The Fall

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
once more
the year
draws to a close
and the growing season
meets its maker

whirlwinds skitter
across the path
stirring more poignantly
whatever wistful nostalgia
might have blossomed
late before the frost

this perishing moment
too
is an eternity

Autumn’s Muse

tamaracks_spruce
driving,
until even the gravel ends
in needled paths
immersed in worlds
boreal and arboreal
the evergreens are ever green
but the tamaracks are smokey gold
breathing comes as natural
as inspiration

the quaking aspen
unafraid
gracefully sheds its leaves
with each coaxing breeze
because to cling to life
that has already passed
would be to die
but to surrender
to the underworld of dormancy
ensures another rebirth

driving,
until even the gravel ends
a homecoming to the wilds
where there is no habitation
a fire amidst the firs
a hearth for my heart
but for the hand
that is not in mine
but I am ever green
and ever dying

picture at top from:
http://www.uvm.edu/rsenr/wfb175/

Leaves of Last Season

IMG_0655-2

Reunited once more
in their reflections
upon the still water
are the trees
and the leaves
that were parted
when their season
came to a close.

Leaves, lamenting their fall
would cling once more
to their high estate.
Trees, lamenting their loss
would claim once more
the life they cherished.
Though Trees and leaves both
surrender to the new growth
which cannot be denied.

 

Surrender, Trust, & Gratitude

 

Rock

 

 

Today is Earth Day.   Not a political or cultural holiday, as are most that punctuate our calendar, but a day set aside to honor the Earth itself, and to celebrate our connection to it.

Much of my Sunrise Sadhana is about resurrecting my spiritual connection to the Earth.  Trials and tribulations strained my connection and led me away from my path for too long, but my internal guidance has been prodding me to re-immerse myself into the Earth’s mysteries.  My Zenith Arc journey to the solstice is in large measure about returning to the heights I had once reached and returning to the depths I had once known, by ascending and descending, I endeavor to reanimate the person I once was.

The rock pictured above came to me during that past life, while on a vision quest.  The short story is this….

While preparing to go on the vision quest, I was drifting upon a lake in a canoe, meditating with eyes closed.  When I opened them, the sun in the western sky was refracted through streaks of clouds, so that it appeared as though there were 3 suns stacked on top of each other.  And the phrase, “Surrender, Trust, and Gratitude” leaped to mind; I had heard this phrase some weeks before, presented as a process of actively practicing faith.  The 3 steps in the process I now saw embodied in the 3 suns that shone upon me. I felt that I was to carry this message with me on my vision quest.

Days after my experience with the 3 suns, I drove to the upper peninsula of Michigan, backpacked out into the wilderness, found a suitable hill top to do my quest, and began to settle in.  On this hilltop there was a shallow depression that I thought would make a good spot to build my medicine wheel, in which I would spend my time fasting.

While clearing the debris out of the depression, I came upon a sizable rock.  It was largely buried, but with some effort I managed to dislodge it. Pulling it as though from the womb of the Earth, I discovered that upon the face of the rock were 3 red circles, that immediately brought to mind the message of the I had received of the 3 suns.  I was stunned –  my steps had been so orchestrated by Spirit that I could drive hundreds of miles away from home, to place I had never been, to a spot I had no idea I was going to, and from the middle of my medicine wheel, unearth a stone that embodied the very phrase i had been given to meditate on days before.

Upon closer inspection I saw that the circles on the face of the rock were actually reddish earth, compacted into holes in the stone. Using twigs, I scraped out the  earth to reveal the holes.   My guess is that millions of years ago this rock must have been part of a stream bed and that the holes are miniature “pot holes” bored out by the grit carried in whirlpools of water, and that glaciers deposited the rock on the hilltop, along with the hill itself.

The stone pictured above is of course that stone.  It’s about the size of a deflated basketball.  It was no small task carrying  it for miles out of the woods after a couple days of fasting.   Other than scraping out the dirt, I have not altered the holes in any way.  They are just as I found them.  I place the candles in the holes to of course represent the 3 suns and the 3 steps of faith.

I share this now, because of Earth day, to celebrate my re-connection to the Earth, and because this rock and this phrase have once again been bringing me solace.   As I continue going through my grief, I have sought to sooth the anguish by connecting with Spirit and to replace my pain and my fear with love.  Had I been conscious enough to invoke Spirit and to replace my fears with love some months ago, I would not be in the depths of sorrow that I now find myself

Reciting these  phrases, or some variation of them, can at times completely transform my emotional state from one of anguish or despair,  to one of love or serenity .

 

I surrender my situation with ____________, to the Great Holy Mystery.

I trust that the Mystery will guide my steps, and bring about the highest good for everyone concerned.

I am grateful for the love and support and the guidance of the Mystery.

 

I surrender my grief to Mother Earth.

I trust that She will transmute my grief into food for my growth.

I am grateful for the nurturing and the love and the transformative power of the Mother.