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Posts Tagged ‘cycles’

As I sat in the woods, rejoicing at the beginnings of the changing colours of autumn, the leaves at the top, yellows and a few reds, and looked down upon the ground at those which have already dropped and turned brown, it deeply came to me how the love of this season is also about having faith.  With the rejoicing comes faith, faith that come another season, the leaves will return, grow and green.

For a moment I wondered what if one did not know, and saw the leaves gathering upon the ground, the branches becoming bare, the changing colour, what would they think and feel. Would they see it as the end as they watch leaf after leaf turn and fall? Would they listen to the trees and hear, “no, it is okay, it is what we do”? Would they rush in frantic activity, attempting to save the trees, paste the leaves back on, return them to green, lobby the government? Would the pray that they stopped falling away, send energy to the trees? Or would they pause and listen, stand humbly, waiting, heeding the call of the trees.  “It is fall, the leaves must fall, it is part of a cycle, one that is necessary for life and rebirth”

This season is also about allowing and being with what is. I first wrote some of the above a few weeks ago, when the forest and trees felt so different,

“And as the hills are still mainly green, and many have come to see the fall colours, including myself, it means being with what is; not rushing things, nor bemoaning that it is not that which we expected it to be. To be and appreciate what is.”

Tis now the end of the season. I look at the trees, standing increasingly bare and think of what I wrote but a few weeks ago. How quickly it changes, how we waited, the engaged, and now it has passed. And in between, I cherished the colours, knowing how fleeting they were, being in the moment, wanting to hold onto it yet knowing, that like the leaves, it would soon fall away. And now it has – the trees stand bare and naked, only a few leaves hang on, and once again to allow and be with what is.

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This time also calls up  cycles and seasons, those of the short and those of the long, those beyond our earthly knowings, those beyond our own. It is a time of understanding; understanding beyond that which we can see. Or admitting, there is much we do not understand.

When we work to heal the earth, do we honour the cycles?  what are the consequences when we do not? What is working with and what is an attempt to control and bend it to our ends, our versions of what should be. And when do we do this, attempt to abort cycles, seeing a moment, not knowing that it is part of a larger whole. Assuming we know, not seeking to understand. The timelines that extend beyond our own. Not seeing what may be necessary for life to continue. Do we listen? Do we hear a snippet and believe that it is the all? Are we able to hear – the earth, the universe, each other, ourselves. The trees teach us so much.

This time of year there is a passing away. Those whose life cycle is shorter, those who live for a year, or a part thereof, those other plants that are part of the forests, the farms, the streets. Those whose life is done – yet it continues on. The seeds that are dispersed, that return to the earth, for the next generation to come, the generation that does not know its parents, or even have elders around, those to emulate, those to teach, whose guidance is encoded in the seeds. The many seeds that are sent out, not all who are born, the many who do not go on. And so is with ourselves.

It can be painful, knowing that some may not make it through.  Can we discern the difference between those we knock down, and those that return to the earth. Between those that are sick and hurting, and those with energetic cycles. And so with human beings. Do we insist that all continuously have glistening tender leaves; yes some are evergreen, but others are deciduous, and all are valued, part of the whole, contributing to the life cycles.

Many years I have been in the forests of evergreen – the redwoods, the great cedars, Douglas firs, pines, even palms and eucalyptus trees – those whose leaves do not drop and I yearned for the change, for trees with leaves. Yet in these zones, come winter, or the brown season, I seek the green, value the evergreens, trees that at this time of year I have overlooked.

I ponder, how the trees and forest that surround influence our perceptions. The places where seasons are not so defined, to see the eternal, that which seems unchanged. That life is meant to be evergreen. That when the needles turn brown and drop to the ground, that it indicates that the trees are sick. That it is not natural, not part of the cycle of life, or at least one we can see.

For the time I am here. The trees stand naked and exposed, and so do i. Energy returns to the roots, a life beneath the surface, and so for me. Knowing the connections there, valuing and being with what is. Feeling that which goes on above, and that which continues beneath. A slowing of energy, communing, sensing, a part of the all, the cycles within cycles and spirals. And having faith in the miracle of life.

 

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I hibernate in my den for a few days – back at the Happy Bear, in a den. The season has turned. the leaves fallen away, the rains come down and the temperature drops. For a couple of days I stay mainly within.

At times it feels sad this season, the glorious displays of colour dropping away, the oranges, yellow and reds that had once been green, now shades of brown beneath our feet. Energy drops, goes to the roots, the depths beneath the surface

But I also know the life is rich there, even if it is unseen. And there in the woods, the forests, are vast underground communications networks linking tree to tree, the fungi and more, part of an interconnected whole. A whole of many beings, part of the larger whole, that includes me.

I know I will not hibernate for long. Yet in this season my external activity slows, and I commune in other ways. The nights are longer, and soon the veil thins. As we approach halloween, Samhain, the Days of the Dead, the days of All Saints and All Souls.

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Falling Leaves

It is fleeting this season. I pause on the path, a few leaves are dancing in the air, making their way down to earth. It stops and starts again, a dance, a joyous dance and I find a rock to sit upon and watch the falling of autumn – shapes and colours swirl in the air for a moment until stillness comes again. Birds begin to sing.

Perhaps it is because we know it is so fleeting and transitional that we cherish these moments so.

If the leaves were always these colours would it be so precious? Yes, we would love them, but would we notice and engage to the same degree – not assuming that all would change from one day to the next?

I think of the forests of the west, evergreen of so many types, trees I love, engage with, yet there is a greater sense of stability.

Leaves falling, to nourish the earth, the soils in which the trees grow, the coming generations of leaves – the cycle of life

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The Season Progresses

The season progresses, the leaves making their way to earth, a carpet, protecting and nurturing, for the seasons to come

The trees now stand increasingly exposed- becoming naked, revealing their skeletons, their bones. To love them just as much now that their finery, their flashy dress, has fallen away. Energy returns to the roots

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Redwoods – june 10,11?

land of the trees

I am in the redwoods – i made it here – to the land of the ancient giants. The sun is going down and i will soon sleep beneath these trees. As i walked over to the hiker biker camp, here in Jedidiah Smith State Park, where i was a year ago, my right arm began to move – circling on its own. I walked back along the empty road, me and the trees and the ferns below, and it began to move again on its own – a circle – as if dowsing some energies here. I ask, what energies lay in this place, the zone of the trees by the smith river.

I have entered into the land ruled by trees – first the forests inland – as i crossed yesterday from Klamath Falls to Medford, through a land of lakes and trees in mountain zone, and today as i headed out here – but now am among these ancient giants who dwell in this narrow zone. And the hotsprings of this morning, and the town of this afternoon seem so far away in both time and space. On the bus riding through the beautiful land of hills and trees i felt lonely once again – lonely for an area also lived in by human beings – a land where all live harmoniously, I am back in California, but somehow it seems to me more like oregon.

A giant downed tree trunk sprouting life, not only moss, but plants and leaves and other trees growing on it as it decomposes. As it is all around, life growing from decay, life growing from life, a cycle to be completed and renewed.

the cycle of life - from death and decay sprouts new growth and life renewed

Thin soil covers the earth, hiding the rocks beneath, the spirits that have not yet emerged. The high canopy of the redwoods blocks out much of the sky. This zone is contained, life on the surface, between the above and the below – neither too visible, and not the focus, the focus is on the life that sprouts, that is, the colour of green, the colour of plant life form. It forms a bowl or a cocoon, not from the sides like valley walls, but from the bottom and the top, and you cannot see far, the vista is short, for forest surrounds.

I feel small and insignificant beneath these trees towering above, and their girth is wide. I am surrounded by the living, and i am just a small part, i am so small. There is so much here. it presses in. like a city in some ways, but so different, but the pulse is strong, all emit energy and the dance is dense. I feel small in a different way than when i travelled across the deserts a few days ago, on the train, with little life and green to be seen – the earth and the sky so vast, so large, and i, the train, so small, so little breathing life, so little dancing around, the above and below in full force. I longed for the dance of life on the surface, and now it is here, i longed for trees, and now i am in their land.

Redwoods Towering above

I sit beneath the redwoods. although they are not the only trees here, it is their land. The narrow strip in which they still grow, where they remain, looking over the land and us, providing a zone where the other plants may thrive. Where they may thrive beneath the guardians of this land, beneath those that have witnessed so much, who communicate between earth and sky. They are the survivors in this small place, in the groves that have been preserved, only small patches of what once was. For so many have been decimated, in the early days, chopped down with eyes for profit and their use. It feels lonely and heavy. The sun, now giving way to clouds or fog, does not shine through and the eye does not see very far.

I am back to the zone of the familiar- returned to the shore once again. I lost sight of it for a while as i went inland and above, but now i am back, and i am not sure how i feel. The route is known and the intensity is gone. I have come back down, closer to sea level once again, I leave the park, to go to the store, one that i know is there. I have been on this road before, going the other way.

I feel the life around pressing in – as i need not process it all. I know where the bathrooms are, where so much it, and realize that i feel similar to how i felt before, a feeling i had forgotten about when i was out of this locale. Two kids hitch on the road in front, how small and insignificant we appear but in such a different way than in the desert with broad spanses and vistas, and a seemingly lack of life – the bare earth, the sky and us. Here is it the life forms that are much greater – trees and ferns and salal and more – both the earth and sky hard to see, for life abounds, and we are just such a small part of it. Life on the surface that is so visible, all manifesting into form, all manifesting so large and grand.

Ferns are some of the oldest life forms around, and the redwoods are ancient trees, which once lived in so many other locales, their range now limited to this narrow strip of land. Here ancient forms are still alive, ancient life continuing on into the present, living in the here and now – not merely emerging from rocks and stone. All becomes manifested into the 3D. I feel the density of it all though i am 10 miles inland, out of the deep fog belt of the coast, where air condenses into a thick haze. Here the element of water, of emotions, is so present, though now the sun shines on through.

The life i called forth – life in the trees, where the life of people is in harmony, different elements dancing together. Here the plant life grows in harmony – it is us who can seem out of place. It is not merely the redwood trees, but the diversity of life forms – the ferns, the sorrel, the moss, the rhododendrons, berries, alder, salal, trillium and more that grow together, intermingle, give each other life. we focus on the largest, the tallest, but they are all part of this zone, they all are part of the intricate dance – a dance that includes the animals and birds, and yes, today, us.

The sky is now grey – much more typical of this twilight zone, this zone where the giants thrive. I walk around, no people about, myself and the trees and the plants, green live thrives, lush and magnificence. All forms in denseness become manifest – in morphological fields. It is a twilight zone – i imagine dinosaurs roaming around, giants of the past, and wonder if they still do, invisible to us now. All feels so old and enduring, the past living on, clinging on, taking hold. I remember the petrified forest in Arizona, huge logs turned to stone, all dry and barren, with fossils of dinosaurs and ancient forests about, destroyed in some great cataclysm. I remember that place that felt of life destroyed, and i remember this images that came to me the last time i was here, of waves seeping over the land.

For now all life is showing, the life that remains. It is green, more green than i imagined, the green that i so yearned for, the green of the heart and of life. Still it feels heavy, pressing down, so much energy caught in moisture, and what has become form. Thought forms hang on, emotions come alive, energy condenses in bodies and in my joints, even the redwoods have burls. And i am a small part of this all.
Mosquitoes fly around my face, a nibble here and there. I feel insignificant – then i look at the tree stumps, those that were cut down, and i see how much power (wo)man can have, despite our size – how we have cut so much of this down. A mosquito bites again – i remember their power – able to cut us down – malaria, dengue, west nile and more. how they can cut us down with the poisons that lay inside, that they transmit, that have taken hold in them. size has little to do with power, and as another bites, i realize i am just a part of the chain of life. I sleep beneath the trees once again.

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There was a waterfall here, a tiny one, and the walls of granite glistened bright green – but that was in the spring. looking at it now you would not imagine it was there. How much else do we not imagine, that which was before and that which will return – but we do not know, we have not seen it, but having seen it we can have faith, faith that it will return, that something will appear, that there is more than meets the eye.

 
I wrote that the first day i came to the park about a week ago, when i went up the Vernal falls trail. The falls i had seen across the valley were also gone, but the Vernal and Nevada Falls still have a flow – minor compared to what they must be in the spring, but i have never truly experienced them at that time – in fact never glimpsed at Nevada Falls before. Since then i have visited several of the “falls”, places which now stand empty of water, or have but a trickle – and the famous Yosemite Falls are gone.

 

Yosemite fall have all but disappeared to a trickle down a sheer cliff, a wet spot on the granite, and the upper falls are not there at all. If you came here now and had not seen photos of them when there are full, would you believe that they were there? If someone told you about the falls after you had seen that place, would you have thought them crazy? But a you “know” that they exist, are you disappointed by what you see and yearn for more? Do you see what is in front of you, or do you imagine the famous pictures you have seen too many times. They are a trickle – so quiet, unlike in the spring when you could hear them from afar, beckoning, and the mist covering the path where people now stand looking at the trickle from a distance. If you arrived unknowing could you envision the spring birth, the cycle that they are? would you?

 

Would you even pause? this place below the “falls” still feels special to me, the trees more alive, the energy high, and the boulders and rocks special – but is that because i have seen? because there is a path that leads here? Because i have come to believe that it is special? Or is there something truly there at all times? I have returned again and again, especially in the early morning, when the sun slowly lights up the cliffs, and the area is quiet – the people have not yet come in, and the falls are almost silent from the path, and i sit and drink my morning coffee and take in what is here.

And i think of cycles and the cyclical nature of so much or maybe of it all. We have been taught to perceive of time as a linear progression but the falls show that it is an illusion – the falls are not progressively, linearly growing stronger or shrinking away, but if we arrived in the spring or lived less than a year we might imagine that they have gone – but we have faith in their rebirth. The sun is rising over the valley floor, and we do not imagine that it will continuously grow stronger, the walls will brighten and then the sun will fade. and i think about waves and tides, when it comes in will also goes out, and the moon which is close to full will fade away in our eyes (but with the sun and the moon, when they are out of sight, we believe they have not disappeared). We see these cycles, and so many more, but still imagine time and history as linear and often fail to conceive of cycles much bigger than ourselves, or of ourselves as we exist on earth this time. And the falls are a cycle – i cycle i have seen, one that others read about, and a cycle in which we have faith, faith that the snow and rain will come and the falls will appear once more. but is any less faith required than that for other cycles that we have not seen, that are longer than us.

But it is not truly a circle – a labyrinth, a spiral of sorts perhaps? for the walls of the valley alter over time, rocks fall, cliffs fall, valleys are carved, people come in, paths are built, a crash – not always a smooth movement like what we see as the flow of water over stone – but movement that is at the same time barely perceptible and with huge instant changes.

I look at the dry creek bed and find it hard to believe that it is the same creek that i saw in the winter frozen with patches of snow or in the spring rushing along. But then again is it? Is it truly the same? And i must say no – though some of it is. I have faith that the creek (which looks like a path of stones) will be filled with snow and water once again – but it will not be the same snow or the same water as before, and even when it is full, the water is in motion. Thus will it be the same creek?

Still the rocks remain and endure. i assume they are mainly those that were there before – many which were hidden away beneath the water and are now visible. And what endures is exposed to so many conditions – rain, drought, cold, heat – and they thus appear (or are) different over time. Now they are all dry not wet, and their temperature is not the same – so are they the same rocks – parts eroded over time. Or is the cycle merely much longer? I look at the face of the cliff, the moss that grows and the damp spot of the lower falls, and the lines of darks and oranger stone which mark the path of the upper falls, and see what is hidden by the water, and is now revealed. While it looks enduring, it changes too. And we assume that this stone wall is still there even when hidden by the snow, ice and rush of water.

And i think of each of us – what is that part which endures and what merely passes through? And does anything endure at all – or is it always in the process of change – and if something disappears do we not expect it do return, or do we count on it coming back as it was. For even when the falls are full, they are never the same – each moment is different as what we see as drops of water fall over the cliff.
At the base of Vernal falls was a rainbow – both on the way up and on the way down – the seven colours, of the rainbow, or the chakras, of the energies we perceive. but it appears and disappears and moves around, showing all colours of the energetic vibrations of life. and all this that we see is but energy made visible to us, the word made manifest. we see the falls are gone right now, but “know” that they are there. They remind us that there is much more than meets the eyes, but also that all really only exists in the now.

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