Friday, November 1, 2013

It is a big week.

Though the temperature is cooling down and days are becoming shorter, and less sunlight can make me struggle to stay positive, autumn is the season of metal, which, when healthy, is about connecting with the divine.   This week and weekend are filled with impressive reminders that life itself is divine.  Each breath brings the divine into our lungs.  And how about these brilliant showings of something special:

Orcas surrounding a ferry laden with tribal artifacts, in Puget Sound reminds us that all living beings sense more than we often acknowledge

Solar eclipse on Nov. 3 reminds us of our place in the universe

National Bison Day on Nov. 3 reminds us of our connection to the earth and all other living beings

Day of the Dead, Halloween, All Saints Day, All Souls day reminds us of our connection with those who have come before us

People choose to open their hearts and remind us of our connections to those who are living

It is a big week!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

walking slowly and singular pleasures

Although I have been hesitant in the past to blog, last week was I was visited by an inspiration that blogging could actually be a pleasurable way to record the singular pleasures or awakenings of a day.  Perhaps a personal journal is just as good a place to write about such things, but how would someone who might want to be able to use my salves, or to come have a reflexology session be able to read that?  Would he or she really need to?!  I don’t know, but to whomever would like to read what I would have written in my journal if I had one, here is what I wrote.

Today, a desire emerged from somewhere to reinitiate my blog with the singular pleasure of my walk on Patterson Mountain with the dogs.  Many walks have lead up to this walk, but during this magical evening walk, I had the singular pleasure of being completely aware of how walking more slowly allows many good things.  It allows me to more easily stop and smell the roses, it allows me to maintain a comfortable posture with more core support (so that I can actually walk farther without any low-back pain), and it allows my olden doggie to easily keep up and feel important because she has time to smell the chipmunks while the younger dog is oblivious to how fast or slow I am walking as she covers many miles for every step I take.  Walking slowly brings us all together in a happy way.

I also enjoyed the singular pleasure of complete awareness of how our eyes are able to integrate form and color across great distances and shades of light.  It feels right that our eyes, for those of us who are lucky enough to still have our sight, are so much more able to do this, and provide so much more satisfaction in what they find, than our cameras.  As grateful as I am to be able to record beautiful sights with my camera, the moment of putting it into my back pack as the light became too low for it to be useful, provided me the deeply satisfying and singular pleasure of dropping, unencumbered by a filter, into the sights, sounds, and smells of the evening.  So much sensation and experience I hadn’t realized I was keeping out, just by carrying a camera.  Releasing it to my backpack released me to the evening.  I felt the heavy evening air rush up to meet my body.  I felt I was in a bowl thick with the sounds of insects and moving air.  The air, the plants, the earth were colored.

All that pleasure from walking slowly and allowing my senses to do what they evolved to do.

I will describe the reasons for my hiatus from blogging in the next blog.

Lucinda Tear practices reflexology and creates herbal salves and potions in the Methow Valley, on the east slope of the North Cascade Mountains, in Washington State.  She loves living there.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

spring magic

I wish I had had my camera tonight to take a photo of hail stones covering the ground between all the new and the fading wildflowers.  A black cloud opened over my neighborhood and poured out its unexpected contents - stopping cars on the road and changing my gardening plans.  After it all passed, the evening scents were amazing - the balsam root and lomatium and bitterbrush and even the fading lupine came alive again as if it were two weeks ago when they were at their peak.  I feel so lucky to live in a place where this kind of magic can visit and I can, so easily, go out and see it, even breath it in.  May you all find some unexpected magic to fill your lungs and heart.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Spring has sprung - Wood element thrives!

Wood is the element of spring in Chinese 5-Element Thinking and it represents qualities of growth, change, movement, and the irrepressible urge to push forward and up - even through cracks in the cement.  People can feel like life starts to move really quickly in spring and the changing of the gears from winter's quiet to spring's action can be a little hurkey-jerkey at times.  I sometimes feel that I have to hold on to my hat!

If lots of projects to begin and winter-things to put away begin to feel like too much and especially if that feeling of too much leads to self criticism (why can't I do it all?) it can be helpful to find some quiet moments to touch base with what still lingers of winter's water - deep, still, quiet, wise water - to help us remember what is most important to us and to feel a well-spring of satisfaction in what we do choose to do.  Even asking questions like "What is important to me?" and "How can I feel that more?" can help ground us in times when things feel they are moving a little too fast.

Of course, there is also just enjoying the ride and going with all the great, outward moving, expressive, change-the-world-for-the-positive energy of spring and letting go of any encumbrances that prevent us from enjoying all the newness.

Today I joined a group of volunteers on a roadside planting project along Highway 20 between Winthrop and Twisp that my lovely friend Joyce keeps alive.  In spring and fall, we weed invasive plants and plant native plants along this section of road.  I have not been involved as long as many of the valiant "road warriors" as Joyce calls us, but I have been learning alot over the few seasons that I have participated.  Because this spring has been warm and dry so far, an invasive, annual grass called Poa bulbosa was already starting to seed and the natives that have been planted were looking a bit parched.

Small projects like this fit into and are affected by a larger ecological landscape and it can feel discouraging to try to remove weeds that are actually better adapted to disturbed roadsides than are native plants.  Invasive weeds are strongly "wood" - they can and do push up through concrete - better than some of the more delicate native plants.  Their ability to invade and take over is actually part of the ecology of ecosystem recovery - rapidly colonizing and reproducing plants are designed to repair and cover the earth after disturbances.  These days, we humans create many small and large disturbances of the earth as our populations grow and we extend the areas we affect by our residential, industrial,  infrastructural development.  I once read a beautiful poem about how weeds are the blanket that mother earth pulls up to cover herself after she has been raped (I am still trying to find that poem and will post it here when I do - it was in a catalog of Horizon Herbs).  This poem changed my feeling of anger and frustration about the aggressive nature of weeds and the way they can overpower native plants to one of gratitude for their swiftness and put the responsibility for their take over of native plants back squarely where it belongs - in our hands.

In the same way that we can forget to priortize the protection of landscapes we love and that nurture us by our need to push ahead and develop, we can let our time be over run by weedy deeds - things we don't really need to do but that we just start doing, one after another, because...because....why was that again?.....   What are all the ways we can balance the joy of newness and creation and pushing forward and doing with wisdom and reverence for what is valuable?  This spring, I would like to live with this question for a spell.