When I was 9 years old my family took a road trip to Mesa Verde National Park. A stunning cliff-side topography of desert hues, all reds and oranges littered with surprising smatterings of sage greens that held the homes of our ancestors in yawning abyss. I stood there, against and part of that backdrop in all my 9-year old wonder until an overwhelming emotion brought me to my knees and broke me open, my cries echoing off canyon walls. I faced a mirror of the Majesty of Mother Earth so powerful, so potent, so ineffable it felt as if the very coding of my soul shifted in bittersweet pain of memory not of this lifetime, but of times past. I have since referred to that moment as one of the more pivotal times of my childhood, my first profound, mystical experience... my first Soul Song to the Earth.
Now the year of the Dragon is upon us and we are called as a collective into Kali’s tough conversation - destruction of what doesn’t serve in all aspects of our lives to make way for a new paradigm. This is a time where discernment is paramount and spiritual manipulation comes in many guises, shrouding and confusing our essential conversation with the Self as a crucial part of our environment. What happened to me that day in the scintillating heat of history has happened many times since. And I settle into the realization that my original Guru was - and still is - the Natural World.
In remembrance, I invite you to step back into your essential conversation with the inheritance we so often abuse and forget. To leave your work, your urban boulevards, and your busy lives - if even for one moment - to sing your own Soul Song to the Earth, and to step forward as silent student, ears and eyes open, to the dance and play - to the wise and all-encompassing embrace - of Mother Nature.
In shared experience,
Shakti July 10, 2012
Written for Origin Magazine.
Sleeping in the Forest
I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.
© Mary Oliver