Thursday, September 23

Flowing Through the Autumn Breeze

Dragonflies have long been my touchstone in nature for gauging what's going on in my brain.  This time of year they seem to have gotten a second wind, just as their summer reign simmers to a close there has been a flourishing of dragonflies to greet the sunrises and sunsets.

On my morning walk today there were no signs of the dragonflies.  A welcome early fall breeze reminded me of the constant movement of things - of everything.  Wasn't it only a second ago that spring was in full bloom and I was ready to burst into the passion of summer?

Movement with all it's go, go, go serves an important place in the diaspora of life on this earth.  I walked up a steady, half-mile slope to the top of the hill. It was a slow burn - especially for someone who hasn't been engaging lately in all the joy that walking up this hill has to offer.   I practiced my circular breathing, waved my hands to keep the circulation in my arms flowing, remembered to thank the sun, the beautiful moon, the incredible blue sky, and the trees.

The trees.  The cottonwoods edged the road all along my walk.  Their leaves shimmered like hands clapping, or a cheerleader's pom-poms beating together to the rhythm of enthusiastic chant designed to inspire me. With their help I continued up that incline walking faster and faster, feeling it in my feet, my legs, even my shoulders.

I thanked them, each and every one for their ability to motivate me and also for their service to nature as such magnificent beings.  Their presence connected me in an instant to a moment in time merely a month ago in Abiquiui, NM where a grove of Cottonwoods along the Chama river welcomed me into their magical world at sunrise.  Cottonwoods, alamosas (remember the Alamo?) are the grande dames of the tree world in the southwest.   Their presence speaks volumes without saying much of anything at all.

On the way back down that hill I reflected on the turning inward that is being requested of all of nature in this season of Autumn.  I sometimes find that familiar old dribble in my mind creeping in to tell me I need to do more meditation, sit, be still.  When I caught those mental monkeys this morning trying to convince me I wasn't in the "right" place or doing the "right" thing I quickly acknowledged the importance of balance. 

My heart opens a little wider with gratitude each time I consider the simplicity of nature. I stood at the gate at the end of my walk reflecting on the idea that flow is about constant movement - the yin and the yang, the ebb and the flow.  Then I heard a voice say, "When it's time to sit in meditation, it's time to sit.  When it's time to walk up that hill, it's time to walk.  Constant movement, constant flow."  I look up to see the first dragonfly of the day.  One, only one, hoovering in the vibrant leaves of the cottonwood tree.

Wednesday, September 8

Sweet Mother of Jesus

I am often amazed at the capacity of my heart for forgiveness and rejuvenation. Having attended my brother and sister-in-law's wonderfully original and beautifully crafted wedding this weekend I was reminded that I don't have to DO anything or SAY anything to experience love and support. It's as easy as acknowledging that those elements are there - in the moment.

At first I questioned myself, "Was I doing enough? Did I bring the right things?" A piece of me wanted to do more for them. Yet as I looked around and stood at the precipice that overlooked mountains in Arizona, Utah, and Colorado I realized that the best I could do is to be at peace in my heart.

This simple act is the ART of BEING. It's the act that for centuries has been regarded as feminine in a derogatory sense of the word; regarded as weak and passive.  The art of being is back in vogue after centuries of oppression. The conundrum is that BEING - taking it all in, receiving, and the recognition that what seems like fear is most probably an urge to feel vulnerable - takes a lot more courage than the act of doing. (Brilliant quote by timeless master of your choice to be placed here.)

Forgiveness. Such a hard term to grasp because it involves my relationship with grace, nothing more - no one, no thing - just me and grace. Then I must sit with it - with silence in my heart. The rejuvenation it continues to bring is timeless and measureless. Just like the love that flowed from the top of the mountain overlook this past weekend deep in the four corners area of Colorado.