Lady Fall peeks out from behind the edges of the trees now. Illusive, formless Mist lies low in the valleys; the light refracts long angles in the fields; white-laced clouds edge the horizon; squash ripens in the fields; the dear frogs wend their hopeful way to their paradise of mud. I walk paths between the mountain and valley.
In all this, Lady Fall reveals herself slowly, treading lightly this year, courting us with glimpses and sips of her coming glory. Growth and decay lie side by side. Vibrancy and mistiness, red and green, breath and form bow and dance with each other.
I feel comforted when any of these perceptions of fluid beauty enter my awareness. In these moments of color in motion, I feel her smiling and waving to me.
In return, I smile too. I welcome her into my home tonight with a bouquet of late blooming asters, zinnias, and goldenrod. A bouquet of summer gifts that offer last minute warmth and nectar to all. I gather these blooms, as the rising dusk falls across my path, as the music of the day changes to gentle whispers from the breezes whispering of the ever presence of love. "Remember love, Remember hope. Remember Summer, Remember Now."
The sun and I will rest earlier and earlier now. Our eyes turn to the inner stars of the night.
I publish this post, on the Fall Equinox in the North. This year, the recalibration coincides with a new moon (in two days.) This balancing point, offers us both an opportunity to find inner balance and an opportunity to dream into being a new kind of balance; to notice the refractions of light in our field, as well as to notice how we perceive them. And from there, to create of the dark of the void, the place from which all creation begins. To breath form into color.
"May the light shine upon your hearts May the road that you walk, guide you home May the light in your heart shine as bright as the stars And may the song that you sing never end. " Unknown
After a few weeks of drought, rains arrived. I wish to send the scent and feel of the gentle cooling mist on my face and arms to all of you. I am wishing you could feeling the relief on the Earth and her limbs of trees as well, while watching the drips from leaves and grass to the grateful grateful ground. The smell is enough to know the gratitude of the Earth. The scent of life and gratitude rises from the soil in vapors of deep richness. Microbes in process of decay and creation. Microbes traveling below the surface of the skin, altering our perceptions to allow for new growth and new creative paths.
In my prayers and heart, I imagine sending this verdant cooling relief to all who are in heat too intense for words. I offer it for those who are suffering from the intensity, or burdened and seeking the solace of green. Perhaps the following photo montage, with signs of the changing of seasons, and with reflections on the fragility and strength of nature in ki's many hues, can create a spiraling pathway of cooling relief for all places on the map where we yearn for this tender care.
"If galaxies were made to worship, so will I" O. Berry
The thrush song softens these days. The crickets' beat reverberate in the air, the movement of the sun lowers in the sky, and red tips paint the edges of Maple trees.
The sound of quiet in the forest is loud, as some of the flying friends have moved south, taking their sweet songs with them. Others friends prepare for the same. Soon silence will fall at twilight. I know from other years that this moment of missing and sadness is transient. But sometimes the ache feels very deep. We in the forest simply rejoice in the sweetness of their songs.
I listen to help me transition with the change of sound, the change of light, and the change of air... Soon, we, the forest and I, will indeed marvel at other wonders. Soon, the longer nights will turn our eyes and ears inward, to tend to our own inner songs. Until then, I intend to honor this time of transition in any way I can.
Often I linger longer in evenings to listen to the night sounds when the day turns to dusk. I notice the changing tides of the sky as seen in the colors of the dawn and dusk. I notice the changing quality of light. I notice the birds that linger in the gardens. I notice the flurry of bees catching up on their day's harvest.
During this transition, I made a discovery. For those who remember an earlier post on the hummingbird families, ( Reverence of Nectar) this is an update.
In the deluges of last summer, I wondered if the decrease of sun and increase of rain, affected the sugar content in the flowers, and if some change there resulted in the hummingbirds' increase of aggression. During that time their squeaks became higher pitched. The whirrings more frightening. Their posturing against all visitors more threatening.
Out of curiosity, I decided to try an experiment after a rain storm last week ~ I added a random amount of extra raw sugar to the feeders. Sugar straight from my cupboard into their cup. An ingredient that I might have used to add sweetness to my dessert, or someone may have chosen to add to their morning tea. And sure enough, the extra sugar seems to have done the trick. The small birds return to deeper calmness ~ they spend more time drinking in the delights and less time fighting with their neighbors. A little extra sweetness seems to have gone a long way to restoring the peace and calm of the garden. The experiment appears to be helping the garden individuals co-mingle and thrive.
More pleasure and peace. Less arguments and belligerence. All in all, more satisfying.
If only we all could find such an equally simple medicine.
If a little bit of sweetness goes a long way to creating a peaceful community among the fauna here, what might that heart medicine be for us humans? How might I increase the sweetness in my life and community? How might a little metaphorical sugar help to smooth over the stress during times of transition?
Maybe just knowing that it can be simple. Simple as breathing in the nectar present on our plate of life. Breathing into the the heart allowing heart medicine to thrive and sing. Maybe all it takes is believing and then breathing that in.
When these birds also rise to fly to their southern homes, I will watch them in my heart, wish them good health and safe travels. I will look up in expectation and delight to hear their song when they return come Spring. Until then, I will fill my heart with sweetness, light, song and breath.
"Deep night, Day light Round we go again....
Follow your heart and you can't go wrong. Trust your voice, Sing you song, Find your light and let it out."
"I had believed That if I was (sic) to become a pearl, I would no longer be messy." ~ Catja Wilson from We'Moon 2022
Just a little more effort, they taught us, would surely provide better results. A little more cleanliness would improve any space, and what’s more would reflect an eradication of the the inner cobwebs as well. Less clutter would create more peace.
Truth be told, over and over, I found these accepted adages just haven’t worked that way in action. At least not in my life. I find that the gift of just a little bit of chaos offers unexpected joy and the spice of life. The arrival of some chaos inspires genius and opportunity. In the disruption to status quo blessings of the unknown and untrodden arrive and carve paths into the everyday. In the wake of chaos, light and lightheartedness can sneak in through the doorway of surprise to the rooms of our hearts.
Earlier, in the Spring, in great enthusiasm, I planted an over-abundance of winter squash. I was using old seed and unsure of the viability of these seeds in my hand. Therefore, I cast hundreds of seeds. And as the loving faeries would have it, all of the seeds grew strong and fast. Blessed abundance! So many plants growing in a tiny space! My goodness. I gave away squash seedlings to nearly everyone as often as I could.
Still, I could not give them all away, and I left more seedlings than is "advised” in the allotted plots.
So, I cooed over them; I invited them to "do your best and make elbow room for yourselves to become robust plants." And now, to my delight (and surprise), they all obliged.
Despite my fears of failure, they grow strong and abundant. They offer me a reminder and hope for abundance in the midst of the interweavings of tangled vines. Now, mind you the butternut is reaching over into the path toward the yurt; the delicata is where I thought the butternut would flourish; the zucchinis are overrun with buttercup. I don't mind. I applaud their resilience and belief in themselves. I applaud their determination and thirst for life. I applaud their art.
Perversely, despite knowing these gifts, with the arrival of August, I find myself with a desire to tidy, organize, clear out, exhume, and compost. I find myself attempting to carve tidy beds of order out of the increasing sense of overwhelm. I feel the urge to attempt to tame all these wild imperfections in my world. oh my….
I find myself craving to contain this untameable wildness even though I Know that a little bit of chaos has and will continue to allow for the creative solutions to peek through. Remembering all this, I slow my enthusiasm to purge and scour. I pause to reflect, how much of this activity is cleaning? And how much is an attempt to clear out perception of my own imperfections, my own inner untidiness, and my wild? I wonder will the process be worth it if I miss the tiny pearls? The pearls of self-sown St John's wort, cleome, borage and insight. These are precious gems indeed.
Out of the disruption to my garden plans, came twists and turns that resolved itself into a surprise in abundance.' (I give a nod and offer gratitude to the patron saint of chaotic abundance. She has worked wonders here.)
Life with sparkling light and dark tunnels, has pulled me into unknown eddies, then rewarded me with the unexpected pools of delight, rainbows and sunsets. My fears turned into adventures. And we all have had storms that have not felt so fun in their process. Yet, eventually, we discover they blow in new seeds for thought, new seeds for growth, and new opportunities for the persons we can become.
So, in this moment, I welcome the storm of the surprises and the unplanned. I welcome the winds to stir up the dust and clean the the cobwebs from my mind and heart, and the cobweb trails that would leave me blind. I welcome the twists and turns that bring in the strange and ne'er before seen bird of paradise, I welcome those that bring the rain and can clean the channels of love in my heart, washing the mirror clear. And I smile, knowing that "sooner or later the sand will get in" to this shell of mine and it will works its miracle. What may have been once perceived as a mistake offers me the gift of life.
I will be wildly imperfect ~ the one chasing the sunset across the sky, the night sprite splashing noisily in the evening tides, Awakening the currents of our hearts. I will be the messy sand that lands in your shell. Smiling at the pearls we will become. ♥️🙏🏼
I have started a muse on the Venus Muse page of what might be the energies of this August and the influx of energies from the stars. If interested, here is the link https://inlightofthetrees.com/venus-muse/
- "The mother tree sends transmissions through the fungal web to all the young ones. She nurtures the trees with food and water, she teaches them to respond to friend and foe, she helps them adapt to an ever changing environment. She is essential in "wiring" the trees for fitness."
A community ~ 'wired" for reciprocity, care, wisdom, and health. How wondrous to imagine such intricacies and interweaving.
I step onto this earth today. In awe at the possible information flying around beneath my feet
Step, pause, Step again, pause.
I read this recommendation in a newsletter ~ "The practice this week is a walking meditation, barefoot, in nature. Stand with your bare feet planted, take a few deep cleansing breaths, bring your undivided attention into the 'souls' of your feet." Inhale, step, exhale step... ( C Clemmer)
As soon as I read this, I know this is what I want to try ~ To practice breathing deeply into and from every step, to feel the breath moving through the "souls" of my feet, in order to feel the connection to the Earth and to the greater web of support. In order to better participate in the community that thrives around me, to sense this web with every step of my walk. I want to be a conscious part of this web.
Step, breathe, step again, breathe deeply and then step again, I attempt to focus my attention this morning, into the earth, hoping to create my own patterns and rhythm of listening, feeling, breathing, walking and receiving...
Ahhh, I did try.... I lasted 15 seconds before my questing mind traveled to other creative endeavors; the thoughts caught themselves on the bank of flowers in front of me, and then the thoughts noticed how that tableau looked or didn't look, and then these thoughts flitted to the bee balm patch, and how the bee balm, in exuberant health finds itself outside of their original bed and traveling along the path to who knows what destination (traveling and threading through the soil, like the mycelium itself,) and then, the thoughts wondered to what else I might do on this sunny day? and how my travels may support me or the earth, and so on... Oh, my...I realized how far afield I had traveled and stopped the walking practice, for now. I encourage myself, I will practice this again later.
I Will still my Self later this day. I will focus my inner sense towards the transmissions circulating actively beneath my feet. I will practice when the sun is lower, and when the pause of the day helps facilitate an inner pause in my mind. This practice entices me.
I wish to try again, because I yearn to sense this intricate connection in the forest; And hope to sense the wise, sentient, nurturing Mother tree. I imagine her like a saint meditating in the center of the forest. I wish to meet, greet, and learn from her wisdom; to receive her guidance for my life, guidance that that would help me flow with the cycles of change in my life.
I wonder, as much as I would like to feel tapped into this interspecies web of care, wisdom and generosity that supports both individuals and the community to flourish and thrive, will I be able to actually sense it through my feet?
Am I "wired", or can I be re-wired for that matter, to receive the information, the wisdom, guidance, and support she spreads throughout the forest. Information that can inform my heart and guide my intuition.
Will my feet 'hear' the wisdom traveling along in the neurochemical impulses?
Can I join in to this community of trees around me and participate in their weaving? How to listen deeply enough that I may feel, interpret, and then participate in this reciprocal web of life traveling with news, love and support.... I'd like to try. It seems like a good practice.
Later, in the day, I do try again, and this time, as I breathe, I last longer, paying attention to the connection to the Earth. And, I do sense a trail. I sense an impulse, and a warmth. It encourages me to try again. And, Maybe with practice, the pulse will feel stronger, the message of care, clearer.
So I will continue this practice of connecting to the to the web, and see where this path leads. And maybe I will sense the great Mother tree, supporting us all with her wisdom and guidance, teaching us to thrive as members of a flourishing community, and how to walk in Wellness through the cycles of life and death.
A perfumed carpet drifts along in the air tonight, following unseen eddies of light in motion, wafting to my doorway, to me and to the beyond.
One quality inherent in the month of July, is one of scent. In July, I pause often to smell the air, sense the aromas that surround me. The presence of scent has become a traveling companion joining me on wandering paths this July. Pausing to smell, leads me to pausing to feel the air, and sense presence in a given moment, to see the way the light plays, and to hear what the wind tunes.
This companion could be the scent of many different things: the smell of night and her noises, the fields, the roads, forest and sky. The scent of cooking and outdoor grilling, of picnics and sugar and animals. Of wet dogs up close, smelling my face, while I pray that their clever quick tongues stop short of exploring the curiosity before them, 'oh, please, only a little quick flick,' they seem to beg telepathically ~ oh so tempting to an olfactory-centered being ~ like the quick flick of the tongue from the snake in my garden, attempting to better estimate, examine and understand the surroundings. These efforts to smell deeper afford all of us the chance to be just a little closer to the mysteries we crave, to inhale the inexplicable that has captured our attention, to revel in the sense of something larger than we can grasp, this mystery that scent has somehow hinted at, and air has encapsulated in holographic integrity.
The perfumed wind arrives as an invitation to feel and take notice of this magic present in her hands, this pause, invites breathing in deeply, and sensing the wonder in the gift that has arrived, and noticing what wraps around us.
Dogs and snakes probably understand better than we humans do, this wonder: The mystery of the "Adoration of Scent." Or the adoration of the 'Sainted Scent.' They may better revel in how smells and taste revolve around each other endlessly, and balance each other to perfection. They appear to find many opportunities to relish in this ambrosia of scent, not wanting to ever pass it by or lose the chance to experience this... this... this inexhaustible mystery.
More scents that make me stop in my track and drink deeply include the smell of rose petals landing on whipped cream, the scent of field flowers rising in the heat of the sun, the smell of water greeting me on the path to the river, the perfume of hay-scented fern inviting me to venture farther to the top of the sunlit hill, the ripening of colorful juicy fruit, the petrichor lingering in the afternoon, after a thunderstorm has brought in coolness.
All these experiences of the inexplicable come with July.
Tonight, as the crescent moon sinks low into the west, a little after sunset, the intoxicating rich scent of the recently opened milkweed flowers rises into the night air, drifts toward me on a palpable carpet, arriving at the doorway of my senses, then drifts up and over me, like a large and exotic bird on a voyage to distant lands. This perfume takes me tonight in the carpet of her hands; she invites me to these lands, invites me to experience these new magical vistas. She leads me to a land of ancient beings where perfume can and does transform one into a different density of light, sound, and time. Where the power of scent alone allows the divine to sneak in, capture our attention and make room for laughter, breath and love.
All this, all this mysterious and unfathomable arrives in the night air.
How can something so strong and sweet live so far in the north? How can the air feel so dense with scent that I imagine, I could reach out a hand to stroke it? I pause to lift my face in an attempt to fathom the depths of this moment. I drink it in. As I do, I hear the night sounds that also carry easily on this warm night air. The sound of conversations between close trees, exchanges that maybe would be private by the light of day, sound more audible at night. The tete-a-tete's carry tonight in the wind's arms, as though I hear the leaning over of balcony railings, the sharing of the news of the day. There is companionable comfort in these sounds as one story leads to another, and laughter in one quarter stirs teetering appreciation elsewhere in the forest night. This is the gentle music of the forest community on a July evening.
Woven in an around this music, lingers the intoxicating perfume of milkweed. Its presence surrounding us, opening channels to the deeper waters, connecting me to you, me to all space and place. This breathing carpet of scent brings me where we are always connected, and always engaged in a divine conversation. I land here tonight with you.
Dear Friends, the following poem expresses so well my feeling of summer, and life. The gift of the unveiling of all this beauty is what I wish to offer you during this magical moment in time known as Solstice.
Soul-stice, a moment of standing still in the ever pouring rays of light.
So, in honor of Solstice, in honor of all of you beautiful dear ones, I post this poem, with images of the roses she admires ~ no better teacher, no better reflection, bold, daring, crisp, and preciously, so infinitely delicate.
Love you all ~
The poet visits the Museum of Fine Arts
For a long time I was not even in this world, yet every summer
Every rose opened in perfect sweetness and lived in gracious repose,
in its own exotic fragrance, in its huge willingness to give something, from its small self, to the entirely of the world.
I think of them, thousands upon thousands, in many lands, whenever summer came to them, rising
Out of the patience of patience, to leaf and bud and look up into the blue sky or, with thanks,
Into the rain that would feed their thirsty roots latched into the earth--
Sandy or hard, Vermont or Arabia, what did it matter, the answer was simply to rise in joyfulness, all their days.
Have I found any better teaching? Not ever, not yet. Last week I saw my first Botticelli and almost fainted,
and if I could I would paint like that but am shelved somewhere below, with a few songs About roses: teachers, also, of the ways Toward thanks, and praise.
I've noticed a certain phenomenon arriving a few weeks before the Solstice, either winter or summer, when a magical quiet quintessence emerges at day's end, arriving on the breath of the wind. At these times, the breezes approach almost shyly, wooing the ground-dwelling beings with dances and sounds and sighs. During this liminal time, a gentle breeze "wisps" across my face, coming from no particular direction, nor following any particular aim.
This air or wind leaves a signature of a gentle pause. Something to lift my face to, something that asks me to listen. The air itself holds a pregnancy, a story almost spoken, a whisper. And in that pause and whisper, one can feel a key to the unknown, a gentle tug to follow. A half remembering of a dream. I stay very still during these moments, listening to the heartbeat of the atmosphere, watching the dance between earth and air, listening for the message. In this air, I feel how the magical gentleness rests and lingers with me.
The trees play a central role in this magical dance. They conjure the wind, they make visible what would otherwise be an invisible dimension, and they do so with devotion and presence. In their ability to stand tall, in presence to the mystery and sacredness of the earth, conjuring up the ineffable with the dance of their limbs, spanning between stillness and motion, they help me bridge this sacred time from one season to the next.
The trees, oh they do love this dance, these songs, this dance between ground and air. They love finding ways to move like the ocean on a sunny day, or as the rain on a misty day. They dance as they feel moved in their proud new dress of lime green leaves, proud in their role and of this orchestra.
In the pre-summer solstice moment, in which I now write, the trees have festooned themselves with an unfurling of magic. Moving together, the wind and trees dance, easily as long loved friends, enjoying each other's company both in silence and conversation. The trees add a susurration to the dance from the gentle oh-so-very-new leaves, adding soft gentle notes, and not giving away all of their mystery.
These leaves are still now, and within a moment they gently begin to sway to motion of the air that I do not feel on the ground. At times, I can hear a wind start deeper in the forest. I watch to see how it will move the trees, and listen to hear where it will land. Sometimes, it will travel all the way to me or the ground before me. Sometimes, the wind will encircle the garden before moving on. Sometimes, this wind, it never arrives here, as though it has news for parts elsewhere.
I do not know how you experience this pregnant moment in your own part of the world. I do not know how the mystery arrives to your feet. I do wonder though. Whether you are sea, on a mountain, in city or desert, North, South, East or West, at sunset time, almost sunset time, but not quite, how does the air greet you? How does the earth feel to you? If you listen, at that space in the moment between, can you feel the dancing air, and the gentle pause? I like to imagine you can, and that you will hear the whispers of the trees proudly practicing their song and dance. I like to imagine you can feel how the air in this liminal between time feels like a caresses on every cell, how it feels as a story not yet written is in the air for you.
How do you experience this pregnant moment, when the earth is dancing with air and sun?
may we learn to create sustainable relationships with the deeper dimensions, seeing through the veils and into the deeper dimensions. to see through the veils and see through the eyes of the heart, we must come from the heart, through the presence of Love. Creating an environment of trust, safety and sacred space Christine Clemmer
The rays of light pour in and through, Our hands held to the sky.
The light also poured in and through, the stones in the vision I had. The light cascaded down, in my mind's eye, from overhead into the ravine where I stood. In my vision, the sun poured through the cracks in the stone-towers hovering above me, pouring down, like a wave in the rhythm of a tide. Sometimes peaking to blinding brightness and then ebbing to a gentle glow of light. Whether I was moving, and therefore, gaining a new perspective by changing the angle, or the light was ebbing and flowing on its own, or both, I was not sure. When it dimmed to a gentle glow, I could not see the destination. When burning bright, could I see the towering pillars above calling me on.
Light moving in and through the towers, undulating, moving.
Like the pillars at Cathedral Rock ~
This morning, before I had fully wakened, I sat with my cat gazing outside into the new day to watch for incoming friends to the feeders. Nesting, really on my stool, letting the morning light wash over me.
Suddenly, from the left side of the yurt, up fluttered a bird. She seemed to have come from behind the yurt where the titmice rest and nest. So I had the impression, I had the hope of seeing a bird such as a titmouse flitter happily to the feeder. Perhaps it was this impression that caused me to imagine that I was seeing a medium-sized bird.
While wondering at the new arrival, to my surprise, her flight brought her closer to me, curving her in toward the windowed door, directing her flight right to me.
She paused, she rose, She hovered still, and in the space of a moment in time, Gazed pointedly into the window and during that hovering space, sent the message ~ "I have returned."
The next second, the new arrival was off, flying to the right and around the yurt to the woods. All so fast.
And at last, the message registered : Mama Hummingbird has returned!!!
Afterwards, I realized, she never changed size in my mind's eye. My eyes, were telling my mind, that this creature was 3 times her "normal" size. She seemed larger than life actually, all aglow, with her wings held up high overhead, to hover, and all exposed to me. Light bouncing off the pale underwings and and soft belly.
She was a magical being hovering over me, aglow. I saw light streaming in, and felt connection and... love.
I suspect, that when she returns to her Vermont nesting self, when she no longer needs to be in epic traveler mode and returns to her summer quest for flowers and their sublime nectar, then she will show herself in a more typical dress.
For now, she comes as an angel, hovering in my window, as a being of beauty, with epic news.
She is a guiding light.
Needless to say, the hummingbird feeder is up, ready for her, and the rest of her intrepid tribe.
I saw a dove today, all white, flying over a field of corn not yet planted. This brave dove flew up and then around in a circle, against a background of grey clouds.
Such an act of courage and resilience to fly in a perfect circle for all to see. Shimmering white wings of hope against a sheet of grey sky Restoring breath to my lungs.
I love seeing signs and symbols in the course of my day ~ ones that remind me of hope, and a connection to a greater web of beauty. Symbols like birds or feathers floating in the air, like rainbows and colors hovering in the clouds, like synchronicity of thought and heart, like seeing a long-missed friend of whom I was just thinking. These gifts all spark joy in my heart and lift a smile from my soul.
When I pause to watch for these signs, they connect me, instantaneously, to a greater lattice-work of intricacy that weaves me and the web of life intimately together. The signs lift my spirit up to possibility, and to hope for regeneration: One moment, I am dry and bleak, the next, the goddess has entered in my breath, like a renewal of life, allowing me to see with eyes that can see. These signs remind me of the pulsing vibrant web we live in, though my mind can sometimes forget this shimmering world I live in. These gifts bring me to an inner fountain of Yes.
I left my home today on a quest. The quest to listen, watch and move my body, hoping that the motion would help me shift, would help me hear the notes of light which my heart was missing. I left the yurt, thinking it would be the mountain, or the trees, or the wind that would wave the magic wand and lift the veils. The dove came first. And as I mentioned, at that moment, the breath of life returned.
When I arrived at my destination, it occurred to me that the inclination, the very impulse and desire to look for a sign, any sign of hope, requires, in the seeker, a combination of vulnerability and strength, a daunting blend of fear and vision, of hope and resilience. There is vulnerability in seeking the sign. There is strength and resilience in persevering. There is hope in the possibility of connection and communication with Sprit, and there is courage in trying. This alchemical mix, and its exact proportions, is a mystery and an ever changing recipe. I can jot down the recipe of today, yet each time will be different. And each time, it is the heart that knows deeply the answer found.
So courageous to fly so exposed in the field of one's dreams, shimmering in the color of one's choice. So brave to expose oneself to the potential of one's visions.
So strong to surrender to and accept one's vulnerabilities and open to the mysterious elements present, so daring to open to the revolutionary concept that one's actions and dreams matter in the web of life.
For the dove, what courage to fly free in an open field for all to see. What strength to persevere in face of the unknown, and untraveled paths. What resilience to persevere, and what vulnerability to keep believing in the regeneration of life itself.
It requires all these ingredients in a uncertain blend to remember to look up, where one will see the Spring. Surrendering to this alchemy is like love.