I offered up morning prayers at dawn this July morning to the song of cardinals, rose breasted grosbeaks, and just barely rippling waters. The air was sweetened by water. Peace filtered through the green – seedlings, lichens, mosses, grasses, ferns, trees, clear mountain waters. Silence, except for the birds’ benediction.
I honored my body with a poem. I also repeated my hope that my house will get the necessary structural help she needs, that the work will be completed. At the brook I experienced my body rooting into forested soil… I am loved here; I belong here – at least for now.
The drought drones on, although today at least we have light rain falling, for which I am profoundly grateful, especially because the dreaded 4th of July weekend is ahead – if only the rain will continue the deafening explosions might be tempered. In case this does not happen the dogs and I are going to retreat to the silence and peace of the woodlands to spend our nights in the car, the back of which has been turned into a comfortable bed.
I am revolted by this particular secular celebration. A violently raging Independence Day complete with fire in the sky and gun blasts? We are a nation of addicts in massive denial. Patriarchy sinks its claws into every sinew, severing bodies from minds. Worst of all almost no one notices.
A prayerful moment at the beginning of each day helps me to re-dress my own imbalance. If I am fortunate it also opens a spirit door – a portal into the beyond and also a sacred portal into myself. Though I have experienced this lifting of the veil throughout my life it wasn’t until a couple of winters ago when I was In New Mexico that walking through a Bosque in the predawn hours taught me a lesson I needed to learn. I must create space to do some kind of morning meditation intentionally every single day – for myself, as well as for the Earth.
Regardless of outcome.
Because I am a naturalist I pay close attention to my surroundings as I walk each morning. Taking pictures is my way of documenting a fraction of what I notice. When I post my photographs with a few words on FB for the public on a daily basis I am giving thanks and offering others a chance to see some ordinary aspect of nature in an extraordinary way. I hope in this manner to draw a few others in.
During periods of depression reflecting on the images before I post them helps ground me in gratitude even if I can’t feel it. Yesterday, for example, as I walked by a large cluster of flowering bushes that were covered with mason bees I stopped to look closely at the flower. Awe flooded me when I noted the multitude of blossoms on one flower-head, their complexity and astonishing beauty. Engaging with this process helps me to stay attached to the bigger picture. Regardless of how I feel there is an extraordinary world out there! Beyond these daily postings and an occasional article I rarely use social media.
I think during these difficult times while we are facing ultimate breakdown it is important to share whatever strategies we might have developed to live more sanely in what has become, at least in my mind and body – collective insanity.
I close with my little poem:
This body is
my holy altar
my bounded skin
my embodied soul
my closet kin.
Sara is a naturalist, ethologist (a person who studies animals in their natural habitats) (former) Jungian Pattern Analyst, and a writer. She publishes her work regularly in a number of different venues and is presently living in Maine.