my xmas revelation

Yesterday I had a beautiful Christmas revelation.

I was beating myself up because even after all the Landmark, the nonviolent communication and the transpersonal philosophy, I was still experiencing some hurt over a little comment made by my mother.

For Christ’s sake – how pathetic – and when will I finally be enlightened!

I then imagined myself surrounded by the Xmas chaos, in the midst of screaming kids, barking dogs, people complaining about kids, dogs, and people complaining about kids and dogs. And people complaining about people complaining about kids and dogs. And there is me in the midst of it all – serene, calm, totally at peace with the world – present, but not engaging in all this icky messiness.

And I just started to laugh. I mean, as if.

I just had to stop writing and laugh again: Ho ho ho!

And then I thought We are spiritual being having the human experience. And I actually got it. I am just having the human experience. And just like a Contiki tour, this experience will include joy and pain, satisfaction – and so many regrets. Ho ho!

I am going to feel feelings – all the bloody time! I am going to try and grasp onto some of the fun feelings and give myself a bloody great rope burn even though I know better!

That’s what humans do!

I am going to run away from pain, even though I know that pain cannot be run from and that I am running in circles and will eventually trip over the pain and stub my toe and really have something to cry about.

Sometimes, being human hurts.

And sometimes I will cry. Sometimes I will curse. Sometimes I will blame others for my predicaments. And then I will get exasperated with myself for not being more enlightened.  And then I will remember all over again, and I will laugh. Ho ho!

What a ride!

Ho ho ho – Merry Bloody Xmas!!

Snail
Eli Duke. Snail. CC BY-SA 2.0

We the forest

We are walking in the forest. It is cold and softly raining, but we are well dressed for the weather and the dense canopy above reduces that gentle rain to a fine mist. I am feeling happy and carefree, I want to skip and jump. You seem contemplative, quiet. After a few minutes we settle together into a calm and companionable silence.

The path ahead diverts around the buttress roots of one ancient tree. We stop at this giant, and I step over the buttress and lean in, pressing my palms against the damp bark. The bark is rough to touch. Close up I can see the rain seeping down the channels in the rough bark, to be delivered gently to the soil and the roots below. Standing here, I imagine those roots reaching down and down into the earth. The roots hold the tree to the earth, and in the process hold the soil to the hillside. The roots of this tree and the forest around it support the tree, support the earth, support you and me.

Deep underground, the roots of this tree also take nutrients from the soil. These nutrients are pulled upwards. They are pulled to the very top of the tree by the evaporation of water from the leaves. The tree is selecting elements from the soil and using them to build more tree. But the roots of this tree are also communicating with other trees nearby, sharing nutrients and chemical messages in a two-way collaborative network. This tree and the trees nearby are not just building themselves. They are building the forest. My palms are on the tree, touching the rough bark. But my mind is down with the roots and wonders whether ‘tree’ is just a human construct and there is only forest.

I turn my face to you. You are leaning backwards on the part of the forest we call ‘this tree.’ Your eyes are closed and you are smiling a gentle smile. Your warm breath makes a little mist as the moisture condenses in the cold air.

You and I, we are both breathing. We breathe in. We smell the damp and the earth and the forest. To me, the air smells green. To you, the air smells clean. We breathe in the air and take the oxygen that the forest has released in the process of photosynthesis. We breathe out.  The forest breathes our breath and in the process of photosynthesis it takes the carbon and creates more of itself. Some of this carbon is shared from tree to tree via the roots. The carbon that started in our bodies will nurture the entire forest.

We breathe the forest. The forest breathes we.

My palms are on the tree, I am breathing in my body but my mind is far above and below with the exchange of carbon and oxygen and I wonder whether ‘you’ and ‘I’ are just human constructs and there is only forest.

There is only forest.

We, the forest.

life by numbers

  1. Tribal dance collective soul
  2. Permaculture garden with aquaponics
  3. Publish my caring science meets info lit work and apply for PhD + scholarship
  4. Start a creative business
  5. Increase my Ipswich Urban Forest activism and tree planting

Last night I wrote a list of projects I would like to accomplish in a year. Then I used a random number generator and out popped:  #3. So that is what I’m up for!

I did this because I want to make a difference in the world but am so indecisive — the absolute definition of hot and cold — and end up spreading myself too thin and never really accomplishing anything. And weighing everything up and being logical about it all just leaves me paralysed and anxious. Bottom line is I don’t believe in order and logic, so needed a method that allows for a safe amount of chaos.

So this morning I went and planted out an eroded river bed with rushes, and tomorrow I will plant 14 gums and some native grasses at the same site … Prior commitments that I will not break. I’m giving myself till the end of October to slow the habitat work down, will limit my garden to just one more bed, and the dance to just weekly classes and practice at home … and there is a poetry class that I enrolled in months ago … you see my problem! But I promise to let it all wind down in September/October and get an conference abstract written up too … caring science & PhD, here I come!

Eucalyptus
Robert Anders. (2017). Eucalyptus. CC BY 2.0 … May the trees I plant tomorrow grow to be this magnificent!

gratitude #8/10

I am grateful for my body today.

So, I started a dance class a couple of weeks ago and I am pretty crap at it. Now my brain is a perfectionist – If I’m not immediately good at something I pack up and go home, but my body is a completely different beast – it just loves to move, it loves to try and fail and try again and practice the moves while washing up, watering the garden, carrying a shopping basket up and down the aisles at Aldi… Wherever, whenever, my body loves to MOVE. And eventually this joy is contagious and I find myself laughing with total joy and abandon as I flail about enthusiastically in class, and even more when I realise that I am moving in the opposite direction as everyone else. Hahaha!

What is not to love and appreciate about this marvellous joy machine that I have been blessed with?

This week my mulberries decided to get all dressed up!

 

20170907_065907
Beenleigh Black. CC BY 4.0

This week my mulberries decided to get all dressed up! I put them both in the ground last spring, and this the first year the black tree has fruited. It has also grown, and is just taller than me – about 6 foot.

In case you can’t tell from the photo, the fruit are sweet and super juicy! They also leave a violet stain on your hands.

gratitude #6/10

crested pigeon, minnippi parklands
Crested pigeon, Melanie J Cook. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Yesterday, on my third day of leave I sat in the long grass, in the shade of our callistemon and right next to the new chook run my daughter and I made the day before. I was exhausted from an hour’s digging, so I sat very still and quiet for a while. Still enough and for long enough to be approached by a pair of usually timid crested pigeons. They hopped, one at a time onto the chooks water container and had a little sip of water, just a hand’s breadth from me.

When I was young I thought these birds were drab beyond belief – just grey and beige and a few black stripes. Yesterday, I got to see them close enough to notice that their stripes are iridescent, purple and green flashing in the sun. The beige is like a blush shawl, dusted gently over the shoulders. These little birds are also delightfully dainty, especially when sitting among my fat hens.

I am grateful today for the beauty in the ordinary and for having taken the time to notice.

Thank you also Melanie J Cook for the beautiful photo.

 

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