Tag Archive | Spirit

El Camino

foxgloveRecently I went to the movies to watch “Walking the Camino”. It was the penultimate screening and we had the theatre almost entirely to ourselves. This is how I like it, the dark, the quietening of the breath and the unfolding of the story. As I listened to the stories of the half dozen people (out of many) who were sharing their experience, I was waiting to feel the yearning rise up within me to follow in their footsteps. The idea of travelling light; letting go and confronting change on a daily basis all hold much allure. The transformative experiences abounded and were shared with depth and humility.

Searches for the meaning of life, a new better way to be sat alongside the yearning to connect. One young woman bought her small son and her brother. Her dream; that her brother would grow to understand her Christian values and they would become closer. Loss was also present in the stories of those who had died and were still being grieved. All of the stories continued to unfold along with the road and the vista beckoning the pilgrim onward.

The stories were heart warming. Yet, throughout the whole movie the most powerful player was Nature herself.  In sun and rain the natural world stood out; the bedewed blades of grass; leaves lime green in their newness. Heather, in thick rich banks adorned the roadside,    urging me to reach out and run my hands through it.

I know I would never survive the walk; the shared sleeping dormitories alone would be the end of me. I am a light sleeper and often only manage 4-5 hours a night – in the quietest of spaces. I am not physically able to walk the 790kms, my body would teach me a lesson in humility never to be forgotten. Such beauty along the Way, I would love to experience that; I’d take the chance to immerse myself in it wherever it appeared.

It was almost at the end of the movie; the young women had fallen out with her brother. He had misbehaved – his Pan-ness had offended her values. He wasn’t taking it at all seriously and so she drove him away, thereby negating her original desire for connection.  Poor thing, she was trying so hard to be a good/godly pilgrim. He didn’t seem concerned at all. It seemed to me that he was inherently panentheistic and she was – a fundamentalist!

His lightness of spirit captured me and spoke to the mood that had overtaken me as I drank in the scenery. Right then the camera followed the curving stem of a foxglove, honouring each individual flower. From somewhere deep inside me powerful emotion welled up; the thought “I bow before you” sprang into my mind and my heart opened. For me, all the joy of the Camino was represented in that one sinuous curve.

I know that I walk my own inner Camino every day. The Nature mystic in me takes me on many varied and challenging paths. I hope I walk them in humility; staying connected to all the glory of the natural world, grounding myself in Her.

There is always a gift along the road. A dappled glade, a glorious sunset, a field of wheat moving in a gentle breeze. All these expressions of the Divine enliven me and fill me up so that, just like a pilgrim who reaches Finisterre I am filled with joy and deep peace.

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Oh Heavens!

Like an arctic lake turned upside down

the bowl of the Heavens

curves above me, clear blue.

No thing mars its cerulean majesty

and set within it like a  scintillating gem

the yellow sphere of the sun.

The gardener in me smiles

in tee shirt sleeves she works steadily and with deep gratitude

for this clearest, cleanest most crystalline of days.

Peace inhabits body, mind and garden

joy resounds in every bird call and gently dancing flower

Eden exists, right here, right now.

Peace Be With You.

 

Oh reluctant travellers

Tho’ you shy many times from the path,

It is only through the fiery gateway of your own suffering

That you can reach the garden of peace.

 

 

Special Delivery

dewdrop
I catch you out the corner of my eye
a gently fluttering leaf,
bejeweled.
Sunlight captured in perfect oval,
rainbow-sparkling you blink
a Morse code message angel-delivered
“I love you”
“I love you”

Paradise Found

SwingsToday as I look out my upstairs bedroom window the perfume of the Stephanotis floribunda growing there instantly grabs my attention. I breathe in deeply. Looking further out into the yellows, reds and greens of the surrounding trees a dew drop scintillating in the sun catches my eye where it clings to a leaf.  The lime yellow of Gleditsia “Sunburst”, under planted with pale blue Agapanthus accentuates the freshness of this time of the day. We are accompanied by the singing of cicadas, the sound of water over the fall in the river and the faraway drone of traffic. We’ve had some rain so our visitors are feeling a little constrained and are now preparing to make their escape for the day.  On the odd occasion I go to town during the festive season I notice how big the lines of traffic are, how busy the shops and how when I want to go to a movie it’s already sold out! This is my version of constraint; bumper to bumper traffic through town, drivers doing 60kms in a 100km speed area as they weave across the road “sight- seeing”.    I know they’re great for the local economy and that when you live in such a beautiful place it’s only fair to share with others, but I can’t help wishing them gone.  As soon as I can I get myself back home to the peace and quiet that is my sanctuary from all the consumerist madness.  Once there I lie around with a book or if it’s not too hot pop out into the garden to pull out all the lettuces that have bolted in the heat, along with the weeds that are massing in preparation for a coup!  If it’s very hot I waste the day away lounging in the shade laughing and chatting with my dearly beloved, drinking copious green tea and nibbling leftovers from various festive feasts. I know it sounds profligate and I accept the judgement willingly.  Finally early evening rolls around, the heat declines and I can head out into the cool quiet of the garden. This is the time of day that as I work, bent over pulling weeds, digging and pruning my connection to Spirit is refreshed. In the dusky quiet the garden wraps itself around me; night-scented plants soothe with their moth attracting perfumes, carrying me to another realm replete with beauty and wonder. The mystery and magic of this special time, when there is almost no evidence of humanity is such a gift.  My body, heart and mind is open to the quiet gentleness and I feel I could continue in just this way forever.

Youthful Fickleness

snowflakeThe ocean roar of wind crashes through the canopy of the eucalypts surrounding the garden with as much power and fury as a west coast beach in a storm. Down below all is calm and bathed in warm sunlight, the merest waving of leaves a pale reflection of what occurs above. Spring continues her unfolding – one step forward, two steps back, emerging then finding things not entirely to her liking she retreats again. It’s as though Persephone isn’t fully prepared to give up her dark lover.

For me too, I’m happy to lay in bed on cold and rainy days, reading a book and contemplating; only to find the next day I’m sun-seduced into a full days garden activity – planting, seed sowing, dreaming up my next project. The creatures also respond to the call of the sun; the garden is full of birds again today, bees are out gathering pollen with serious intent. Fortunately the blossoms seem to have timed their arrival to avoid the stormy period so an abundant harvest is still possible. Although, until Spring has fully unfolded and all her petals have dropped there are no guarantees – she is youthful fickleness – a lesson in both the discomfort and pleasure of transformation. As I embrace the lesson I feel a child-like curiosity and anticipation arise and a quiet acceptance that it is all out of my hands.

Cheeky Wisdom.

Prunella vulgarisNow that we’ve had some sunny days I’ve been seduced out into the garden to feel the warm sun on my skin and seek for signs of Spring.  Sure enough, there they were, tiny white bumps of blossom just about to burst forth; the scent of grape hyacinths, so big considering the tiny bells it emanated from and the distinctive call of the quail as the return to their summer home.  Sometimes when I’m out in the garden the smallest things capture my attention.  As I wandered around the vege patch taking account of all the work needed to prepare for Spring planting I spotted the happiest Prunella vulgaris I’ve ever seen. It makes sense really; it was growing in a warm, moist spot which would have been exactly what it preferred; how wise of it!  Normally when I see these flowers I’m instantly motivated to pull up the plants straight away; in my garden they’re a weed.  This one though, I had to leave exactly where it was – I felt such a sense of pleasure from its abundant growth. It warmed me on the inside and made me smile – how clever to win me over with its show of vigour and enthusiasm – I couldn’t resist taking a photo!

Since then I’ve been back in the garden sowing seeds and watching the bees busy collecting pollen from my profusely blooming Eriostemon. Each time I find myself thinking about that cheeky Prunella. Then, this morning I remembered its common name, ‘Self-Heal’ and immediately began to laugh. I’d been speaking to a friend who’d been sharing her troubles and need for healing. Now I know I‘ll have to send her the photo I took so she’ll be reminded where to start.