There is so much truth to the sentiment that it takes a village to do, well, anything. And my village consists of wind and sunrise, birdsong and rainfall, high tides and low tides, a certain surrender of effort, and a very necessary relinquishing of control.
There's a human factor, of course, but that faction requires more conscious attention, more immediate interaction, and while that's something, and something beyond value, it's not everything. We must, at least for part of our day, for part of our lives, put ourselves at the mercy of elements beyond our control.
Being lifted out of control is so very good for our health, and such a soothing tonic for overheated minds.
I still (still!) find myself apologizing for a sundry of habits, schedule preferences, words coming (or not) out of my mouth. Essentially, I suppose, I'm apologizing for taking up space and air and resources when, surely, there's someone far more efficient/creative/quick/fun/relaxed who's worthy of it.
How did we get like this? Because my guess is that there are more of us who feel this way than not. The ones who don't? They intimidate the ever-living heck out of me. They're just so graceful, so at ease, so effortlessly put together--and even if they aren't, that's the atmosphere they create, the air they move through. It's like they're their own weather system, and as it pushes up against the uptight and worried front the rest of us harbor, storms brew.
But you know what's just occurred to me? I fight those fronts when I feel them because they're frightening. I mean, what would happen if I let that weather system blow my own away? I don't know. I don't think I've ever allowed such a...
I have no doubt, if trees can tap chemically into their surroundings, healing themselves, healing each other, that they could heal us, too. Not just on a corporeal level--we know plants-as-food, plants-as-medicine, plants-as-lungs can heal us, can, at the very least, supplement us. But what if we could have a little faith in their chemistry, a little faith in their age, in their experience? What if we could sit at their feet and thank them from the bottom, the very cell floor, of our hearts? What if we could apologize from the depth of our confused and churning guts, where we should radiate nothing but light, nothing but confidence, but are, instead, drowning in our own bile, in our own poisonous chemistry?
What if we could do all of that? Would the trees not, in all their compassion, tap their Morse-coded chemistry into the earth and heal her as we save ourselves?
This weekend, I spent my mornings in the gardens, both cultivated and wild, vegetable and herb and flower. Around 9:30am, once the heavy work of the day was done, dew dried from flowers, I collected wild roses, calendula, catmint, chamomile, self-heal, red clover, lady's mantle, looked for St. John's Wort (or St. Joan's Wort, as Susun Weed says; either way, too early for it), then gathered thyme, sage, basil, and rosemary. I tinctured last season's hawthorn berries, this season's plantain leaf, and used the last of the Ashwagandha. I put up plantain/self-heal infused jojoba oil to add to last year's calendula oil, later into salves, when the heat of summer has passed.
I was taught to offer something to these plants as I harvest them. Sometimes it's a stray piece of hair, leftover milk from breakfast, a bit of compost, seaweed, pretty stones or shells. Most often it's a song (easier to carry, though perhaps not in tune), most often, inexplicably, it's James Taylor's Sweet Baby James (may...
My grandmother always told me, and my mother after her, that the sea and salt water can heal anything. And that is, in my experience, absolutely 100% true all the time. It doesn't matter if it's the salt or the sun or the sand that scours away, weathers away this thing you've been dragging around, or if it's the primal, deep-cell memory stirred by the sweet sulfur of low tide. The sea has every answer to every question, asked or unasked, incoherent or carved into psychic, subconscious mantra.
The sea is a force, a catalyst, and driver of winds and weather, in perfect control of what,
My graduate degree is in poetry which is a funny sort of classically romantic and daring degree for someone who, really, could not be described as either romantic or daring (though, perhaps I'd admit to classic-leaning). Nevertheless, I do love it. I love the bare-bones basics of it, the you-have-to-know-this-right-now-and-the-only-way-to-tell-you-is-like-this nature of it. It's essential storytelling, and though one might not always decipher the why and how of the language, the punch is always there, the intention.
All of that is true.
It's also a disclaimer for today's Satya (and countless others, no doubt). Because sometimes something is true, and I have no idea why or even what it means.
I find wind either refreshing or downright torturous, depending on the temperature, the task, visibility/ice conditions, and gale force. The thing is, wind gives you nowhere to hide; it seeks out your secrets, your weaknesses, and (given the right circumstances) can cut anyone to the quick of their tolerance level.
In other words, you learn a lot about the company you keep (yourself included) when faced with blocks to walk (or hours to sail) in wind-chilled conditions.
It's a pretty accurate, rather humbling, litmus test to scope the depth of your own well of compassion.
I like fog because you have absolutely no choice but to surrender--there's no digging (i.e. blizzard), no flooding in the cellar, no early crops to usher under cold frames, no immediate concerns at all. In fact, (at least in my neck of the globe), doing anything at all is foolhardy--there is no light you can shine to cut it, to hurry it along, to push your agenda.
Fog insists that you believe what isn't there; it insists on your faith. It reminds you that your other senses, if necessary, can remind you of your place in space. It insists, too, that you have some close work you could do, that perhaps it's time to feel your way forward, mindfully, slowly, in no rush because certainly, this curtain isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
Elizabeth Gilbert, wise personal-struggle-and-strong-tea guru (Google Eleanor Roosevelt, women, hot water, and tea to get that reference) that she is, once told a story that not only stuck with me, but has given me endless comfort over the years. She said that after Eat, Pray, Love, she was stuck while writing her next book. It wasn't so much that she was daunted or intimidated by the success of EPL, but that she was simply uninspired to write, despite her continued love for it. All she wanted to do was garden, even though she'd very little experience with things green and growing.
But instead of talking herself out of this untraceable desire and forcing herself to work on something that would, undoubtedly, show the efforts of her forcing, she gave herself a year to follow her curiosity. And, of course, long story short, in that decision to follow the path of her own footsteps, she stumbled across inspiration for her next book.