We sleep, allowing gravity to hold us, allowing Earth—our larger body—to recalibrate our neurons, composting the keen encounters of our waking hours (the tensions and terrors of our individual days), stirring them back, as dreams, into the sleeping substance of our muscles. We give ourselves over to the influence of the breathing earth. Sleep is the shadow of the earth as it seeps into our skin and spreads throughout our limbs, dissolving our individual will into the thousand and one selves that compose it—cells, tissues, and organs taking their prime directives now from gravity and the wind—as residual bits of sunlight, caught in the long tangle of nerves, wander the drifting landscape of our earth-borne bodies like deer moving across the forested valleys.
David Abram, Becoming Animal
Sunday, April 23, 2017
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Honor Earth, the Old Wild Mother of us all.
Plant trees, milkweed for Monarch butterflies or start a bumblebee garden. Give up nasty critter killing pesticides. Go earth friendly in household cleaning products. Say no to GMOs and factory farming. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Walk a little (or better still, a lot) more lightly on the planet.
In light of proposed budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA's Earth science study programs and public broadcasting services, consider making personal contributions to such agencies and groups. They need us now, more than ever before.
Reject the power of collective delusion. Be a caring steward of the little blue world we are all walking around on together, not just today, but every day.
Friday, April 21, 2017
Blue skies and fluffy clouds overhead, birdsong, avian courtship rites and nest building birds everywhere - the village is opening out and greening up before our eyes as Spencer and I potter about and peer into hedgerows. Spring does not make a quiet entrance this far north - she comes over the hill with an exuberant bound, reaches out with a twiggy hand, and everything bursts into bloom. When we went off to the park a few mornings ago, the first daffodil of the season was blooming in a sheltered, sunny alcove, and we both did a little dance.
How can this week's word be anything except bloom? The word originates in the Middle English blo or blome, meaning to open up and flower lavishly, to glow with health and well-being, to be as sleek and glossy as an otter, as dewy and flushed with sunlight as a garden tulip or an early blooming orchid in a wild and wooded place. There are probable connections (or roots) between bloom and bhel in Proto-Indo-European, the hypothetical common ancestor of all modern European languages - in that ancient, oral and unscribed tongue, bhel means to grow, swell, or unfold, to leaf out or come into flower.
Perhaps a better word for this week would be sex, because that is what springtime's lush colors, alluring fragrances, velvet textures and warbling ballads are about - the Old Wild Mother's madcap dance of exuberance, fertility and fruitfulness. Every species on the planet seems focused on perpetuating its own heady genetic brew, and the collective pleasure in being alive is almost tangible.
Forsaking appointed chores, we poke around in the garden, lurch about in village thickets and contemplate the blue sky for long intervals. It's simply a matter of blooming wherever one happens to be planted. Spencer is already a master of that splendid Zen art, and his silly old mum is working on it.
Thursday, April 20, 2017
The moon comes up o'er the deeps of the woods,
And the long, low dingles that hide in the hills,
Where the ancient beeches are moist with buds
Over the pools and the whimpering rills;
And with her the mists, like dryads that creep
From their oaks, or the spirits of pine-hid springs,
Who hold, while the eyes of the world are asleep,
With the wind on the hills their gay revellings.
Down on the marshlands with flicker and glow
Wanders Will-o'-the-Wisp through the night,
Seeking for witch-gold lost long ago
By the glimmer of goblin lantern-light.
The night is a sorceress, dusk-eyed and dear,
Akin to all eerie and elfin things,
Who weaves about us in meadow and mere
The spell of a hundred vanished Springs.
Lucy Maud Montgomery
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
On the other side of the windows this morning is drifting fog and a row of skeletal trees doing their best to put out leaves, catkins and flowers. This is turning out to be a late springtime, and they have a way to go.
The air is warmer than the earth below it, and the meeting of the two makes everything translucent and magical. Somewhere in the early morning haze is a robin calling for rain, a woodpecker (probably a pileated from the volume of the hammering) driving its beak into one of the old maples. Now and again, he (or possibly she) pauses, takes a few deep breaths and gives a wild unfettered laugh that carries for quite a distance in the murk. Even a bird in the fog, it seems, knows the value of taking a break from its work now and again, just breathing in and out for a minute or two and giving voice to a cackle of amusement.
I can't see either robin or woodpecker for the mist wrapping everything, but the sounds they are making are welcome musical elements in a springtime morning that is all about the nebulous, the wondrous and unseen.
Monday, April 17, 2017
Skies are grey, and there is rain in our forecast for the nth day in a row. No drought in the eastern Ontario highlands this year, and that is a fine thing.
In the street, a west wind cavorts in the gutters, ruffles dead leaves and other detritus like playing cards. It eases around the corner of the little blue house in the village and sets the copper wind bells on the deck in exuberant motion.
In the kitchen, coffee is in progress and and a little Mozart (The Magic Flute) fills the air, but something more is needed this morning, something that will invoke springtime and blue skies, summon sunlight into this day.
A pot of red and yellow tulips in the window is the perfect cantrip. Alight from within, they are jeweled lanterns, every one.
Sunday, April 16, 2017
I want to write my way from the margins to the center. I want to speak the language of the grasses, rooted yet soft and supple in the presence of wind before a storm. I want to write in the form of migrating geese like an arrow pointing south toward a direction of safety. I want to keep my words wild so that even if the land and everything we hold dear is destroyed by shortsightedness and greed, there is a record of participation by those who saw what was coming. Listen. Below us. Above us. Inside us. Come. This is all there is."
Terry Tempest Williams, from Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert