It’s Okay and Good and Beautiful

Some days I feel more than I think.

This morning is overcast with intermittent rain, as if a shower head is being turned on and off and on at random intervals.  It’s a morning I want to turn a shower on, rather than pump water into a pot, heat it on the stove, take it out to the sauna, scoop it with a yogurt cup, and pour it over my head.

On most days, I love this.  I look down at my feet in the small black tub, meant by its manufacturer as an animal watering trough, and see how little water my bathing requires.  I stand alone in the sauna and breathe in the solitude of an enclosed space dedicated to one thing, so different from the open circle of our yurt, where there are no lines or doors between bedroom, kitchen, living room, playroom, and office.

But today I feel the clouds moving overhead, and I can’t put into words the vulnerability and power that pushes against each other within their deep gray forms stretching across the sky.  It’s a day I want everything to be easy and a day I know nothing will be if I hold to this desire.  It’s a day I feel vulnerable for no particular reason.  A day I feel emotion and creativity and power well up inside me from that vulnerability.

It’s a day I want to tell you that it’s okay to take pictures of things that aren’t pretty.  It’s okay and good and beautiful to sit with the things that slow you down, the things that make you vulnerable, the things that for whatever reason make clouds billow up in your chest.

I don’t have any pictures for you today, just these words and the wind blowing diagonal up the field, which will perhaps reach you, wherever you are, to tousle your hair and pull you from somnambulism into presence.

You Can Plant Beauty

planting flowers
planting flowers

You can plant beauty

You can create beauty

Your life is a unique expression of energy

Your expressions are powerful

How do you choose to move?

 

The Wild Ones Emerging

Coltsfoot was the first to emerge, pushing its dandelion-like yellow blooms up along roadsides and old gravely logging roads.

Then came the peepers in an evening chorus around the pond, and the bubbles of frog eggs floating in the water.

frog eggs in the pond

Just a few days ago, a friend pointed out a splash of white flowers beneath maple trees on the road, bloodroot blooming out of leaf litter in the filtered sun.

And yesterday I noticed a carpet of trout lilies blooming behind the yurt, the yellow petals flexing open, faces slanted down to the earth.

trout lily

The perennial gardens are waking up, too: peppermint and spearmint, peonies, iris, dicentra, yarrow, echinacea, rudbeckia–all coming back, finally, and bringing the last sleeping parts of me back with them, too.

Searching for Wildness

{In celebration of National Poetry Month, I’ll be posting a poem each weekday through the rest of April, and I invite you to join me!  Leave a link to your poem of the day in the comments section below.}

bark

I am searching for wildness,

proving it lives

among us

despite us.

Why do I walk slowly

in the woods, why

do I stop at the rhythmic beating

of a woodpecker, why

do I pause to take in the shape

of a leaf, or a paw print, or the

curve and drop of a stream?

Terry Tempest Williams wrote:

the degree of our awareness

is the degree of our aliveness.

I want to be alive.

If I am to live,

if my cells are to awaken

and if my breath is to expand

into my lungs

it will be because wildness

pulled me out of sleep,

splashed me with cold water,

and poured wind through

my hair, into my mouth,

deep into my body.

If I am to live

it will be because this world

also lives

tangled and pure, wildness running

through the veins.

For the Birds

{In celebration of National Poetry Month, I’ll be posting a poem each weekday through the rest of April, and I invite you to join me!  Leave a link to your poem of the day in the comments section below.}
 
In Flight, Katie Spring
 
I used to care
about proper grammar–
well vs. good
I vs. me–
but now, what does it matter?
I know what you mean.
There are already
so many rules
what shackles need to be
on expression?
None!
Sometimes, when I hear
birdsong in the morning
it strikes me that I don’t know
what they are saying,
but I feel their happiness.
That’s all we’re really after,
isn’t it?
To share with each other
our heart’s fire
be it sadness, or anger,
or expounding joy.

The Language of Wind

{In celebration of National Poetry Month, I’ll be posting a poem each weekday through the rest of April, and I invite you to join me!  Leave a link to your poem of the day in the comments section below.}

Flight

I.

This is what I know:

All energy is

Wild

All bodies are

Energy

Let yourself

unravel

Become the

howling moon

Learn the language

of the wind

II.

Some creatures can only

be seen in

darkness.

Go to them

Take your hunger

Your open mouth

Your heartache

Walk into the

darkness

Discover the song

of your soul

III.

We all have spirits—

Stone and Rivers,

Fox and Snakes

Reveal Yours

The wind is waiting

to lift your song

to tousle it in peoples’ hair

to weave it among needled branches of pine

to whistle it across the seas

IV.

Remember this—

You are of bedrock &

mountain streams

Still and flowing

At once

The wind was there

at your birth,

blew into you,

became your first inhale

Root into the Earth

Tumble in the water

Exhale and set a gust

twirling around the world

What Cannot Be Said

{In celebration of National Poetry Month, I’ll be posting a poem each weekday through the rest of April, and I invite you to join me!  Leave a link to your poem of the day in the comments section below.}

Some questions cannot be answered in words:

Why are you alive?

We can say: because my parents made it so

We can say: to make the world a better place

But there is something more

that can only be felt:

the wind tugging at your limbs, whispering in your ears

the song of air

the rhythm of water tumbling

the immediacy of a pumping heart

dancing the body into freedom

joy

The Desert in Winter

P1050057 P1050058 P1050077 P1050078Sometimes it’s the dying things, the prickly things, the all-dried-up for winter things that require us to look more closely.

Sometimes, even after two and a half weeks along Coastal California, dripping with figs and ripe with berries, it’s the desert in winter that finally wakes us up.

It’s the desert, which we almost reluctantly slouch into, that finally brings the rain, and after, the sunrise breaking over clouds, pouring light into the void and our own faces.

It’s the desert–coyotes and ravens, roadrunners and rats, mountains of rock and the dry crunch of sand–that moves with the simple knowing that it is enough just to be exactly what we are.

 

Stillness Isn’t Static

Snow Drift
Snow Drift

The wind is whipping, howling, pushing, crashing

It holds steady around 20 mph, then throws a big gust, shakes the whole yurt, pulls me from my chair to go sit by the dogs and tell them, “it’s really windy out there,” just to hear my own voice, to be sure I’m still firm inside this circle of made of saplings and canvas.

Just yesterday I wrote how important it is to be gentle with ourselves.  That’s not to say the world won’t shake us awake at times.  Lessons and change come in many forms.  Sometimes the wind will weave gently through your hair; sometimes it will blow you from your feet, upend your whole world; sometimes this is exactly what we need to learn how to open our eyes.

I feel my heart a little more with each gust that rumbles my home.  My body’s awareness piques, and suddenly I am more animal than I was yesterday, attuned to the rhythm of my breath, the strength of the wind, the pulse of my veins.

It’s all practice–I’m learning that stillness isn’t static, but rather flexible, steady, and constant.  The lesson is rushing across the landscape outside, perhaps it is the land outside: how to be still and open to the changing winds at once.