I had to write. With my heart open wide and my energy flowing, I had to write because writing is what my soul does when it needs to breathe.
My soul needs to breathe.
I stood beneath a tree in my front yard the other day. I was gardening, but gardening has become so much more than just a word, to me. How about caring for, nurturing gently, cherishing life as it grows beneath my hands? That sounds about right.
I was always going to love like this. Always going to be the one to love that little bit more. And where it often hurts a great deal to live with my heart wide open, I can’t imagine any other way of being.
A bug caught my eye as it crept up a branch. It was my baby daughter. Of course, it wasn’t my actual baby daughter, that would be insane of me to consider. But I knew in that moment that I loved this little beetle. That I would protect it. That I cared so much more deeply for this little life than I ever thought I could.
I have only just allowed myself to feel this deeply again. It was often unsafe to be my fullest self in this world, and many have hardened beneath the hardness of generations before them. My culture was not built to tolerate a soft heart. It is a culture of jokes at people’s expense and arguments over petty things. I reject it entirely. And it rejects me.
But I stand under trees and I love them with all that I am.
Australian summer and there I was, sipping a glass of wine beneath the gumtrees, wrapped in my best winter scarf and topped with a little woolen hat. The wind: shocking.
It’s not unusual for the country town we’re holidaying in to reach these frosty temperatures at night. I’m certain we’ll look back in years to come with fond memories of swaying gums and whirls around the caravan park on bikes, but I also think we’ll marvel at Mother Nature and her wacky sense of humour. During the day, it is not unusual for the temperature to reach forty degrees celsius and beyond, some years, and yet the blankets come out when the sun falls. It’s quite funny, really.
It reminds me of Melbourne (my hometown) and her ability to display every single aspect of all four seasons in one day. The rest of Australia laughs at our expense, but the truth is: Melbournians gladly identify with this peculiar trick of the weather. We happily declare it one of our most impressive party tricks.
I’m breezy and happy, today. After a solo journey back to Melbourne, earlier, to celebrate my beautiful Grandma’s 90th birthday (and a nice big heart-opening drive back, listening to music) I’m so grateful for all the experiences that have brought me here. To this place in my life, I mean. Not just to this dodgy little caravan park in the middle of nowhere.
I am reminded of the worth of life experience each time I feel the beautiful glow of wholeness beneath my skin. Each time I feel the spirit rise within me; the times I’m ready, and quite able, to speak the truths my heart knows to be absolute. I am not perfect. Life is not perfect, and never will be. But I am here, and I am grateful for these exhausting family days (and even you lot fall upon the grateful-o-metre of me…aww, sigh. Like, really, you guys. x) so a girl couldn’t ask for much more to help drift me through my days.
Right. Off to drink my tea and snuggle up with, what is turning out to be, one lovely heart-filling book.
I sat beside the river and smiled. It seemed a little funny to me that us humans believe we are the stars of this Earth show and that nature is here for us, rather than with us. What if we are here for nature? I think it’s more likely that we are all just here, to be whoever and whatever we are.
Last night as I sat beside the river, an epiphany that’s been growing within me grew a little more, so I thought I’d share it with you guys, just in case you’re interested.
I’ll start with the trees. Trees begin with a trunk. As they rise (grow) they branch out, one branch at a time. Each branch thickens and solidifies over time, and as it does it gives birth to new branches, which then give birth to new branches and new branches, until finally we reach the climax: the leaf.
Flowers. All begin with a stem which grows and, in time, becomes a beautiful little bud, bursting for change, bursting to open. Petal by petal it reveals itself, until eventually we have a fully open flower. It doesn’t happen over night, the growth process. But perhaps that’s the whole point of all life. The journey.
We know roughly what will come of a growing tree/flower because we’ve seen it so many times before and so the expectation is to look toward the finished product. To wait for it, even. But what if we’d never seen a fully grown flower? What if we’d never seen a fully grown tree? All we would have is each individual moment to watch the flower bloom. The same is true for the tree.
A flower/tree has never experienced itself, or this life, before, so how would it know how to grow but to simply let the process be and to experience whatever may happen along the way?As the flower blooms, as the tree branches out, as the human lives and ages…all there is is the process. Living. Experiencing. That’s all there is. For all of us.
And so it could be said that nature is here to live and experience life as consciously and fully as we humans are. Each flower is here to find out what it is like to bethat particular flower in that particular environment, in every moment it lives. Some flowers live to be picked or destroyed. Some live their whole lives to wither and naturally die. The same goes for trees. Some tree branches may be jumped on by a child and broken, leaving the tree injured and in need of renewal and repair. Some will mend on their own. Some will need help. Some, as nature and all things go eventually, will die.
These processes the natural world go through: they are really no different than the processes we go through, as humans. Growth. Challenges. Being loved and cared for. Being abused. Nature goes through it all, right alongside of us, and none of us have any clue what the journey will be until we are in it, living it, being it.
This will likely sound a little (cough: really quite) crazy to those of you who are absolutely not on the nature train, so perhaps I’ll leave you with a little piece of homework, if you’re interested in diving deeper. When you are next outside, go to the nearest tree and hold your hand up beside a leaf (palm facing you). Look at the leaf carefully. Then look at your hand carefully. Look at the leaf and your hand, again.
When you see it, you will smile, I guarantee you that much. And you will know, without any doubt, that you are not at all alone in this universe.
I’m not sure how much you’ll see me here, if at all, my lovely bloggy friends. I’ll be all snuggled up under a blankie with a steaming cup of tea and a book, alone in a lovely little cottage house on a hill, among a thousand trees.
I couldn’t think of a more beautiful way to gain my strength back.
I’m house-sitting for one of my oldest friends: my wonderful bestie from high school. No matter how long we’ve gone without seeing each other, she has remained a constant support to me over the years. Whenever I’ve needed her, she’s been there, never once complaining about my tendency to disappear for vast stretches of this introverted life of mine.
She and her twin sister (another dear friend of mine) were the ones who taught me how to make a real cake at the ripe old age of fourteen. When I realised that all cakes did not actually begin in a packet…my eyes must have widened a mile. I will never forget how we laughed.
Anyhow, that’s where I’ll be this weekend. Looking after two cats, a bunny rabbit, and four teeny tiny newborn bunnies. What bliss.
All the Friday love hearts, my merry bloggy friends. May this day bring you ALL the awesome things.
I’m avoiding doing the dishes. It’s not the first time I’ve written those words on here, and it won’t be the last because I often avoid doing the dishes if I can help it. Sometimes, I can turn the experience into something beautiful, and by that I mean I put on some wonderful music and disappear into the invisible place that only I know. That’s when doing the dishes suddenly becomes the most wonderful thing ever.
I have nothing to say, and yet I felt a strong pull to connect with you all: these days, for me, that usually means that I either have something to say that someone needs to hear, or…one of you has something to say that I need to hear. I wonder which one it will be? Perhaps both.
Isn’t it beautiful how life regenerates? I’m going through a transition phase at the moment (which I’ll share more about in the coming months) and where it frightens me so terribly to be in this place…I also feel a sense of excitement and new life breathing into my world. It makes me think of my trees. How often I’ve wandered along my walking track, gazing up at the hanging bark. This shedding always seems such a natural process and one that is entirely welcomed by the tree and its natural surroundings. What does this shedding mean for that particular tree, I always wonder. It means the shedding of the old. The beginning of a new life.
Unlike trees, humans seem to resist the shedding of our old bark, don’t we, usually because we’re afraid of something (sometimes because we’re afraid of everything.) I get that. I’ve been doing it my whole life. But how I long to be a tree and let the bark fall without question, fully trusting that the new bark will grow back stronger and better than ever. And that’s where that frightening word comes into it. Trust. Trusting in the unknown means relinquishing control, and that is not an easy thing for a human being to do, especially not this human being.
But If my trees can do it, then by golly gosh, my friends— so can I.
The universe has given me quite the kick up the bottom in the past year and reminded me of just exactly who I am and then some (and when I say, ‘and then some’, I mean AND THEN SOME.)
For instance, I was just out with my friend, the moon. A full moon tonight, which previously wouldn’t have phased me except now it does for reasons only known to the universe (and maybe the moon, and maybe the angels, and even aliens if you believe). Because If the moon moves entire oceans…how did it take me so long to wonder what it does to me? And when it’s at its fullest, and its energy is at its most vibrant…what then? Have you noticed how a full moon changes you? If anything, it’s made me feel a little bit cheeky, tonight. (Uh, oh. The nutter girl will be writing this blog post, it seems. :P)
Earlier today I was standing at the kitchen sink, blissing out to music, gazing at a tree over the fence…and it occurred to me just how python-like the arms of it were: thick, muscular shaped things, twisted up and around and everywhere. Again I wondered. How did I miss that? Thirty-six years of looking at things made of plastic and glass and human, that’s how.
But the most shocking thing that I’ve missed—something that makes my heart cry just to think it—is the friendship that nature makes with itself. How did I miss the wonder of the trees and how they reach for each other over pathways, their leaves meeting only centimeters apart as if to touch fingers in the most delicate of ways?
I was sleeping, that’s how. I was the bear that slept a thousand winters and woke up in a whole new wonderous world, and here I am now trying to make sense of it all, trying to figure out just where and how I fit in.
So I’m deciding. I won’t be going back to sleep again— from now on I’ll be wide awake to the beauty of it all, no matter how many people think that I’m crazy for randomly loving trees so much. I’ll be deciding to live with more of my heart than ever before. I’ll be deciding to love as much as naturally flows through me, and if that means loving the stars and the moon and the sun a little more…then it’s happening. It’s happening, guys, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
Surrendering to ‘the flow of me’ means a few new things will be happening in my life, one of which you will very likely notice. I’ll be posting here as often as I feel called to post, from now on— and if that means posting more than once a day (like this) I might just do that.
Because just as the moon shines on the sea, and just as the trees go hand in hand…I write. It’s just the natural way of things.
Right. Did I hear someone say ‘cup of tea and a bickie’?