Though I’d like to believe myself concise or economical in my word usage and Backyard haiku series, the truth is it’s my lazy way of expression. And so on this rainy day, I challenge my brain to an essay. The problem, or situation rather, is that I haven’t had much thought at all lately.
I’ve simply spent all my spare time learning the language of flowers. I am single minded
and devoted to them. After having a physical reaction to our current president and breaking out in hives over the stress and worry that he causes me, I decided to switch my focus onto Nature. She inspires me, and frankly I think I have much more to learn from her than from our so called leader of the United Sates. With my shift in focus, so has my perspective shifted, and in an odd way, I have actually become thankful for our current POTUS. Not for a single one of his policies, or his tweets, or really anything that has come out of his mouth….but for the change I see available to us through him. Through the backlash I see of people taking matters into their own hands to make the world a better place.
And so what have the flowers taught me? Well, they are very feminine, and like women, they are complex and unique. There are some flowers like daisies that have more of a puppy dog energy and they simply want to please us. Not all of them are so humble however, like my roses and my peonies. They beg nothing of us. They don’t need our attention to be big and beautiful. It is simply enough for them to be themselves. They don’t even compete, like the shy lotus flowers who hide among the frogs and lily pads, only blazoned by the encouragement of the sun. I am partial to the field flowers; the goldenrods, wild irises and strawberries and flowers whose names have been forgotten because they were never deemed pretty enough to become engrained. What they have taught me, all the different species, is that like them, we too are beautiful as we are…especially the more diverse we are. I believe I will never conquer my war with weeds, until I learn to love them. And so it is with people.
Last Friday something happened that took me out of my garden and into the woods along the edge of our property and into our neighbor’s land. My husband was mowing the lawn and saw two bald eagles doing their mating dance, and one of them dropped a white tail feather. I used some tobacco and my prayers and ventured into the woods, very optimistic that I would find that feather for my uncle Jake Singer who is being honored as a CHIEF this year at Sundance. They say the feathers from live eagles make the most powerful healing tools and he has the training and knowledge of how to do so. While I have spent the larger part of my weekend, trapsing the woods, I did not find the feather. What I did find however was the beauty and energy of the woods. As much time as I spend on my flower gardens, the forest is one massive garden of trees, ferns, lily-of the valley and oh so much more.
When I was pregnant I use to wander into the woods quite often so I could skinny dip in the stream and wash away the commotion of NYC off my body. But since my neighbor died, and his grandson took over the place, I feel better about respecting his privacy. He also likes to do a lot of target practice, and well, yeah. I am a pacifist, but I actually have much respect for my friends who hunt ethically for food. Every year, I tell myself I’m going to learn how to hunt, but Ive never gotten up the gumption. Anyhow, I revisited the brook where we once took red clay to make finger pots with, the spot where I would meditate in the water, and my old sitting bench that I forgot all about! The river has slightly changed its course from the time when we were such close friends.
Probably the most exciting find was the reishi harvest jackpot I found. They are such magical beings mushrooms. The way they communicate and help each other out. Perhaps when I graduate from flowers I will start spending more time with those fun guys. If it wasn’t for that eagle feather sighting, I never would have found Mother Nature’s pharmacy.
Whether through my flowers, or the forest breeze, or the dappling light…the biggest message that I am hearing is that we all must return to Nature in some shape or form. Yes, it is disheartening to see our president not stand up for our planet, in some weird, confusing jargon that makes it seem like he is doing it for us Americans. But I tell you, those wounds can be healed. We can go into nature and allow her to teach us, allow for her to share her Beauty in a way that we stand up for her protection. In a way that we will be allowed to sustainably hunt her animals for years to come. I know I am blessed, and not all of us can just walk into our backyard and find woods. But She is everywhere! And so Be Good to you, go to Her. Have a listen, sing out loud, bathe in her waters. And perhaps we too, can blossom into a bouquet of humanity that strives to make each day better than the next. How are you allowing yourself to live or not live?
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived”. Thoreau