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Archive for May, 2014

Praise for gracing us with Maya Angelou. What a model for living life with your true heart and soul! You didn’t just triumph over adversity, you took a whole world along with you – leaving inspiration in your wake. I honor you today, Maya Angelou.

Those who were old enough to watch Maya Angelou recite this poem, written especially for the Presidential inaugruation of 1993, were no doubt also filled with hope and the promise of a fresh start, fellowship, and a new beginning.  Few could watch and listen without tearing up.

 

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A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed,
Mark the mastodon.
The dinosaur, who left dry tokens
Of their sojourn here
On our planet floor,
Any broad alarm of their hastening doom
Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.
But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,
Come, you may stand upon my
Back and face your distant destiny,
But seek no haven in my shadow.
I will give you no hiding place down here.
You, created only a little lower than
The angels, have crouched too long in
The bruising darkness,
Have lain too long
Face down in ignorance.
Your mouths spelling words
Armed for slaughter.
The rock cries out today, you may stand on me,
But do not hide your face.
Across the wall of the world,
A river sings a beautiful song,
Come rest here by my side.
Each of you a bordered country,
Delicate and strangely made proud,
Yet thrusting perpetually under siege.
Your armed struggles for profit
Have left collars of waste upon
My shore, currents of debris upon my breast.
Yet, today I call you to my riverside,
If you will study war no more.
Come, clad in peace and I will sing the songs
The Creator gave to me when I
And the tree and stone were one.
Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your brow
And when you yet knew you still knew nothing.
The river sings and sings on.
There is a true yearning to respond to
The singing river and the wise rock.
So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew,
The African and Native American, the Sioux,
The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek,
The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh,
The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher,
The privileged, the homeless, the teacher.
They hear. They all hear
The speaking of the tree.
Today, the first and last of every tree
Speaks to humankind. Come to me, here beside the river.
Plant yourself beside me, here beside the river.
Each of you, descendant of some passed on
Traveller, has been paid for.
You, who gave me my first name,
You Pawnee, Apache and Seneca,
You Cherokee Nation, who rested with me,
Then forced on bloody feet,
Left me to the employment of other seekers–
Desperate for gain, starving for gold.
You, the Turk, the Swede, the German, the Scot…
You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru,
Bought, sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare
Praying for a dream.
Here, root yourselves beside me.
I am the tree planted by the river,
Which will not be moved.
I, the rock, I the river, I the tree
I am yours–your passages have been paid.
Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need
For this bright morning dawning for you.
History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, and if faced with courage,
Need not be lived again.
Lift up your eyes upon
The day breaking for you.
Give birth again
To the dream.
Women, children, men,
Take it into the palms of your hands.
Mold it into the shape of your most
Private need. Sculpt it into
The image of your most public self.
Lift up your hearts.
Each new hour holds new chances
For new beginnings.
Do not be wedded forever
To fear, yoked eternally
To brutishness.
The horizon leans forward,
Offering you space to place new steps of change.
Here, on the pulse of this fine day
You may have the courage
To look up and out upon me,
The rock, the river, the tree, your country.
No less to Midas than the mendicant.
No less to you now than the mastodon then.
Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister’s eyes,
Into your brother’s face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope
Good morning.

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Knowing

Elwha-River-log-Scott-Church-copy

 

I continue to read “Talking with Nature/Journey into Nature” by Michael Roads. Again, I’ll quote from him below.  This passage is about doubt and faith.

I highly recommend this book for all those who have a deep connection with nature.  He channels the wisdom of nature throughout this book, although he never labels it that.  This passage is from his talk with a river one day:

“Doubt is the part of your mind which fights to retain control.  Doubt seeks to speculate and, from speculation, to walk a known path.

You cannot do this and enter a higher conscious awareness.  There is no room for doubt, no place for doubt to express its fear.  …Faith knows not, nor seeks to know, for in faith this moment is complete.

The path of faith is a journey beyond time, space, or dimensional limitations.

The mind may not go ahead seeking to make the way known.  Instead, the mind is controlled, neither by leash nor techniques, but by the faith of this moment’s “knowing”.

Please understand.  Known is the past, while “knowing” is only of this moment, the eternal “now”.

Can you accept a challenge of this magnitude?”

To be sure, he’s not writing of the faith that “knows” a specific outcome for whatever it is that our heart desires.  The river holds no doubt or fears that it will spill over its banks one day, or dry up and become parched, cracked earth.  No … the river, the trees, the flowers, the clouds, and on and on, live in this sacred, grace-filled moment.  Fear, vulnerability, the need for safety and specific outcomes don’t exist here.  To live, to die, to be re-born in all its many shapes and flavors, is to always be an expression of All That Is.  Faith is to relax and soften into this infinite circle of knowing.

When in doubt, be with a tree, or a stream or anything that lives in the fluidity of this immeasurable moment.

 

 

 

 

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Mt-Rainier

 

My post Mother’s Day blessing ~

To honor the mother of all: Mother Nature. She has fed us well with her bounty and her beauty. There is no concept of lack or not enough, all is provided for in perfect balance and harmony.

Here, I am surrounded by church. I worship here at the church of the great Blue Herons, church of the rainforest, church of the volcanoes, church of the take-your-breath-away Mt. Rainier, church of the Pacific waters, church of the old forests, church of the snow covered mountains, church of the year round blossoms.

All That Is made manifest in the veins of one singular leaf, in the grand magnificent design of even just one flower petal. How could I not weep for joy at all that you have bestowed on us?!

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river_bridge

A dear friend of mine recommended a book she was reading – “Talking with Nature ~ Journey into Nature”. Of course I love all things about nature and ordered it, expecting it to be about, well … nature.

It arrived in the mail today. I randomly opened it to one page, read a few sentences and felt the truth of it at such a deep level, tears welled up. I opened to another page, and thought: wow! Another page, and I uttered to myself – holy sh*t! Here I am folding laundry trying to simultaneously hold the book open and do the tasks at hand, that’s how excited I was to dive into it.

So I decided to begin from the beginning. And again, a few pages in, I cried again. Trust and letting go are such easy concepts to banter about, yet when everything we hold dear in the world is on the line, not so easy after all.

So I’ll quote you a bit from the first few pages and let’s see where it goes. I’m sure there will be much more to quote from down the road.

“Let go and fall into the river.
Let the river of life sweep you beyond all aid from old and worn concepts.
I will support you.
Trust me.
As you swim from an old consciousness, blind to higher realities beyond your physical world, trust that I will guide you with care and love into a new stream of consciousness.
I will open a new world before you.
Can you trust me enough to let go of the known, and swim in an unknown current?”
Talking with Nature ~ Journey into Nature by Michael J. Roads

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