Friday, May 23, 2014

Options for Living from the Inner Well or Inner Hell

From March 2014.....

The first thing I noticed when I sat down this morning were two bundles of wisteria blossoms on the ground not far from where I sit most mornings in my small Nashville yard.  This struck me as odd as I'm accustomed to seeing the purple clusters hanging from the vine. These looked deliberately placed near my morning chair.  I laid them on a journal that I had brought outside to read.  Their long bunched bodies reminded me of people passing on a family tree.  Then I noticed those nearest the base had opened while those at the tip had not.

In the wisteria, I saw our options for living. 

As children, we come here open.  Some close early on never really opening again, I suspect, while others sooner or later find their way back to the openness of childhood.

I took a photo then suddenly from nowhere which is always somewhere tears arrived and I wept.  I had come upon my Heart's truth.

I want to always live open.  

I want to always live open yet I haven't and I don't all the time.  Living open for me means feeling and feeling means not only allowing in joy and delight but pain and sorrow as well.  People are cruel. They hurt the animals I love. They unconsciously bring harm to Mother Earth and at times they hurt the people I love too. Those I know and those I don't know have let me down as well.  Yet taking others personally, at least for me, creates an inner hell.

Feeling primes my heart's pump.  When I allow the sorrow and loss to flow, I also ultimately find peace, joy, and love flowing from my inner well.

When I fall, whether today or 10,000 today's away, I want to have shown up in my life like the wisteria in my yard.  I want to live open and connected to my inner well rather 
than in a self-created inner hell. 

I am so very grateful for the messages in Nature, simple yet profound, always surrounding us.

-Dawn, The Good News Muse, posted 20 May 2014

Chords of Love

I've not posted anything in awhile although I'm still writing..... and I just did an interview on "Voices of the Earth" with Carol Ohmart-Behan which I wanted to share.

It's available for a listen anytime at blogtalk radio.  Here's the link: Voices of the Earth

An hour before the interview, I was perusing my website and already aware of what I was going to share. Then a story got my attention from 3-4 years ago.  Interesting how things unfold and not as we plan.  I hope you'll take the time to give a listen or read "Chords of Love" which I'm reposting below. Hearing myself read the story aloud after having not read it in years, I was struck that this is also a story of allowing oneself to be stirred, even or especially when that stirring involves grief as my friend Tim opened himself to and in turn allowed me to.

Again here's the link: Voices of the Earth  and here's  the story in print as well as the continuation three years later.... Love, Dawn

Chords of Love 

When I’m fully present and aware (not distracted by things I think I have to do or am suppose to do), I’ve a sense of being at home inside myself. It’s in those moments that I hear, sense and see at another level the richer reality by which we’re all surrounded and in which we’re all connected.

For example, recently I stood at the stove cooking when my friend Tim’s music crossed my mind.  Thanks to Facebook, Tim and I have crossed paths again. Although we were in high school together we really didn’t know one other. (Can you really know another as teenagers when one hardly knows oneself?) Now over thirty years later, we’ve discovered we’re kindred spirits as we share a love of Nature.

About a month ago, Tim messaged me, requesting my phone number. He wanted me to hear a bit of music he had written. If I liked it, he’d in turn send me a cassette if of course I had a cassette player. I smiled. We’ve at least two or three along with cassettes we occasionally play.

Later that day, the light on my land line blinked alerting me to a new message. (Yes, we still have a land line too.) I pressed ‘play’ and heard these beautiful chords seeming to reach from Tim’s guitar out into the ethers, into the Universe.

A thought crossed my mind as I listened to the brief clip. I thought…

‘This would be soothing to the trees.’

I had no idea which or what trees, but I immediately emailed Tim and shared my impression. He enthusiastically wrote back “Yes, I’d love for you to play it to the trees!” and within days, the cassette arrived.

We had company so I set it aside but I didn’t forget. I sensed I needed to wait for the right time although I didn’t quite know what that meant.

The time arrived last week as I prepared lunch. I stood at the stove stirring when Tim’s cassette crossed my mind. 'Was this the time?' I wondered. 'And if so, why?'

Within seconds of my wondering, I knew. In a magical moment of profound beauty, I knew for I heard. I heard the chain saws.

Tree cutting crews had been roaming the neighborhood cutting the trees I connect and commune with on morning walks. As someone who deeply loves trees and also desires to hold the whole of our world including the tree cutters and loggers in a conscious, loving way, seeing and hearing trees being cut always evokes mixed and deep feeling.

That very morning as I drove Jerry to work, I had noticed two trees one block over stripped of all their branches. I was hurried and didn’t want to see. It was too early to be ‘stirred’ too early to be feeling deeply. I didn’t even walk that day due to the earlier snow. I came home and busied myself until that moment I stood in the kitchen cooking.

That's when Tim's music crossed my mind and suddenly I knew why. The two trees nearby were coming down as all the trees seemed to call to me, “It’s time. It is time.”

I put in the cassette, turned up the sound and imagined the trees as they were cut being comforted by the peaceful vibrations of Tim’s guitar. I felt the sounds reaching the trees all along Natchez Trace, trees now missing their limbs nearest the power lines as well as those that hadn’t been cut. I sensed them all finding comfort as members of their family left this physical plane.

I felt them being soothed by the chords of Tim’s guitar as musical vibrations reached the trees in a beautiful chain of connectedness.

I want to play Tim's music again while walking down my street. I want to play it in honor of the rolling country hillsides where trees are logged daily in our home county not faraway. I want them to feel the vibration of beautiful music as they give their lives to become floors, press board and beams in walls, as they, the trees, become our homes.

I envision ribbons of loving sound reaching around the Earth, wrapping in the vibration of love the great Sequoias and Redwoods of the West Coast as well as the tree covered Appalachians and Adirondacks. I envision all the trees and people on Earth feeling joy and gratitude for the dance that we share, human and nature, connected by the heart's vibration, connected in loving appreciation.

This magical moment while stirring at my stove reminds me there are no ordinary moments. We are surrounded by a much richer reality in which we're invited to engage as we’re present and allow ourselves to be stirred.

Tim’s allowing his heart to be stirred is what originally birthed the piece he shared with me. I learned as we continued to exchange messages that Tim's longing to connect with his deceased wife prompted him to play the guitar chords that resonated with his heart’s chords. These sounds in turn resonated with my heart and my love for the trees. (Is it a coincidence that cords of wood heat many homes?)

What beauty! Tim's yearning to connect, reaching for his beloved, allowed me to connect with my beloveds, the trees.

We humans get entangled debating global warming, the whys and why-nots and the right use of resources. I’m not saying that’s not important but it’s just as vital that we stop our side-taking and remember we are instruments of loving vibration walking Earth.

Nature, the trees, plants and animals, benefit most from our gratitude, from an awake heart, the source of Tim’s music and the source of all beauty.

In times that can seem dark, the world is made lighter by the chords of love connecting us all. 

P.S. The next day, I walked Natchez Trace with my clunky hand held cassette player with the volume up so Tim's music could be heard by the trees. I continued this ritual repeatedly and then then story continued..... 

-Dawn! The Good News Muse
23 May 2014 
first posted 20 December 2010

Chords of Love (Three Years Later) 

At times I hear folks comment that they just don't understand, care for or like facebook.  I share this story because it's an example of the beautiful connections that can be found on facebook and the ripples around our world that result from those connections.

This morning I found a guitar piece sent to my phone last night from my friend Tim.  Tim and I have reconnected through face book after having known each other in high school, although we really didn't know one another.  I hurriedly listened to the piece not taking in the title nor the accompanying photo.  My first thought was, 'Tim's sent me another piece that should be played for the trees.'

Then I rushed out the door to the dentist a short drive away down Woodlawn.  I rounded the corner to see traffic backed up only to discover one of the oldest trees in the neighborhood being trimmed to half its size.  I feared it's coming down. 

If I hadn't been in a hurry I would have stopped to play Tim's song to it.  Instead I drove on trying to send loving energy to the tree and the men disassembling it piece by piece. As I drove past under my breath I said, "F#@#$%" then I quickly took it back knowing that whatever I send out comes back around to me.  It is hard for me to see trees coming down especially in the name of safety when there are so many other 'unsafe' things like chemicals in the water and air and the junk folks are fed that don't get addressed.

I made it home from my appointment just in time to start work, but left again later in the day to run an errand.  I made myself drive by the tree rather than take my usual route.  The tree was still coming down and I could not stop. Yet I determined then and there to return.

Tim's photo
At 8:30 tonight I picked up my phone to play Tim's song. That's when I noticed the beautiful accompanying photo of trees and the title to the piece - "To the Top."  How perfect was this given the height of the tree and the fact that the top was coming down? It was no accident Tim sent me this song and I had thought of trees.

Jerry and I drove down Woodlawn.  I placed special oils on the trunk then stood at its massive base.  I asked its forgiveness for humankind's negligence and ignoring all the tree life especially my contribution to that negligence.  I told it how much it was loved and as I did I played Tim's piece for it again and again imagining its chords reaching all the way "To the Top."

As I looked up, the moon and the three stars of Orion's belt were perfectly situated in the middle of the two trunks.  This was the perfect reminder that not only are we connected to one another and the trees but also to the moon and stars.

The vibration of music connects us. Music is the language of the stars that speaks to the trees and our hearts. 
-Dawn, The Good News Muse,
23 May 2014
first posted 20 Feb. 2013

Monday, May 5, 2014

Migration and McDawn's - Thoughts on Ecology, Birds and Humankind

(After having not written in awhile-that's another story-I came on-line looking for another piece and instead found this one.  Evidently I've been mesmerized by robins for quite sometime.  I reread this and realized I needed my own messages again.  So this is for me and possibly you......)

Robin symbolizes the spread of new growth.  
(from Animal-Speak by Ted Andrews)

Day 1:  At first they are one great big happy family having made it from afar. Finding and feeling homecoming in the hack berry trees, robins eat and expel berries onto my home, yard and car. They entertain my cats and mesmerize me. Everyone gets along.

Day 2: Relief sets in from having survived the trip.  Exhaustion and fear abate. A back and forth begins.  At times the robins chest bump, staking out certain spots in my small Nashville terrain. They claim territory, ascertaining which square foot will yield the highest quotient of worms.

Day 3:  Human complaints begin to be heard.  Hack berry deposits dot cars everywhere.  I expect to hear an announcement by the CDC warning of robin-spread disease.  I imagine entrepreneurs brain-storming how a quick buck might be made off this sudden boost in birds as was tried with the cicada 'invasion' two years ago.

Meanwhile I sit outside every morning taking in robin's presence and song.  I imagine their sharing energy with me. And for some odd reason, at one random moment I take Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" from my shelf and open it.  I have never read it through.  I open it to a page referencing robins. Hmmm.

"For each of us, as for the robin in Michigan or the salmon in the Miramichi, this is a problem 
of ecology, of interrelationships, of interdependence.  We spray our elms and the following 
springs are silent of robin song, not because we sprayed the robins directly but because 
the poison traveled step by step, through the now familiar elm leaf-earthworm-robin cycle.
They reflect the web of life - or death- that scientists know as ecology." p.189

I look in the index and find a chapter about the spraying of DDT in the 50's to kill the bark beetle attacking elm trees.  Twenty three pounds of DDT were sprayed per acre where elms were numerous. This killed the 'bad' beetle and other beneficial organisms, insects, spiders and bugs on the trees.  DDT covered the leaves. Rains did not wash it away. Instead when leaves fell to the ground, the poison became one with the soil, toxic leaves were eaten by earthworms, which were eaten by the robins who then ended up dead or sterile. 

I read this and feel joy and relief.  Surely Rachel Carson would be happy because of the hundreds of robins gathered in my trees.  Then I went about my day quietly aware I had not been outside as much. I had not savored the robins.  I told myself I would go out the next day.  

Day 4:  I knew the masses were AWOL even before daybreak. The enormous chorus in the trees was replaced by a lone wren singing around the boundary of my house. Something sent the robins away.  Possibly the overnight rain and cooler temperatures prompted their travels onward.  Five remain hopping about my back yard while the wren sang for over an hour, announcing I imagined to the bird world that our feeders were again available and free.

Although robins do not eat bird seed, their presence had caused the relocation of chickadees, finches, nuthatches, titmice, cardinals and sparrows. Even the squirrels and one lone blue jay had evacuated our yard to where I've wondered all week. I have felt such joy in robin's presence while simultaneously longing for the other birds.

I never dreamed the robins would leave overnight. Or maybe I did.  Was this why I was quietly mindful yesterday that I had not been outside as much though I had the time?

I knew they would eventually leave but not last night.  How often does someone or something leave our life or an experience pass and we wish for one moment more to savor or say something unsaid.

An hour into Day 4: As I lay down my pen, five brown and rust robin bodies bob about the yard. Their up and down reminds me of  rigs seeking oil from Mother Earth except the robins are seeking earthworms.

Worms! That's it! How did I forget the night crawlers?

Watching the robins this morning bob about my yard, I suddenly remember last summers long, hot drought causing our yard to be so hard. Watching the robins come up empty beaked day after day prompted me to invest in night crawlers. I repeatedly bought three containers at a time that I would keep refrigerated. 

Each day I would offer up 2-3 of the largest worms to the family that had been born in the shrub by my back door now growing up all around my house.  Not wanting to make the feeding easy (or in tea party terms be seen as giving hand-outs ... and I'm not a tea party-er), I would cover the worms in dirt.

Whereas some people check their phones repeatedly, I checked my yard. I walked to the windows and I walked to the door most often finding an adult robin with a worm half her size hanging from her beak, being chased by youngsters that would gradually be fed the night crawler.

Eventually the young ones would stand by the bobbing adult modeling the way to find food.  This went on for a month. Meanwhile I the watcher would be filled with joy and relief hoping my simple efforts kept the robins alive.

Today I wonder if I unintentionally impacted the robins migratory pattern offering fat juicy night crawlers.  Did some unknown hormone fatten these words the robins fed on and draw them here again. As much as I don't like fast food, did I build a robin fast food McDawn's for the robins?  Would Rachel Carson judge me?

Two hours into Day 4:  A handful of robins bob about yet they are joined by squirrels, doves and all the usual birds. The robin chorus has been replaced by the wren who's notes are accompanied by sounds of dove and blue jay.

As I reflect upon this robin-filled week, the Soul's migration to Earth comes to mind.  I suspect we arrive at first, like the robins, having made it from afar with the idea of being one great big happy family.  There's much singing, a homecoming of sorts to be had on beautiful Earth.  Young child souls like the robins initially in my yard certainly get along much better than before they begin to grow.

As time passes as happened this week, we begin jostling and pushing seeking our equivalent of worms and nesting overcrowding certain areas, rooting out those here before us.

Over eons, this great migratory dance of Souls has unfolded as the Soul of the Universe seeks its fullest expression, a hoped-for feathered balance with Time's passing.  

Three hours into Day 4: In the brief time it's taken me to to wake up, putz, write, clean up, tinker with and post this story, the birds and squirrels at my feeder have for the most part been replaced by a handful of starlings frantically moving about the ground pecking at millet and such.

Their blackness reminds me of Mystery.

Normally I would tap on the window and send them flying.  This morning, I watch.  I am reminded of ecology, the invisible web through which we're connected, the Mystery of which we are all a part.

I watch in awe and honor these winged messengers, black, brown, red, tan, singers to my Soul informing me of the interconnected web being weaved on this spot of land I call home.

-Dawn, The Good News Muse
5 May 2014
8 February 2013