As soon as you enter this woods, a sacred hush falls upon you, envelopes you, permeates you, and you know that the Mystery is powerful here. Even the most casual strollers you encounter seem to be under its spell, and walk with a more reverent air.
In this woods Sugar Maple Trees over 200 years old tower above you.
This woods is one of the few significant remnant old-growth parcels of “The Big Woods” left in Minnesota. While we have the Boreal Forest of conifers, birch and aspens in our north country, “The Big Woods” was a deciduous hardwood forest that once covered nearly 2 million acres through the central portion of the state. This remnant virgin woods is 220 acres. Virtually everything else of the original “Big Woods” is now gone, or second-growth.
Technically, this woods is a “Scientific & Natural Area” – in Minnesota SNAs are used to “preserve natural features and rare resources of exceptional scientific and educational value.”
Though we may know that the entire Earth itself is sacred, and we may tune in anywhere, there have always been those places where Spirit has felt more present. In my experience SNAs, these little niches of preserved pristine nature, are often times liminal spaces – thresholds between the ordinary and the non-ordinary reality.
I like to believe that the sacredness of these places was strong enough that even humans hell-bent on subduing the landscape could feel it….and were inspired to preserve it. But it must also be acknowledged that many times it was the rugged form of the topography itself that saved an area, being unfit for commercial or agricultural development. And it is this very topography that feels like an eruption of the more profound Sacred into the more commonplace landscape. In the case of this woods, the topography and its Sugar Maples combined so that it was originally preserved because of a commercial use:
I have been making pilgrimages to this woods for almost 20 years. To place your hands upon the trunks of the elders, to embrace them, is to be filled with a flow of energy so sublime and uplifting. And for a moment you are a part of the tree itself, feeling its crown swaying in the Sky, and its roots firmly grounded in the Earth.
Over the years, I have come to discover, one after another, many of the old giants had fallen to the ground. I still remember the great grief I felt the first time that I encountered one of the fallen Grandfathers. Though placing my hands upon him, his Spirit was still vibrantly alive; he spoke to me, and asked that I carry his energy to one of his sisters.
This one I encountered yesterday. It’s message…”Do not grieve for my departure, for though my individual energy is leaving this forest, it goes to rejoin the spirit of the Earth herself, to assist her in her rebirth.”
The old giants, their numbers growing ever fewer, are scattered throughout the parcel. But nonetheless, the canopy of leaves woven together by the crowns of older and younger trees, remains thick enough so that in most places there is no understory of shrubs, plants, or invasive weeds. But here and there the ground is carpeted with a multitude of Maple seedlings. Only the Maples themselves fully know the mystery of why one patch of ground sprouts a new generation while other areas remain bare earth.
But the future of this woods as a continuing legacy of the elder Sugar Maples seems assured, for there are many patches of these seedlings..
one slightly older…
and one slightly older…
and one slightly older…
and one slightly older…
and one slightly older…
from verdant green
to flaming colors
no rainbow ever dreamed
but the trees dare
from flourishing fields
of growing grain
to shorn earth
of tawny stubble
the wheel turns
draws to a close
and the growing season
meets its maker
across the path
stirring more poignantly
whatever wistful nostalgia
might have blossomed
late before the frost
this perishing moment
is an eternity
“But when Sisera fell asleep from exhaustion, Jael quietly crept up to him with a hammer and tent peg in her hand. Then she drove the tent peg through his temple and into the ground, and so he died.”
In The Tent Peg, award-winning novelist Aritha van Herk captures the mystical mood of the Arctic and the people who are drawn to it.
In this captivating story, a young woman disguises herself to get hired on as a cook to work in a uranium prospecting camp deep in the Yukon mountains. J.L. is on the run from an empty heart and is desperate for solitude. Yet solitude eludes her from the moment she hangs up her pots and pans in the cook tent, and the men in the camp begin to drift toward her, drawn by her grounded and reverent presence. These men are drifters, romantics and outcasts – men who have come to the North in search of answers for questions they can’t define. J.L helps them awaken to beauty and mysteries of the landscape that they take for granted and would thoughtlessly despoil.
So many tent pegs….
Okay, all of you amazing, remarkable, insightful, and astonishing women bloggers – here’s a new magazine “Invoke” to which you might consider submitting some of your amazing, remarkable, insightful and astonishing writing:
A link to their submissions page:
“Invoke Magazine publishes transformative writing by and for women. We’re here to express our love for life, and we invite you to join us. We welcome your creative ideas on a variety of topics that matter to conscious, creative women: food, world events, spiritual practice, self-care, sexuality, and much more.”
Their launch party is Friday, September 18 ~ in Minneapolis.
To stay connected with them ~ Like them on Facebook.
After you like their page, click “Get Notifications” under the “Liked” drop-down menu in order to see their newest material in your feed.
Rescued Swan Released Back To His Love After Being Treated Successfully For a Severe Infection!
These Two Have Been Together For Over 10 Years and Have Had Dozens Of Offspring!
I have a great affinity with Swans and have had many encounters with Trumpeter Swans and Tundra Swans over the years. So found this video quite lovely to watch.
Though we are weeks away from the true beginning of Autumn and the change in weather, there are always foreshadowings that occur long before the season arrives.
The honking of Canada Geese from overhead – small family flocks, this year’s hatchlings, flying for the first time. Preparing for their long migration to come.
Acorns, (the Oak-Corn) falling to the ground, which everyone associates with Autumn, actually happens in late August each year, and has already begun.
Also in August, invariably to my recollection, we suddenly have a spat of very cool, fall-like weather, right in the midst of the heat of late summer. Which we just experienced these last two days.
And this cool spell casts a spell upon certain of the trees, coaxing them to scatter a few yellowed leaves upon the ground.
Thoreau said: “Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains.”
We are awash in the constant flow. In the ticking of the clock. In the earth’s incremental journey around the sun. In the joy of watching children grow up. In the aging of our own bodies. And yet each moment speaks to us of eternity.
My musing for the day ~ from the origin of life, through all the steps of evolution, to the rise of the capability of Consciousness to become of conscious itself, the DNA strand is the Stairway to Heaven that we are collectively climbing. Little wonder that spiral staircases feel so magical…
“The arising of space consciousness—a shift to vertical rather than horizontal awareness—is the next stage in the evolution of humanity, and it’s happening more and more as our awareness remains in the now moment.”
“I am saying that I see the emergence of space consciousness as the next stage in the evolution of humanity. By space consciousness I mean that in addition to our being fully conscious of things—that is to say of sense perceptions, thoughts, emotions, and whatever happens in our lives—there is at the same time an undercurrent of awareness or Presence operating in us. Awareness implies that we are not only conscious of things, such as the objects and the people around us, but we are also conscious at the same time of being conscious.”
Grand tree of life study shows a clock-like trend in new species emergence and diversity
Temple University researchers have assembled the largest and most accurate tree of life calibrated to time, and surprisingly, it reveals that life has been expanding at a constant rate.
The tree of life compiled by the Temple team is depicted in a new way —- a cosmologically-inspired galaxy of life view —- and contains more than 50,000 species in a tapestry spiraling out from the origin of life.
The study also challenges the conventional view of adaptation being the principal force driving species diversification, but rather, underscores the importance of random genetic events and geographic isolation in speciation, taking about 2 million years on average for a new species to emerge onto the scene.
STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN (excerpt)
“…And it’s whispered that soon,
if we all call the tune,
then the piper will lead us to reason.
And a new day will dawn for those who stand long,
and the forests will echo with laughter.
If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow,
don’t be alarmed now,
it’s just a spring clean for the May Queen.
Yes, there are two paths you can go by,
but in the long run,
there’s still time to change the road you are on.
and it makes me wonder
Your head is humming and it won’t go,
in case you don’t know,
the piper’s calling you to join him.
Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow,
and did you know
your stairway lies on the whispering wind?
And as we wind on down the road,
our shadow’s taller than our soul.
There walks a lady we all know
who shines white light and wants to show
how everything still turns to gold,
and if you listen very hard,
the tune will come to you at last.
When all are one and one is all,
to be a rock, and not to roll.
…and she’s buying a stairway to heaven.