, through the clouds of unknowing, and through the earth, connecting each and every one of us together via a ceremony of tea.
February, the month, I have offered the whimsical party in the past, is nearly over. This year, to create the gifts for this party, I gathered with friends to drink tea and share snacks, for laughter, creation, and art. To celebrate all that we have danced through, both together and apart. These brave travelers helped to make the cards in the photos below; they represent the vessels of our whimsy.
I dedicate this post to you, happy to drink deeply from this cup of life with you, and happy to have the chance to share this voyage of life on this Earth. Grateful that we have danced, laughed, cried and drunk tea together. And, if this post inspires more drawings of vessels of whimsy from you, please do share in the comments.
To life, to solace for all beings in this cosmos, and to togetherness, knowing that we are connected to all beings that we love, no matter how or what is the distance.
To you ~ to your health, to your laughter, your joy, and your heart magic.
where ice, form and flow converge, shifting us to new horizons. where land, water and slip mingle, creating primordial potions of possibility.
T'is the season.
The season appears quietly at first, in the small warm hallows, where the sunlight lingers longest, where dirt swells into a sublime oasis for shifting tides, and the road transforms into an oozing slide of mud. This venue resembles a cosmic sea of potential goo from which life will emerge once more like in a time forgotten a millennia ago. The shifting tides move the seasons forward, from what was, to what we will become.
The shifting tides move us forward too.
And like in any tide, we who float in it, will land elsewhere, slipping and sliding, whether we resist or flow. With the tides, we begin to change. Sometimes, through unexpected escapades, which help us to arrive at new unplanned places. Sometimes, arriving upended, and without solid footing. Sometimes, teaching us how to find stability in the midst of change. Always carrying us onward.
The tides arrive here, rising, shifting, recreating the land as we know it.
Also, quietly, the change arrives in the wind as well. I noticed this new sense while gathering firewood one day; I felt it in and as the mist of coolness rose off the snow, as the water seeped into the frozen crystals. I noticed a lifting in the breeze that moved me to a felt sense, like a perfume of memories, like a fragrance that lifted from a flower to color me, like an unforeseen freshness filling my lungs, like an aphrodisiac of scent, like a song from an ancient land.
A song that has been beckoning to us all, since before we were born. A song that we know in the core of our souls, to which we wish to sing; one that we hear lingering in a beautiful melody, or that we almost see out of the corner of our eyes, or try to glimpse between the twinklings of star-light, or see in the glittering sparkles of snowflakes on a crisp morning, or indeed sense rising out and from the misty morning vapors in the early Spring mornings, vapors that, like today, rise and float away on a breeze.
This realm is a mythical mystical place. Where there is always a quiet glade with a warm fire, where ancient trees wait for our arrival. It is a place that carries the promise of Spring flowers. A place of no-time when all is possible, and All is mingling and dancing together.
I lift my head as this breeze lazily wafts by, carrying the promise.
With the arrival of this felt sense, layers of cares fall from my shoulders, fall from the shoulders of the day, fall from time itself. This unlayering arrives with the tides rising from the Earth's belly, rising like sap in her veins, lifting the veils between the worlds. Between this world and the ancient one.
There is also, on this rising, a deep and profound silence. Even in the crinklings of snow melt, in the gurgling of cautious springs, there is a deep quiet. A silence that runs deeper than the gentle sounds, and puddles outward in ever-widening circles of creation.
Listen, take a pause, notice how the sound of quiet feels this week. Does it sound deeper to you too? Listen to the No time in this in-between moment, in this day. Lift your eyes and hands. Welcome in the the silence. This no-time is precious liminal space, like the season itself, a pause between Winter and Spring.
As the day progresses, the roads will shape-shift, into greater viscosity, only to return later in the day to some version of respectable solidity, maybe, and appear not as they were, but as a project in process.
The toils of the day leave their traces in ruts, scars and wrinkles, like tea leaves left in the passage of time, telling tales of what was and what is yet to become..
As the season progresses, this road's solidity will in actuality, become quite dubious. Until there is one day, when all waters will break forth, leaving our paths awash with change.
I hear the water sprites laughing in the growing streams, I hear whispers in the mist that rises off the snow. I feel life rising in the limbs of the trees and I know soon, I will hear the conversations again between wind and forest in the evening's breath. I welcome this change keeping my sails oriented generally toward the visions granted in this no-time.
When breath is enough to fill the soul when your smiles arrive, warming my heart. When all is possible
The sky holds the promise of snow today ~ A pink light at dawn, leading to a thickening of cloud-covers overhead. The growing sunshine, which graces us in January, and began this day, ebbs into a deepening. A rising wind will soon call forth the water gathered in these clouds. The very ones that suggest a great snow fall is a-coming.
This possibility, this promise excites me. When the snow falls, I sense a presence, one I can glimpse with the contrast in light and dark, like when the trees hold a background tableau, or the frosty tree tips glow, or the snow lands, covering large swaths of land, transforming what was yesterday, into something new.
Like emissaries, the snow arrives with import, individual expression, and in various languages. Some snows blow sideways, on a wind blown free from the ocean, miles away. Others spiral in intricate patterns in response to eclectic celestial music. And Always the lightness of the snow contrasts the darkness of the treetrunks and branches. All these snowfalls contain a palpable conversation, offered in their unique language. Saying, convening meanings and feelings on their path to landing. Ones that I hope to receive.
I love to watch how the water, air, trees and sun will interact in this felt presence. How they create a conversation like no other, like one between friends. I feel riveted to listening to and witnessing this music and dance, as if all this might teach me something about this thing called being alive, this moment of life, about me, about you.
I seek to touch this consciousness.
As spirals of white descend in deepening spirals, tree roots, trunks and limbs reach upward in an ascending patterns unique to themselves ~ A continuous flowing stream of conversation and movement. Myriad threads of moonlight and earthlight interweave in descending and ascending patterns building a deepening sense of wonder and miracles, Building a dance of opposites, creating something new, something ne'er seen before.
The unnameable mixing with and into solid form
I started this post with the desire to find words to "capture" the essences of snow. I hoped I would find a name to give to the snow, that I could be as literate as the Inuit who knew the names of their relations that came in the winter falls.
By the end of this post, I have surrendered to, come to acceptance of not knowing. I have found my emptying out of my names and categories, of words and structure, of definable. I understand, in doing so, I have come closer to conveying the sense of the unknowable. I find in this surrender a greater felt sense of the beauty and vastness within the ephemeral, and eternal.
Indeed, within me exists a desire to Understand. To Define, to Describe. And within me there is also the wise knowing to release all those efforts and witness with compassion to the unfolding. The wise knowing mixes with the mind, just as the earthlights and moonlights mix on the breath of snow, a knowing and unknowing, a spiraling dance
Lovely and ever-changing.
Sun will break through the clouds after this snow, illuminating with impossible brightness.
"We lose when we try to control; we gain divinity when we surrender." Laurie Herron
"Keep the Force, especially through the ionic vibrancy of the ocean's atmosphere and the green full energy of the forest" Advice Anonymously given
I wake today, on the first of the year and ask, "what can I do for you today, dear Earth?" Both today, and this whole year?
I notice, the sun, shining with new found brightness, white light reflecting brilliantly off the ice and other precious areas that preserve water. These spots are hollows and depressions, indentations and contours, places that hold water like prayers, places waiting to express their dreams.
The Elementals permeate the day as well, showing up in their flowy ways, bringing fog, mist, showers and rain; they arrive dancing on the edges of the water and melts; they slide over the frost heaves, and crevasses; they cover the underness. Water reigns and soothes in this in-between place. I feel in between myself today. I've heard the term "undines" as a way to describe these watery elementals. I like that name.
The crunchy earth thaws and heaves in the changing temperatures of January's weather, resulting in ice mounds and meltings, crevasses and maws. The shifting terrain encourages one to remember to slow down the step.
As I step, the soil feels raw in this fragile transition. The Earth feels not ready for Spring, yet.
And Nor are we, nor are we. Breathe, dear body; breathe, pause, wait, watch, wonder, suppose, play, dream and believe. And then wait some more.
Soon kind winter will bring days of snow and cold again, enfolding the earth in a gentle embrace, allowing the pregnancy of transformation to continue quietly, and unseen. This embrace allows us all to ready for the Spring within to emerge.
Today, for the Earth, I will listen. I will notice. I will walk. I will pick up discarded pieces of the puzzle and set them right. I will stay present to what I witness. I will hold hands with myself and other; I will hold hands with the in-between places and feelings.
As a piece of the Earth, a fabric of her tapestry, I also will pay attention to this body ~
For my body - I offer gentleness and attention
For my mind ~ wonderment
For my heart ~ flowers
For my Spirit ~ Breath.
What will it be for you today?
The blue green color of the earth glows bright and then turns to deep turquoise in my mind's eye. Turquoise deepens and brings in new solutions with new visions emerging in the coming Spring.
Wishing you Days of being, Wishing you Days of walking into the outdoors, into the unknown, and
into the sacred.
Wishing you the time to welcome the the gift of light and rebirth. Wishing you the time to relish all of these blessings.
I send these cards out to you now, in this post, as envoys of love.
I feel the fibers of light that connect us all, to each other, and to this one blue planet ~ north, south, east and west.
Here are photos of places where friends celebrate both their light, and the sacred of this planet, Here they share the connections with all of us through the gift of photos. So much love to all of you in the season of renewal, of lights and of wonder.
The prayer one whispers to the air as dusk arrives
Singing as vespers, also evening prayer
Lighting candles in welcome to the night.
An archaic meaning ~ Venus when traveling as an evening star
Venus, the prayer that travels in the night
Purple fingers linger above the horizon with the pink clouds as twilight falls. This light lingers long after the setting of the sun. The mystery of light waves on and on into the dark, lingering in all the shadows of day before night fully drapes us all. These purple fingers line the bottom of the pink clouds tonight. Promising a clear night.
To my constant wonder, twilight arrives around 4:00 this time of year where I live. I know for people north of me that is a luxury of light. Still, both it surprises and steadies me. The twilight helps me know where I want to be when the dusk lands. I, like the other creatures of the woods, want to quiet down and prepare for the long night with prayer and fires and silence, knowing that the coming light will help us all rise again, anew.
I started a new ritual of listening to music with my cat, at night. Once the fire warms us and we have cozied in, we listen to his music.
Of all the genres of music, that this dear cat who lives with me listens to, he decidedly prefers the devotional. Not indie nor rock, not house nor lofi, not future garage, downtempo, gospel, classical or choral. Nope, none of this sound gives him pleasure.
He will listen to contemplative piano with a small nod, suggesting possible pleasure.
Mostly, he enjoys a steady hum, a gentle tone, and clear precise harmony. He may give a wink to classic quiet jazz, and he seems to smile when he sees me dancing to certain music, especially if I have the said music playing through my earbuds. For him, though he wants the drone, the ahhs and the mmms.
He prefers the songs that bring meditative quiet; the ones that brings one to balance point of internal stillness, a stillness supported by external sound.
One can discern this appreciation, quite clearly, because when these songs play, his body stretches long, as long as a yardstick. And he groans with gentle pleasure, and smiles.
It is good to help him relax in the season of winter when his sensitive body can feel the snows arriving days before anyone else, and his bones cause him to sleep more. When the night arrives early, and the fires are our light and warmth, during these times, I play his favorites.
One time, when he was so ill, that I feared for his life, I put together a playlist of all his favorites. At the time, I hoped the tone of devotion would soothe his ills. Indeed, and to my great joy, he did recover. Since then, my phone will always carry a playlist with his name on it, In honor of his taste. In honor of love. A playlist which also carries my gratitude~ Gratitude for life, for presence, for healing, for devotion, for love.
So when I switch over to this playlist in the evenings, often long after the twilight has melted, when the day has surrendered to night, we bask in the unwinding sounds of 3rds and 4ths, of ohms and namaha's, of kyriés and anandas. I listen, while he dreams his bliss.
Twilight, lingers tonight with an ineffable deep magenta purplish glow now. Gratitude for the quiet descends with the dark as we quietly stoke our inner fires.
"The blessing of the morning light to you, may it find you even in your invisible appearances, may you be seen to have risen from some other place you know and have known in the darkness and that that carries all you need.
May you see what is hidden in you as a place of hospitality and shadowed shelter, may what is hidden in you become your gift to give,
may you hold that shadow to the light and the silence of that shelter to the word of the light, may you join every previous disappearance with this new appearance, this new morning, this being seen again, new and newly alive.
"Blessing of the morning light" by David Whyte
Profound visions lie beneath the fabric of November light, hidden to one’s “eye”. Appearing to me as a sense, a deepening, and then as a joining of rhythms to previous quiet places.
The rhythms sing a song to the stars, who in turn respond in their contemplation of Earth with celestial music of their own, gifting us with the circle created.
Some days, when the fog rolls in, covering the ground with deeper mysteries, when memories drift by like wisps on fog tendrils, and keep moving onward, appearances shift into visions of what may be, the breath of possibility.
Some days, when the snow falls, blanketing the landscape, blanketing the previous summer's toils and outbursts, the quiet arrives with relief. The snow-bearing gifts come with a crisp and simple invitation to open to the greater silences, to explore what’s hidden, here.
Today, the song is of silence. Today the appearance is of stillness. Today the silence holds a deep ripening. The more I listen, the deeper I sink.
Winter companions sing confidently this morning, as they flit from branch to feeder and back, covering the ground with more shells of time. Blankets upon blankets deepening the days, like woolen sweaters upon warm skin, offering comforting inviting covers to crawl under and into.
This invitation to listen to the land, to the visions here, opens a curious quiet doorway. One with potency, fullness and stillness. One that stretches me to remember to hold witness, to hear the songs as they linger, to honor who has come before and then, in turn, sink even deeper under the covers of this November. Dreaming the potent possible, dreaming the conversations with the cosmos.
The Winter will come ~ The Winter will bring the winds that roar as the ocean tides who crash on the solid rock; the winds that bluster and grow with force, mingle and laugh in freedom of expression, and move freely joyfully, through the forests of graceful hemlocks, tall pines and bare bones of hardwood trees. This beautiful Winter will come, and the conversations will continue.
Thank you to all of you; thank you for helping me to birth this post; thank you for being you and sharing your songs of you and your lands.
The sensation of today comes to me as soft. Soft and gentle.
These words describe the quality in the day.
The wind feels like a gentle sleepy puppy
The sounds feels soft as murmurs in my dreams
The atmosphere, as gentle as the flutter of wings on my skin.
No compass calls out to follow
No philosophy needs pursuing
No thought demands answering
Very, Very quiet
One might say, "all feels still, or silent," but the day is neither. A tide of quiet, a momentum of softness feels closer to the experience . The moment is as quiet as snow landing on snow, as breath on the wind, as quiet as a wonder in the sky, or moonlight through a cloud.
The day does have movement: Birds wander in and over to the feeder and shrubs with various calls of hello, uplifting sounds offered among true friends.
Whispers run through the trees in flocks; Comfortable slow-paced musings from and on the nature of living; Casual correspondence between deep friends; One can lean into today and feel the cozy plush of the atmosphere, Comings and goings on the wings of deep healing
Gentle, ticklish, whispery, soft, and companionable.
I hear the words, from whom, I do not know ~ "a song of revelation."
Perhaps a portent of time to come: Guests that provide a song of songs A song of the soul a Song that reveals deeply, truly and gently.
Create in the vortex, speak in the chaos, dabble with that potion, explore that note, say the unknown, all in the name of birthing anew. Bring all of me into this void, and speak from this place, Showing the messy and the true, me. CA
• ~ •
"through the pain - I saw and felt a profound beauty surrounding me beauty imbued with love flowing through every facet of this bewildering creation
so now – when asked about love I feel I have gathered some wisdom for love is “a many splendored thing” limited only by our imagination " by William Waterway
Imagine tumbling down a hill, like a child, rolling around and around, over leaves recently fallen from the trees above, fearless of what might be at the bottom of this long hill, rolling, giddy with joy.
In a world in which everything could be conceived as having life and sentience ~ fields, stones, grass, vapors, spirits, perhaps even memories of loved ones long past~ then it seems only a small leap of faith to then know that even death is a friendly sentient visitor on the continuum of life. A flow, not a halt. An expression of the exuberance of eternity. When the corn in the field is cut, and the geese arrive to glean, there is beauty in this give and take. I feel the field rejoicing in the new expression of existence.
My thoughts muse on these observations this season. I ask myself, when the rains fall, the sun lowers, and the earth moves to silence, is life less exuberantly experiencing itself? Changes and endings, move life forward into spirals of evolution and ever new expressions of beauty. Life is ending and beginning and cycling in a beautiful dance that is a fractal of infinity.
All in the process of reinventing itself
And the truth is, no matter how wise these words sound in my head, my heart feels heavy. I feel the deep quiet as a sadness. I feel absence as loss; and emptiness, at least initially, feels as a breakdown and death.
The mornings are quieter, the bones of the trees are showing through their Autumn skin, the pace is sleepier. The sense of Nature as growth subdued. Fewer birds, slower pace, more quiet, spiraling inward. In truth, the lack of sound, the emptiness allows for other feelings to arise. Feelings that are not comfortable. Feelings like ~ what if I won't hear any songs, ever again? What if I have nothing to say? Or worse, if there is no one to hear? What if my voice will not keep the tune of life? Won't rhyme, won't ring true? What if silence lies and embalms all I have known? How will I spend this one an precious life then?
Long practice teaches me that this discomfort is an invitation. An invitation for an exciting journey of peering into the caves and shadows of this pain. I remind myself that peering into the dark is the best way through, indeed the only way through the pain, the fear, the death. So I sit. I feel. I pray.
But, but... But Oh! I so love the noise, the song, the dance, the laughter and exuberance. I love Sunshine through speakers.
Nevertheless, I peek. I peek furtively into that scary endless pit of unknown, the fear and darkness, the feeling of obsolescence, the faceless void. And there, I spy a spark of creation. I spy .... me. Just me. Me, at the end of one story of the moon, and in the beginning of another. And in that spark of truth, there is enough light to see a glimmer of a trail through. In the shadows, there is a path of beauty in sharing my truth, my voice and my song. That was the spark and is enough. I offer that gift to the Flow of creation.
So, since I take my cues from the trees that have shed their skin, I, like them, stand tall, in my true colors of gold, red and orange. I let my hair down. I speak, even if it sounds like a croak, I show my dress, even if they are rags, I speak what I hear as true. My song, my breath. My life.
And the cosmos gave me a gift in return: Even now, as the sun lowers in our northern sky, and beech leaves brown, there is a glow of in the trees. And beauty in the bareness of authenticity. And, tonight, as I come home, after working on this piece, the dark is falling along the edges of the forest. And to my surprise, I hear a sound. One I thought was done for now, gone with the frostiness of this season. A song of life ~ I hear crickets harmonizing and trilling, singing their gift to creation.
This song feels like heaven to me. One song more. Once more. With life. I leave my door open for the night, to listen, and revel in this many splendored thing. Only my dark can show me my song, my light, my voice, my song.
What shining thread shimmers in the darkness from the future, to you, calling you forward.... ?
Black bird singing in the dead of night, Take these broken wings and learn to fly All your life, You were only waiting for this moment to arise
Blackbird singing in the dead of night Take these sunken eyes and learn to see All your life, You were only waiting for this moment to be free
Blackbird fly, blackbird fly Into the light of a dark black night
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
I wrote this piece over a 24 hour period with little editing. It seemed as though the topic, so raw itself demanded a raw product as well.
I started it before the eclipse and sat with the discomfort of it not finished. Then, the rest emerged, when I spied the beauty of sharing from the authentic unknown that I was experiencing.
I hope you enjoyed it. So much love to you all. ♥️🌑