It was only recently that I walked up close to stop and really see. The heart, mostly dark and charred probably struck by lightning, is bordered by what resembles two snakes, the guardians of treasure and sacred places in myth and story.
Reaching from the depths is a tiny hand of stubby bark-like fingers. The day I took this photo, the hand reached from a spider web as one finger pointed at me.
This day I also notice a yellow ribbon around the tree, not a statement of longing that a loved one at war return home, but a sign that the tree has been marked for extinction or trimming by power line crews.
The little bark hand reminds me of the heart, one's personal heart as well as the heart of the world and how they often reach for one another through strangers, family and events, often dark times, moving us to greater compassion.
The little hand beckons me to come sit in the darkness and learn rather than fear for in the darkness lives Mystery, the Unknown. In the depths, Wisdom waits.
I recall telling God after a traumatic speaking event in fifth grade that I would go to Africa, the Dark Continent, and do anything asked of me as long as I never had to speak in front of people ever again.
Much later in adult life, I suspected that instead of traveling to some far off country, my greatest mission was to go into the unknown regions of my personal Dark Continent, my unexplored heart-the sacred place inside of me.
Today I see this dark heart with the tiny hand emerging from the spider's web, calling me into the Unknown, to engage with the Mystery of these times and the Mystery that is my life. It is the hand calling me to have courage, the courage to enter my own dark insides and discern how they are connected to the greater web of life.
As for the yellow ribbon, I do not know the fate of this tree, but I do know it reaches out for us to come home for we are the ones who have been away. It reaches out for us to come home to who we really are so Love will not become extinct.
How do you experience or think of Mystery in your own life? How does the heart of the world speak to your heart? How do you consider your connection to the greater web of life?
Imagine the Shift if you allowed yourself to be called by the Mystery to an aspect of your own journey that you've avoided or set aside.
-Dawn! The Good News Muse, 15 November 2010
P.S. Later in the week, I met the man in whose yard the tree stands. Seeing my camera, he offered to take my photo and shared as well how he and his wife had already saved the tree from power line crews once. The energy of this couple balances those who raze trees seemingly thoughtlessly not appreciating their beauty or the fact that trees are the earth's lungs taking our CO2 and in turn giving off the Oxygen we need to breath.