Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Watching the Land Transform

It began to snow heavily here within the last couple of hours and I've been out on the porch every couple of minutes, simply watching and being with the rapid transformation of the land. A really major part of my spiritual practice, and one that's pretty difficult to discuss, not because I'm unwilling, but because we simply seem -- at least I simply seem -- to lack the words, is simply "being" with my own bit of Earth, listening to it, trying to grock it, experiencing it in all of its moods and moments, and relating outwards from my tiny space to the larger landbase/watershed of the Goddess Columbia. For me, it's this incredible privilege, an unearned honor, grace.

Two things struck me, and maybe neither of them makes a lot of sense to anyone except this batty old woman.

First, just as the snow was beginning to get heavy, I snuck out onto the inner edge of the deck and put out a bit more birdseed. The community of birds that hang out in my euonymus bush took immediate notice. As is often the case, the first bird or two brave enough to come that close to the porch were tiny birds. Once the larger mama cardinals watching from the euonymus saw that the tiny birds were safely scarfing up seeds, they braved it themselves. What's up with that? Are the tiny ones just braver, more driven by a desperate metabolism, stupider, what? And what is it that is so elementally satisfying about seeing birds in the snow? Is it simply reassuring to our mammal natures to know that they're still out there?

Second, there was, for just the shortest moment, a deep revelation to me about the relationship between this kind of Winter snowstorm and what goes on in the land all Summer. That's it. Just a moment, and not anything that I'm at all able to put into words, beyond that. But one thing that I have learned over the years is to pay attention to these momentary knowings. I've also learned that this kind of revelation will come back, happen several times, and grow a little bit each time. And, over time, they'll enrich me and my practice, become a part of what I just "know."

Does that ever happen to you?

Photo (from last year) by the author; if you copy, please link back.


Anonymous said...

Yes, I too have those moments. It is hard for me to find words to express them, and almost all of the time it just seems wrong to taint those moments with words. I feel as though it will never do justice to the experience, the feelings, all of it.

We had a beautiful snow here as well and will be out in a couple of hours throwing around some snowballs and attempting a snowman. Littleman is determined to make an 8 foot tall one....We'll see...
Beautiful post.

CousinLinda said...

This post really speaks to me. For the last year or so I've been feeling a strong, strong urge to get more in touch with the land around me. It seems like I can never spend enough time outside.

Truly a beautiful post, as Dark Mother said. We're expecting snow here in Southern Ontario tonight, and now I'm looking forward to it even more than I was before!