Come forth into the light of things; let Nature be your teacher.

~ William Wordsworth

Believe one who knows: you will find something greater in woods than in books.

Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters.

~ Saint Bernard de Clairvaux

Saturday, January 9, 2021

The Finches and the Dove


Image by edbo23 from Pixabay

2020 has been a rough year…to say the least. I’d been feeling down and wondering if good things were coming again. And then the finches showed up. Four house or purple finches, one each day practically on my faux balcony outside my office window. Two even serenaded me. This was a few weeks ago. Before that I had seen two dead gold finches. Symbolically it was about me focusing on all that could go wrong. The purple finches came to remind me to focus on the good and the good that was coming.

Then on this Monday morning a mourning dove landed on my balcony and kept looking in at me. The mourning dove is about faith and peace. Eventually she left and then a purple finch came to see me right after. It was chirping as it peered in at me. That morning I’d been struggling with feelings of disappointment with myself and what seems like a long, hard struggle to make my way in the world. The birds, Nature, Spirit had come to remind me again to trust it’s going to be okay.

And of course, the birds have been showing up. I had made the intention to live more connected to Nature and to live more mythopoeically…to see the meaning and symbolism all around me.

When we peer beyond the veil of our own little world, we see everything is connected and flowing. We see the dance that goes on behind the scenes. And when we align with the flow, magic happens. The struggle falls away. The effort doesn’t.

The push and pull of creative tension is still there as is the simple though sometimes wrenching pain of birth and growth. Those are a part of life, of entering the world of form. Joy is a part of it too. But struggle is our resistance to life. It’s us asking does it have to be this way. It doesn’t have to, but in the moment it is. We get to accept that and then enter the dance to make changes. We are not at the whim of this life of ours and we’re not in full control. Sometimes we get to lead and sometimes Life does.

I always loved to dance. As a child I dreamed of being a ballerina. I got books on ballet from the library and learned some of the moves. I listened to different kinds of music and let them move me. I look back and see there was a lesson on how to live being learned in all that. I’m still learning it.

The finches, the doves, Nature, Spirit remind me I am already in the midst of magic. To be out of alignment, to feel out of the order of things, is simply me not acknowledging a greater what is and yet to be.

We are always in the dance of becoming, swirling through the darkness of possibility until we become brighter and can see the next step. I take a deep breath and plié, étendre, relevé.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Stone Walker

Image by Pezibear from Pixabay


Every stone was different. It kept you slightly unbalanced to move from one stone to the next. I could almost circle the whole island by walking its stone border. I say almost because there was one stone, a boulder really, that blocked the path. So many of us climbed it and stood over the lake, it’s dark, sometimes choppy waters imperceptibly worried the giant piece of granite ever smoother over the decades. The circle completed with a moment of contemplation.

The stones near the ocean were different. They were smoother and made slippery by the water’s incessant waves. But still I walked them to nowhere in particular. Each step was a test to see if I could put my full weight upon it or only lightly land, using it as a steppingstone to the next. This directionless journey was full of near slips and slides or being thrown off balance by loose stones. Though there was no destination, no completion except returning to flat ground, somehow moving over those stones moved something in me.

I crossed the stream in the woods by way of the stones that rose just above the waterline. It was a small stream in the woods behind the school. It flowed all the way into town. I had to go deep into the woods to reach it, to walk its stones, to hear the music the water created moving over and around them. It was like a dance to pick my way across and back again. The to and fro always brought me back to myself.

My childhood is mapped with the stones I walked upon, the stones I climbed, the stones I fell on, the stones that supported me during those times I needed to flee my reality. It’s been years since I walked the stones. I suppose the last time was in the mountains a decade ago. The Southern California granite beige instead of Nova Scotia grey. Stones that weren’t scattered by the glaciers of the last ice age but protrude from the ground, always there.

I miss the stones. On my altar are two small ones from Nova Scotia. I never gathered any from the mountains where we once had a cabin. But I have walked the ground of this place. I have moved over the landscape and mapped my last 20 years in steps that have turned here into home.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

The Season and Year of Letting Go


Photo by Autumn Mott Rodeheaver on Unsplash

In this season of letting go, I feel as though we have been living in a year of letting go. That’s what 2020 has been. It’s been about clarity of vision, but this virus, Nature has been teaching us to let go.
What does it mean to let go? The best way to answer that is to look at the things we’ve had to let go of. We’ve let go of a way of life, loved ones, hopes and dreams. Though we are in the liminal space of this letting go, we do catch glimpses of what may be.
Letting go can be a momentary release or it can take months or even years. It’s not easy, but it is necessary for a new way of life and other hopes and dreams to come alive. In the case of loved ones, to let them go helps us move forward and embrace them in a new way.
Letting go is followed by a period of disorientation. It’s that stepping off the cliff into darkness I often talk about. Sometimes we wish we could hold onto the old ways and dreams until the new ones are here, but that’s not possible. Sometimes I wish it were because I don’t like the topsy-turvey feeling of not knowing, of not even seeing the next step, of feeling as though the world has been turned upside down.
But in this emptying out process, that Nature expresses so well in Autumn, allows the old to die so space is made for the new in Spring. And during the long Winter we are given time to linger in the emptiness so we may find what it is we truly want going forward. It’s important to honor the past and let it go. It serves us to hang out in this in-between time in order to let our soul’s desires to sift to the surface.

To let go is to know something else is coming. When we can finally let go, it’s because we trust ourselves, Nature, Spirit, the future. To let go is to trust Life.

If you’d like to delve into this liminal space of letting go and the dreaming that follows, sign up for Honor the Past, Dream the Future – A Seasons of the Goddess Workshop here.