Rhythms and Fire

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It has been a while since I have posted any musings. I find when my external world becomes full, I need to take more quiet to balance my internal world. For me, that translates to less time on social media. Reliably inconsistent would describe my way of showing up. However, I am ok with my unreliability ;)

Right now I am moved to speak about the shocking situation of fires burning in our province. 155 of them burning today, with 3000 courageous firefighters attending. Thousands of people and animals displaced, homes lost, wild creatures perishing. Heartbreaking, and staggering in size, with no end in sight to the weather conditions.

For me, the heaviness of the tragedy hovers in the background of daily life as I watch the smokey haze drift over the coastal mountains, washing the sunset with orange.

One thing that helps me is writing, and I am sharing an article I wrote at another time of great fires that was published in the Elephant Journal magazine.

It was a good reminder for me as I re-read it and I hope it offers a helpful perspective as we hold a vision of rain and peace for our land.

The forest was my sanctuary when I was very young. Summer afternoons were spent building homes for animals and sharing sandwich crumbs with birds. I would tell my dreams to the trees, as felt they had a magical way of making them come true.

Nature felt like my home, where I could distance myself from the overwhelming world. Then growing up happened, I became busy, distracted. Life took over, taking me from my enchanted forests.

Along with the overwhelm of daily life, there were worries about many things happening in the world, the reality of forest fires, eroding soil and dwindling water supplies. It left me searching for other perspectives to ease my worry about the state of the planet.

Many people feel that fire and natural disasters are wrong, and that our planet is ill. But do we know this is true?

I was curious about this when a friend introduced me to the Shamanic teacher Sandra Ingerman and I found myself spellbound by what she had to say.

She spoke about the need to have confidence that the Mother Earth has a way of correcting and re-balancing herself, even though we may not like how that looks.

Humans have populated the Earth, polluted her and have become unconscious of her rhythms; we live where her fires burn, her tornadoes strike, and where she is known to quake.

It was time to consider the water, land and creatures as our teachers, because apparently, we have much to learn.

Her words -

“It is who we become that changes the world and our environment, not what we do. Harmony within will create harmony without. So the true work is learning how to change our thoughts, attitudes and belief systems. We actually have to work with “ the alchemy of the soul” to really be able to change our inner environment, as our inner state of being will be reflected in the outer world.” - Sandra Ingerman

Could it be that the Earth is stronger, wiser and more resilient than I give her credit for?

Clearly, it was time for me to change my thinking on how I could contribute to helping the state of the planet, and this was about much, much more than picking up my trash.

Perhaps there was an important reason for slowing down enough to create deeper connections to people, the ocean, the forest and myself. About pausing long enough to smile at someone, to find peace while stuck in traffic, to become aware of my tendency to get down on myself and others.

There was a reason for me to explore my fear and sadness and stop pushing emotions aside, because the people around me, as well as the planet, could benefit from my smile rather than my fear or anger.

Then I remembered when I was young, when nature had been my closest companion. Maybe it was time to start talking to the trees again, exploring new ways to share my love for the Earth.

Now, I apologize to her. I tell her how sorry I am when I see her land being torn apart by mines, and her mountains stripped of forests. I know she hears me.

I apologized to myself for not shedding tears or speaking my truth when I needed to. I know my soul hears me.

I leave offerings for the Earth and send deep gratitude and reverence for the water and the sun. As I sprinkle them, I also send thanks to the people who put out the fires and clean pollution from the ocean. I know they will feel it.

I pray. My prayer is the joy I can feel when I imagine the smell of rain dampening the parched land on a summer evening. I move with this prayer, breathe it out, sending my peace and calm to the ocean and to the wind, to the spirits of the parched land. I send my blessings to the weather spirits and show them my vision of cool damp forests shining from the rain.

I allow myself to cry, to laugh and to express myself freely, so the Earth and I can help each other heal.

Finally, I teach my children and grandchildren to understand the rhythms of nature. To rest in winter, plant the seeds of their imagination in the spring and to receive energy from the summer sun.

Teach them to understand as they are more deeply connected to the earth they will still love her even when she creates fire, great winds and tidal waves.

And I remind them to remember to whisper their dreams to the trees.