More and more, as both we and the climate change our long-held drum beats, it pays to take the long view, to gather what's given in excess when given in excess--energy, water, food, forage, light. It's about taking advantage of time--the old ant and grasshopper saw.
We are, many of us and by necessity, old creatures, old souls. We grow up fast around here, and we know this to be true--time is both endless and heartbreakingly limited. But if we can work barefoot, if we can sometimes go hatless, letting the sun and the wind feed what's chapped and dry and long-hardened, then maybe there's an avenue toward belief.
Plugged in, we become amplifiers, resonant with the pulse, with the message-- This is how it works. This is what it sounds like, what it looks like, to be whole.
We are in Aries time--determined, fiery, inquisitive, the never-takes-no-for-an-answer time. But what else could you expect from the sign that ushers in the true beginning of the new year--the earth-awakening, seed-sowing, light-bringing spoke of the wheel? It's not like spring can be timid or cowed into coming back later. No. Aries, spring is fierce--and there's no reason we can't pull a little of that energy into our own cowed and sapped souls.
I think we're thirsty for a little fire, for a little empowerment, for a little shite-kicking action of our own. This fire is the meat-and-potatoes we've been craving but--for whatever reason or dogma--we've not allowed ourselves. Well. Let's make a pact--let's put some of this old-fashioned stick-to-our-ribs sustenance back into our bodies and see how long we can stomp around in this mud, in this awakening earth.
We're all familiar, no doubt, with the whole "bloom where you're planted" philosophy; there's a lot of wisdom in that. And what we so often forget is the intelligence of plants--true, they're bound, at least in this generation, to where they've rooted, but they have an entire network of signals, an entire underground language that makes them worlds more intuitive, more realistic, and more adaptable than we (mobile creatures that we are) can hope to be.
There is great wisdom in staying put, for a season, at least, teaching ourselves to sense the silent, tribal drumbeat of the earthbound worlds, attuning ourselves to the untapped intelligence urged on by those begging us to put down roots.
We have such a hard time with this whole waiting concept in our culture--that is to say Western culture, no matter where it manifests on the globe. Something, if I knew anything about sociology (which I don't), I imagine we could trace back to the Industrial Revolution. But, anyway, it's unimportant--what's done is done and all that matters now is how we go forward.
So. Do we really need the instant gratification of a Googled answer? Or can we wait, intuit, then pick ourselves up, walk to some kind of reference material (be it person, book, or map) and physically find the answer? Not, as it were, have it carried to us on a virtual silver platter? I don't know. Would the withdrawal kill us? Or would it make us more human?
Few of us are robust enough, strong enough, to go cold-turkey from whatever it is we think makes life more bearable. But small sips of hands-on reality would do much to propel us back toward health, toward sanity, toward patience, and toward our own humanity.
There is nothing new in heaven and earth (to borrow a bit of poetry from Horatio), nothing that hasn't echoes elsewhere, from our bodies to our habits, celestial meanderings to cycles of weather. Everything is a pattern, borrowed, complicated, or improvised upon. Patterns establish themselves and tug us along in their wake.
But let's not confuse these patterns with the well-trodden path. After all, not every path is a pattern that serves you--one creature's migration may have nothing to offer you; follow it and ignore your inner compass at your own risk. No, the patterns we want to reinforce, maintain, enhance are those that bring us to energy, to light, to hope, to fulfillment. Sometimes they're hard to find. Sometimes we have only a glimpse of their trajectory, the merest hint of a clearing ahead, but the pull of the heart is there--that's the key, whether you need to bushwhack your way there or not.
The best revealer of patterns is observation, and the best means toward true observa...
I have great plans--great enormous, life-fulfilling plans. Plans that I think are truly achievable, plans I can see myself living in. Most of the time, I'm optimistic about it all if peppered, from time to time, with the occasional belief that the universe is conspiring against me. All in all, though, I'm hopeful.
Until, of course, I try to envision the how of the whole operation. That's where we trip ourselves up in this, well, let's call it manifestation process. We are, on our own, one small creature. There's no way we can possess every skill and all the knowledge necessary for our vision(s), and we're not meant to.
We are the holder of the vision, and that's our only job--to hold it fast in our mind's eye, feeding it and watering it with all the belief and hope we can compost out of our darker days. Vision isn't all, of course--action must follow. But that's one action at a time--easy, manageable. I promise (myself, all of us) the reality of the vision builds itself from there....
I do honestly believe that rising before dawn is one of the rituals which has kept me sane, grounded, and equipped with reverence (never mind that that reverence is, from time to time, easily forgotten). Across traditions and geography and time, that hour or two before the sun rises is sacred, magical. There's an energy here few, relatively speaking, allow themselves access.
All it takes is earlier to bed and an internal alarm that, eventually, kicks in. Because, really, once you experience the community of the pre-dawn, who would want to miss it?
Petals--we made it. There might be acres of snow on the ground, mud where snow isn't, but the equinox has arrived and the first birdsong arrives before dawn.
If the birds are sure the worst has passed, that's good enough for me.
It's a good lesson though, isn't it? The only discernible change is the length and breadth of light, the arrival of birdsong. Even if the weather clings stubbornly to to February, spring has arrived. The fire and will and downright action-planning Aries has arrived. This is the true start to the new year, and this morning we wake with fire in our hearts.
Optimism doesn't come easily for me, not because of cynicism or bitterness, but because of a wariness to get one's hopes up. I think some of us are more gifted at optimism, at hope, at manifesting (all one and the same thing), and some of us struggle to find purchase in the faint hope that everything will be okay.
I keep writing about this because I keep hoping that something will click, that one day optimism and faith will settle and stay. As it is, I wake up on a handful of mornings each week or month were everything *feels* okay, and I think--this is it! I've found my way to evenness, to a steady hand on the hopeful tiller. But inevitably, a morning comes when it all falls apart--the yacht is nothing more than a jury-rigged dinghy, the land ahead nothing more than mirage.
So I don't know. I guess the fact that hope, that lightness revisits from time to time should be beacon enough that shifts happen. At least, I truly hope so...
There is music to be heard when we are still, a rhythm apparent enough even for those of us too tone-deaf to carry our own tune in a bucket. The steady drip-dripping of the season changing is a call to arms, a drumbeat to awaken us from long, sometimes troubled, sometimes sweet, slumber.
Don't ignore the impulse, this time, to move. The season is too short to muddy its clarity with our own tuneless thinking.