Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Exploring the Underworld - Cicada's Surprise

Two weeks ago I awoke with the word Undertaker going through my mind. I began a story and journey that's still in process.  This morning I came outside and at the top of a notebook page wrote the word: Underworld to stir the prior story.

A little guy (or girl) found late last summer after the 13 yr brood.
Instead summer cicadas began to do their thing, that rain stick, rattle and shaking sound.  The vibration from their sound reached my chest and rattled my heart.  I got rattled and wrote this prayer of sorts.

"Healing shamans in the trees on high, you come from the underworld to rattle my heart.  Shake open what's there, the unexplored past, the unexplored parts of my own Underworld."

Imagine the Shift of exploring your underworld. 

What assistance do you have in the animals, Nature, friends or experiences to help you delve into the dark, the shadow or unexplored?
-Dawn, The Good News Muse 25 July 2012

Imagine the Shift - Nature heals me. I heal Nature.

I so love the fact that I can be physically feeling not so good then glimpse the rising sun's light on the green world outdoors, hear the call of woodpecker high in a neighboring tree or hear and see the tiny wren belting out a song just outside my window and my achy head, sore throat, whatever's-trying-to-get-me looses its hold. 

Sight and sound on the outside birth a shift on the inside.
This shift reminds me Nature and I are One.
We are beauty, peace and love. 

Nature heals me.
I heal Nature.

Grace-filled reciprocity. 
Imagine the Shift ! 

I didn't get this week's wren on video but this dear wing one and many siblings shared this planter as a crib two summer's ago. It was the last to leave home. Enjoy 

-Dawn, The Good News Muse  25 July 2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Beauty Without, Beauty Within - The Shift

Early this morning I came outside to ensure the bird feeders were filled for the day. I scattered corn in two areas for the crows and squirrels and maybe the lone deer I've seen around the neighbor's house.  The deer, alarmed by hunters, builders or things unseen, virtually disappeared last year compared to the year prior when I could look out my window to find several most weekend evenings.

Coming outside prompts a stirring in me and I didn't even know I needed to be stirred.  When I am tending, something shifts. Ensuring the animals are fed especially in times of drought, seeing Summer's first Surprise Lily emerge overnight from seemingly nowhere, knowing a deer's around or finding green in the yard where last week there was drought brown - all these things feed me and remind me of who I am.

When I engage out of want to and not have to whether I'm inside or out, living prompts a shift.  In the beauty around me, I'm reminded of the beauty within. Noticing Nature awakens me and through feeding the animals, I'm fed.

What awakens and feeds you?  Imagine the Shift.
-Dawn, The Good News Muse, 18 July 2012

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Golden Hearts & Golden Hands - The Return of the Divine

(Over the weekend I shared one aspect of the story below with another animal-lover involved in the rescue community.  We first met a year ago while stopped for lunch in her North Carolina town.  I thought of my recent experience as she shared discouragement in relation to the various attitudes she encounters towards animals.  As I heard myself relating what follows I wondered why I had not written of this experience. Whatever the case and cause, I decided this was another of those simple stories that I need to share, yes, need to because whether others consider or even read what I write, I need to be reminded daily of these things. )

It was the afternoon of June 11 and exhaustion suddenly overcame me.   As soon as I closed my eyes, I saw an eye, a woman’s eye.  She had not appeared to me for some time.  This time though her eye was closed.  Within seconds she vanished then returned again with her eye open.  The eye was quickly followed by a raccoon’s masked face which was joined by another. Two raccoons whose faces struck me as young remained in my field of vision then vanished as a golden hand its palm facing upward extending from me as if I were offering my hand to someone or something.  

I had seen raccoon eyes and the eye before but never a golden hand.   I noted this series of images before returning to work.  

Just over two weeks passed when I was returning from my morning walk and heard my name called.   It was Judy from a few houses down standing in the yard calling out that she had an emergency.   She was animated as she called me but not in a panicked way. 

As soon as I heard her say, “two baby raccoons” I smiled inside knowing this was connected to the vision.   Curled up in a plastic milk crate by another neighbor’s side door were two very young raccoons fast asleep.  Three of us agreed it was wise to leave them in hopes the mother would return.  I was relieved yet curious and torn. This was the time of day usually reserved for my writing, time easily filled with distractions.  It was all I could do to stay focused and not intervene yet not intervening felt right.  

The next morning I discovered the raccoons were gone.  Judy and I both cheered and I went about my day wondering how this was connected with the vision.  

I learned the prior day’s events were a prelude to the rest of the story when Judy called again.  The raccoons had been found in the yard of our newest neighbor who swiftly hired an animal trapping service.  A man had already arrived and for several hundred dollars caught one of the babies and left baited traps for the remaining one which had climbed a tree.   A third neighbor asked the man what he would do with the baby and was told he would abide by federal guidelines. When asked if this meant he would kill it, he only reiterated that he would follow guidelines.  This neighbor looked up the guidelines and found them fuzzy to say the least.  I then learned one local trapper uses the raccoons he traps to train his hunting dogs.  This made me sick.  

If you don’t know me you may think this dramatic, but I was heartbroken.  In the two weeks between the vision and this day, a baby robin Judy found and I had been feeding died, one that I was taking to Walden’s Puddle the area rehabilitation center for injured wild animals and Jerry had just found a baby bat dead in our yard.  I noted in my journal “Sometimes life feels unbearable.”    

I weighed whether I was to intervene and call the neighbor.  What if he was upset and told me to butt out?  This was someone I would be living next door to for who knows how long.  Judy persisted and called someone in the neighborhood that traps feral cats for spaying.  I was in my raised beds trying to dig my sorrow away when Judy and Cici arrived with a trap.  I feared it was too small but agreed to set it overnight in hopes of beating the business man to the other baby.  

The next morning my trap was empty and I felt panic.  To ignore calling the neighbor felt like I was ignoring the vision.  I had to reach out to my neighbor.  

I suspect some people in small towns, like the one in which I grew up, think urban folk don’t know their neighbors.  This may be true for some neighborhoods but not Westwood.   Six households in my little neck of the woods have been occupied by the same residents for going on twenty years with Judy having lived there much longer and the neighbors on either side of me for around eight years each.  We have an unofficial neighborhood watch when it comes to one another.  Our watch includes animals.   We’re accustomed to raccoons and opossums navigating our yards at night.   The new neighbor wasn’t.   He was frightened; concerned the raccoons would try to nest under his house. 

I offered to pay half of the fee he had already paid if he’d give me the baby assuming it had been caught.  He confirmed it was trapped and the trapper had been alerted.  When he heard of Walden’s Puddle though he quickly told me to get the baby if it was still there.   

Can you feel how elated I was when I found these dear eyes looking at me?  

Yet another neighbor helped me get the raccoon to a carrier she had and with the raccoon in the front seat I made the thirty minute drive singing most of the way.  I sang and this dear, dear animal made a chirping, purring sound in return like one of my cats when she’s extremely content.   It seemed the raccoon was singing back to me.    

I’ve heard of Walden’s Puddle for years but had never taken an animal there.  As I handed over the raccoon and made a donation, a woman walked in with a severely dehydrated fawn in her arms.   It had been in the middle of the highway when she came upon it in her car. It didn’t budge even when she got out of her car and walked up to it.  The staff immediately took it and I walked out knowing I had found heaven on Earth.  

I drove away thinking of the song “We’ve got to get back to the garden” knowing Earth is the garden and Walden’s Puddle is a special part of this heaven that’s Earth.  

I called the neighborhood network to share my success and thank them for their help only to learn the trapper was not only upset someone had gotten the raccoon but was now trying to catch the mother.  The neighbor had signed a 7 day contract and for whatever reason couldn’t or didn’t tell the man to not return even though the man had been paid in advance.

I called a trapper associated with Walden’s Puddle to see what he charged in situations such as this.  Three hundred dollars was the discounted rate since the mother wasn’t in an attic or crawl space.  (I’m  in the wrong line of work!!)  I stopped at the neighborhood hardware store to look into the cost of a large humane trap.  I learned Dwight and his sons at Hillsboro Hardware are part of my tribe too as they shared of rescuing bunnies from their yards so their dogs couldn’t get them.  

And as I paid for a trap, I heard playing on the store radio, “We’ve got to get back to the garden.”   The Universal ipod confirmed my journey.  I’m one of those people that know a line to a song but never the entire song and when I think I do I discover I don’t know the real lyrics at all.  Before leaving the parking lot, I looked the lyrics up on line to read as you probably know the line that goes:   We are golden.   

My neighbors are golden as is my new neighbor.  He agreed that if I used my trap, I could trip his rendering it harmless each night.  

Three mornings later I awoke to find the adolescent mother in my trap.  Unlike her baby she was initially very upset.   She growled fiercely as I consoled her.  I squatted by the cage and said:  I know it’s scary. Life on Earth gets hard.  When humans don’t understand the heart, it gets hard. Life gets hard and the heart gets hard.”   I made the chirping sound the way its baby had talked to me hoping it would understand.  That’s the language your baby made.   It’s your first language.  I love you and am so sorry for what people have done to you.” 

At first as I spoke, the raccoon’s ears trembled.  Then I realized I had my journal in front of me, like a shield over my heart. I lay my journal aside and something shifted.  You may think it was in my mind but I saw the shift in the raccoon’s eyes.  

I drove again from Nashville this time with a raccoon in my back seat and although it never chirped to me, it never growled after that first time.  

What I ‘got’ during this drive and what I underscored with my friend over the weekend is something I repeatedly am taught by the animals I encounter.   I was so happy loving this animal yet suddenly I realized there was a deeper love than mine in the car.  This animal I realized loved me more than I could fathom, more than I loved it.  We shared a bond that went beyond the moment.  I knew it appreciated my caring for it but most of all for caring for her babies.  

She seemed to say, “Thank you for extending the golden hand of your heart to my child and me.” 

The animals come here because they love us so.  They keep coming to Earth because they have a hope in us that many of us don’t even have in ourselves.  They are here partnering with us in this time of an unfolding great Mystery involving the waking up of the Divine Feminine.   They offer themselves to us in hopes that we might realize who we are. 

Who are we?  Many of us are golden.  We carry a golden heart from which we can at any moment extend a golden hand.   This is our first language when young yet we like the animals trade trust and love for defensiveness and hostility, masking our fear like the mother raccoon’s initial growl masked her trembling ears.  

What I know about myself, which may or may not be true for you, is when I stop extending myself be it to people or to the animals my heart starts to disconnect then gradually tune out and harden.  

All of us with golden hearts must continue extending ourselves, offering a hand to one another, those we don’t know or think we know, to the animals and to Nature.  To do otherwise means we miss our reason for being alive.  To do otherwise, means we miss our role in this return of the Divine.
-Dawn, The Good News Muse 17 July 2012
For more information on Walden’s Puddle here’s the link:   Walden’s Puddle

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Reflection? Window. - The Energy We Hold

This morning as I walked down the street I glanced into a puddle to see looking back at me the trees. Instantly I knew what I've previously thought of as a reflection was this morning a window, a window into the under world, the other world where trees and their energy reside.

Trees were abundant here once upon a time in this very spot long before European man arrived or Native man roamed. 

I was being reminded the energy of these trees reside in this soil, in Mother Earth even though we cover her with asphalt and concrete.  I was being reminded the trees and their energy live in my being even when I forget and neglect these treasures I hold.  

Now hours later I wonder if I was also being shown a window into the future when trees and all things green and growing will flourish here again? 

I'm grateful for this dance of water, earth and energy on Earth and that a glance revealed a window into the past, a looking glass into the future and a mirror as to what I hold.  You hold it too.

-Dawn, The Good News Muse 10 July 2012

Monday, July 9, 2012

I Walk with Baskets - What About You?

I’ve never had a Native American name at least in this life but this morning mine is “Walks with Baskets.”  Down Natchez Trace and round the corner a few houses up near the Blakemore church, I came upon three wire baskets stacked on top of each other on the sidewalk.  I saw the homeowner in her back yard and shouted: Are you getting rid of these? 

Nora who introduced herself said, “Yes” and asked my name.  We talked momentarily about the new fence around her home and how I often see her dog then I walked a half-mile with three baskets in hand. 

It is on this walk along Natchez Trace that my basket is filled most mornings as the trees share their love with me and I with them, the birds serenade and share secrets and I honor animals I come upon whose lives have met an early ending.  It is on this walk that I meet strangers who often feel like kin.  At times they’re working in their yard like my neighbor last week down the street; others are walking to work or with their dogs.  They too have baskets from which they share as I share with them.      
We all walk with baskets on this journey. As children we enter Earth with baskets filled with wonder, imagination, curiosity and love.  Far too soon this stuff of magic begins to be replaced by the stuff of our familial and societal baskets related to limitation, control and fear.  When we’re young we don’t realize our parents once had baskets filled with magic that came to be emptied through schooling, disappointment, trauma and fear. 

At times my basket feels empty.  When I’m aware of this I usually discover that tucked away in the lining of my basket somewhere is a limiting belief related to mistrust or scarcity, there not being enough, or that I have to work harder to deserve the good stuff called love. 

Fortunately this isn’t how the story has to end.  This earthly journey is laced with grace.

When my basket is empty, feels heavy and hard, I get myself into Nature even if it’s momentary to watch a bird or really see a tree. I interact with a neighbor, take one of my walks, be with, really be with, my cats or cook a simple meal and this creates the shift. 

There is an abundance of goodness on this planet, an abundance of goodness, love and energy from which my basket can always be filled.  I’m not saying life’s not hard or sad. Goodness knows I know that but even in the harsh times we can walk with baskets of appreciation and joy and ask for help from others when it seems there just isn’t good stuff to be felt.

Today I walk with baskets. What about you?  

Imagine the shift of releasing the negatives in your basket and allowing your baskets to be emptied and filled by the wonders of this world.

-Dawn, The Good News Muse 9 July 2012

* Thank you Nora, Ginger, Judy, Clare and James for being allies in my journey 
and for filling my basket. I hope I help fill yours.*

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Dream Catchers - The Unremembered Dream

This morning I had a vision of what initially reminded me of an intricate spider web or the center of yellow flowers I saw last summer.  It was unusual because this glistening image of white light had a large star fish in the center.  I recorded what I saw then went to sleep.  We had gotten up before daybreak to bless the trees and plants with sacred water from Glastonbury Well.

Rituals for me are usually spontaneous and arise from intuition. I had read yesterday that early today the planets Jupiter and Venus would be near the Pleiades star system and Aldebaran, the star that's the eye of the bull.  This seemed like a good time to bless everything.  We misted and blessed the trees and plants in our yard and a few in the neighboring yards then I stood on the deck and did the same toward the valley south and west.  As part of the ritual I heard myself ask that Earth remember its dream.

Having been up early, once we came in I lay down.  This is when the vision came then I feel asleep. 

Upon waking I listened to the recording. Immediately knew I was seeing a Dream Catcher.  I thought about my prayer of remembrance and realized I intuitively know Earth holds an unremembered dream.  These times are about our jointly remembering that dream.  Each of us is a Dream Catcher encoded with an unremembered dream of who we really came here to be.  This may be connected to why the education system is set up so we're not taught to question or be curious.  We're taught to memorize and obey to gain rewards and good grades.  This may relate to why we're bombarded with messages that suck us into media and tv.  On some level whether conscious of it or not someone entity or someone(s) may not want us to remember this dream. 

As I continued to sit with what I had seen, I suddenly recalled reading that the Star Fish is the symbol of Mary the mother of Jesus and represents infinite, deep divine love.

Deep, divine love?  I grew up with the Protestant version of the to-be-feared white, male God. Unlike in Catholicism, we were briefed on Mary at Christmas and maybe Easter.  Until recently I've heard the Divine Feminine referenced and have felt no connection to the concept or energy.

Why had a symbol for Mary shown up in this vision?

Did it have something to do with the water?  Had I heard Carol reference connections to Mary and the well?  I searched "Glastonbury Well"  and as you may already know there's too much to put into this one Musing but yes, Glastonbury Well is associated with Mary, Joseph of Arimethea and the Goddess. 

At times I forgot this Earth journey isn't something I'm to fulfill alone.  I know there are millions of others out there loving creation, but I forget there's a greater entity because as someone who lives and leads from my heart I have felt painfully alone.  

The vision of the Divine Dream Catcher reminds me that in this time I am anything but alone.  Me, You, We are being joined by a Divine Feminine energy, a energy of great compassion and love that has come before in the form of Mary and others and is returning again to help us remember the unremembered dream of what Earth is and who we came here to be.

Imagine the Shift of remembering the unremembered dream. 

-Dawn, The Good News Muse 8 July 2012
* If you would like some of the sacred water from Glastonbury Well to use in an honoring way and place in an area stream or share with a tree, I've a bit extra.  Contact me by email or on facebook under Imagine the Shift. 

** This link will connect you with Celestial Timings where Cayelin will send you abbreviated monthly readings for free if you want to check them out. 

*** this link will take you to my friend Carol's site Meadow Muse and photos of her latest trip to Glastonbury. Keep up with Carol for the 2013 trip.

Can I LIke Nature Let Go and Shift

Leaves have never fallen in Middle TN like this by early July.  If this were October I would experience an inner-ah knowing Nature is doing what comes next, what it needs after a long summer.

Instead this weekend I've sat surrounded by crisp leaves in the grass, grass that looks, smells and sounds more like straw.  I noted as I first sat down that my yard felt like a nest. 'This,' I thought ,'is why birds build nests.' There was a softness I don't experience lying in green grass. 

Over the months, I've sensed the shifting of time, a speeding up unrelated to our busy lives.  This morning I wonder: Are the leaves falling due to drought or are they messaging us, sending a sign, that Nature is making an adjustment in these Shifting Times.  Are the leaves all around me a sign not just of drought but evidence of our dancing with the Universe and something changing beyond and beneath clock time?

December 25, 2011 - Nashville, TN
This line of thinking first came to me while walking in my neighborhood on Christmas Day last year.  One particular shrub three or four blocks away was popping with blossoms and buzzing with bees months early. I intuitively knew the shrub was responding not just to our carbon emissions but to unseen, subtle energetic emissions from the Universe.

Politicians and people get locked into argument and debate but there is no debating that for millions of years Earth has changed.  I'm one of those concerned with the rapidity of this change.  This weekend's experience reminds me that things are changing due to humankind's ongoing impact yet there's another change, a Shift occurring as we are part of a universal dance with stars, planets and things unknown, unseen.  There's a dance occurring with a great Mystery.

I am asked in this dance if I can like Nature let go in love?  Can I stop resisting and like the leaves around me fall into and flow with what's unfolding between me, Earth and the Universe? Will humankind fall into and flow with what's unfolding or will our need to control and our fear be our down fall?

Imagine the Shift.  
-Dawn, The Good News Muse, 8 Jully 2012 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Getting Free

My dear neighbor here in the country walked into the backyard this morning to say hello and found me pressed against a tree.  I stood my arms reaching as far as they could around the trunk of an old tulip poplar as Jim a devout church-going seventy something asked, "Are you meditating?"

After momentary surprise hearing him use this word, I replied that I was sharing some much needed love with the distressed tree.

I thought Jim might be somewhat alarmed to have visual confirmation that he really does have a tree hugger next door. Instead he said, "I've got several in my yard that could use that."  Surprised again.

Instead of following up on how he might give his trees some of 'that' we talked about the needed rain and how I had watered a few of the trees in his yard last weekend with my garden hose then compared notes on the latest livestock (deer) sightings.  Jim's usually up long before me but this morning by 5:15 a young mother fed at his sidewalk that I actually saw and he missed.

The essence of our exchange reminded me of talking with my deceased father, the comparing of notes regarding daily life in a safe and simple back and forth but there was something else familiar.  As Jim surprised me with his use of the word meditating, my father once surprised me when he asked if I knew what happened to the people who built the pyramids in South America.  Out of the blue the man I thought I knew referenced something way beyond our standard conversation prompting me to think, 'I don't really know you.'  All efforts to later try to get to know this man who was my father were rebuffed or met with condescension until the months before his death.

I now suspect my experience with my father unconsciously kept me from following up on Jim's comment.

At the conclusion of our exchange, Jim and I wished one another a good day. He returned to his yard and I returned to the tree. I put my arms around it yet sensed a shift in me.   I was unashamedly and joyfully being me hugging that tree regardless of who saw me or might think me pagan or communist. (I'm neither a pagan or communist but am aware with the upcoming election and fear running high these days that the word communist will surface in accusations and maybe even pagan though I don't think Pres. Obama's been accused of being pagan yet.) 

This time as I hugged the tulip poplar in our back yard I heard:  "As you be you, you allow us to be ourselves.  We are so much more than gets portrayed in movies or on tv".

To have this dear tree under distress from the severe lack of rain share its wisdom with me brought me deep joy.  I do want to be me, more than I've ever been me.  If I'm committed and awake, I'm certain I'll discover that just like the trees there's so much more to me.  Similarly I'm certain that just as with my neighbor and my father there's so much more to human beings than we know or think we know.  

My neighbor's happening upon me this morning unexpectedly freed me. Maybe on some level he walked away feeling a bit free-er too.  What does feeling free-er to be You feel and look like to you?

Imagine the Shift.
-Dawn, The Good News Muse 6 July 2012