Tag Archive | transformation

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.

 

 

The Wheel Turns

Black DragonWe’ve just experienced the equinox this week and along with it the usual equinoctial gales. It now finally begins to feel that Spring is here; for some time now we’ve lived with t he dry bones clatter of the death Goddess as she moves through bare branches on a chill wind, shriveling the life out of any new and tender growth.

So it was with joy and anticipation I listened and finally heard the first call of the shining cuckoo a few days ago; the most reliable of harbingers. I trust then that Mother Nature is awakening from her winter’s rest once again. My eyes don’t deceive me either for that Great Lady is now covering her bones with garments of every green imaginable; gauzy limes layered over soft velvety olives and an underskirt of dark glossy greens.

Everywhere there is urgency as birds court flirtatiously and build nests of all manner of wondrous finds. Twigs, feathers, fur and lichen are woven with skill and grace. The call to spend time outside overcomes my concern for wet ground underfoot; a couple of sunny days and all will be dried out once again.
Now as the wisteria racemes begin to unfurl their blossoms revealing a delicious scent I am beguiled and know that I must bow my head in honour of this glorious turning of the wheel.

A Shadow Blocks My Sun.

pre eclipse Nov 15Since last writing I’ve spent quite some time in deep reflection about continuing to post. My motivation had always been to reach out and connect with others who may share my enthusiasms already or to inspire those who are newly interested. As blogging was new to me it’s been a learning experience; just dealing with the intricacies of setting up my page was challenging enough. Once I’d entered that world I found it was awash with blogs on every subject imaginable. This made me pause and consider why my offerings would even have any impact. I considered that I was possibly just adding to the already enormous amount of ‘word pollution’ already out there. Friends dismissed that idea and told me to go ahead, I had something to offer. So I did and when I received a response I was shocked and pleasantly uplifted. I carried on and emails would appear in my inbox telling me so and so had ‘liked’ or was following my blog. There was an erratic nature to this and although flattering didn’t really give me the sense of connection I really sought. I feel I may be a failure in this respect; no amount of virtual contact, least of all the appearance of a gravatar image in the ‘like’ section is really going to supply the nourishment I seek. Some may say that I’m being unrealistic and that I should be grateful people take the time to read & ‘like’ my posts. I am grateful and  I do reciprocate. There have been some wonderful and uplifting stories to which I have responded with deep respect. Sometimes, however I’m left feeling that there is a manipulative aspect to blogging – you read mine and I’ll read yours… My inner cynic clearly feels provoked! Having spent time in reflection I am writing this as a means to clarify my thoughts and to potentially learn from others how they deal with their experiences in blog world. I realise my writing may not be the best but people I respect say it is good. If I don’t receive regular feedback, how can I really know? Perhaps I’m just screaming into the void? Perhaps my skills need growing? Or there is a perspective or two I have completely overlooked. I’ve experienced some challenge lately that has been painful and I’m feeling the lack of encouragement. These are all  very human experiences and I share them in an effort to be transparent. Challenge is always with us and I know from experience that there can be wonderful rewards attached to facing our challenges and yet right now some dark shadow material is stealing my clarity. I can only pray that all will become clear in due course.The one thing I do know is that my garden never ceases to provide both joy and solace. The beauty, the creativity and the natural order culminating in death has taught me many wise and valuable lessons. If , as it seems, I am not able to share my experiences in a way that is useful, perhaps it’s time to follow the garden’s example and let the natural order begin the process of decay.

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.

Gloriously Ruffled Radicchio

radicchioI’ve been hearing people saying lately that Spring has arrived, as if it is a date on the calendar. Well, actually in New Zealand we do describe September 1 as the first day of Spring. Herein lies the truth, it’s the beginning of the process of unfolding and releasing the new emergent energy; it happens slowly, one day at a time. In order to notice the changes I am daily in communion with the parts of my garden that express ‘Springness’. I check the plum blossom and the foliage buds on my oak trees. In my vege garden I check the temperature of the soil. It’s still too wet and cold to plant Spring veges. I know this because my brassicas look so fine; they’re loudly expressing that Winter hasn’t fully released its grip. Which is ok too; greens are good for us & we need to eat plenty – or so I tell myself when I experience resistance to the idea. Fortunately as I stand surveying their healthy vitality I’m nourished by the beauty & elegance of the red cabbages and radicchio. Food for the soul is every bit as important. This radiant show helps remind me that the slow letting go of Winter into the quickening of Spring is inevitable and soon a different kind of expression will take the place of my gloriously ruffled radicchio. Even as I write the first plum blossoms are welcoming bees as they feverishly collect pollen to keep the hives healthy in preparation for a new seasons honey making. So much promise yet to be fulfilled.