We are blessed with another spring! I welcome the waters that begin to seep into the long frozen underground. Roots are stirring and seeds are popping! Soon they will provide a bounty of gifts. All life is triggered by more light, even us.
I like to play a little game with myself each time I step outside, during this change of seasons. What was not here yesterday?
• Is that a new bird singing?
• What has sprouted?
• What is moving around in the forest?
I always hear and see something new.
I will take time to gather a meal of Fiddleheads down by the river and as I pick, I will listen to the water talk to the land and after I am done, will spread a blanket for a picnic and stay a while. And, sometime soon, a first meal of wild greens… Dandelions. It’s like eating the sun and wind and soil. It is food medicine! When you eat wild foods, taken carefully from the Earth, it puts a bit of the wild back inside you. Our bodies need this “right way” of perfectly blended nourishment, direct from the Earth---eliminating the middleman.
Wild ramps are a great spring tonic. I have a relationship with the place I harvest them. I strive to be mindful, and not take too many. Always leave twice as much as you take. Never waste. I take just enough for a couple of meals.
These places have so much to teach.
The 200-year-old Bur Oak in my back yard has withstood all those years of weather, drought, flood, sheep pastured, wild critters crawling up and down it, all the people who ever crossed its path or sat in its shade. I love this tree. There are times when I go to it and whisper, “ Old One, I am still here!” (I worked on many levels to get to this little piece of land and dreamed of having a chance to care for it as those before me did. I am here!) There are many branches dying on the old oak now, and I wonder what is happening. It will probably still outlive me.
Frog song, denning Foxes, swelling buds, daffodils, the joyous return of birds! The hum and hiss of newness, birthing. Warm winds: the sweet breath of spring!
It seems the time I am most in touch with my spirit is when I am exploring in the wild. It might happen when I am on my hands and knees, feeling the richness of the earth beneath my body, looking and watching small forms of life. Nature does this to me; it is a solid line of connection to my inner spirit. Suddenly I am filled with peace and energy, and life is full of deep meaning. I am fully alive.
Here is a fun exercise to help you become more connected to what is around you in nature.
Try not to let ego lead you to skepticism. Allow yourself to learn what you can from what you sense. (Ole ego will “harsh your mellow”, steal your joy!)
First, go outside! And...
Find a medium-size stone that attracts you, speaks to you. Examine its surface, each character. In a quiet space, close your eyes and hold the stone in both hands. Move it around to feel every part of its surface. Smell it. Feel the exchange as it absorbs your body’s heat or transfers its temperature to your hands. With your imagination and inner vision, enter the stone. Allow the area inside to expand. It has become a vast chamber. Be aware of your experience inside. What do you sense? What do you hear? Think about the force that attracted the two of you. This simple meditation can strengthen your awareness, if nothing else. Remember to keep your ego in check so it doesn’t sabotage the flow of discovery. There is a mighty force that is involved in forming a stone. Some of it must linger throughout the passing of time, if only we are sentient enough to feel it. This exercise can become a mini practice with anything. You don’t have to have hands on, to explore. “There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the earth.”
I welcome the sweet parade of spring and have plans to meet with so many bits of the wild coming into regeneration!
Once again we shall
See the snow melt
Taste the flowing sap
Touch the budding seeds
Smell the whitening flowers
Know the renewal of life.
-from an Anishinaabeg (Ojibway) thanksgiving for Spring