Sunday, April 30, 2006

A PRAYER FOR THE WORLD

 This little prayer was published in Parade magazine several years ago. It's very much in line with what I've been working with this Spring.

Let the rain come and wash away
the ancient grudges, the bitter hatreds
held and nurtured over generations.
Let the rain wash away the memory
of the hurt, the neglect.
Then let the sun come out and
fill the skies with rainbows.
Let the warmth of the sun heal us
wherever we are broken.
Let the sun burn away the fog so that
we can see each other clearly
so that we can see beyond labels,
beyond accents, gender or skin color.
Let the warmth and brightness
of the sun melt our selfishness
so that we can share the joys and
feel the sorrows of our neighbors.
And let the light of the sun
be so strong that we will see all
people as our neighbors.
Let the earth nourished by rain,
bring forth flowers
to surround us with beauty.
And let the mountains teach our
hearts to reach upward to heaven.

Amen

Rabbi Harold S Kushner

Saturday, April 29, 2006

A PRAYER FROM THE TREES

Sahalie Falls on the McKenzie River about forty five minutes from Springfield. Sahalie Falls is just above Koosah Falls. Both were named at some point by members of the Chinook tribe. Found this lovely little prayer in American Indian Healing Arts.

May all I say and all I think
be in harmony with thee,
God within me, God beyond me,
maker of the trees.
 
In me be the windswept truth of shore pine,
fragrance of balsam and spruce, the grace of hemlock.
In me the truth of Douglas fir, straight, tall,
strong-trunked land hero of fireproof bark.
Sheltering tree of life, decar's truth be mine,
cypress truth, juniper aroma, strength of yew.
 
May all I say and all I think
be in harmony with thee,
God within me, God beyond me,
maker of the trees.
 
In me be the truth of stream-lover willow, soil-giving alder,
hazel of sweet nuts, wisdom-branching oak.
In me the joy of crab apple, great maple, vine maple,
cleansing cascara, and lovely dogwood.
And the gracious truth of the copper branched arbutus,
bright with color and fragrance, be with me on the earth.
 
May all I say and all I think
be in harmony with thee,ranched arbutus,
bright with color and fragrance,be with me on the earth.
God within me, God beyond me,
maker of the trees.
-Chinook prayer
 

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A WORLD FOREST?

Koosah Falls on the McKenzie River about forty five minutes from Springfield, Oregon.

I didn't really realize how truly rooted I am in the Pacific Northwest until I started
working my way through Rae Beth's books. She describes a guided imagery
exercise for a wildwood mystic. (and it's not too far from the Celtic view
of the world) I love the description of the World Tree and I even found a
very nice pendant showing a great oak with roots that go as deep as the
branches are tall. Trouble is.......I didn't grow up in the shadows of oaks,
maples, or beeches. Outside of a few trees in the yards around Oakridge, and
the two dwarf apple trees in our yard I grew up surrounded by evergreens.
And a single evergreen just won't do as an image for a world tree.

A world forest? Perhaps. But a single evergreen simply won't survive by
itself. Where an oak or maple has a low lying single trunk that branches and
branches and branches an evergreen spikes straight up. I've seen a few
cedars with a double trunk, maybe a triple but that's it. The branches tend
to slope downwards to survive heavy snowfalls and the root system is usually
shallower. This makes evergreens vulnerable in ice storms or severe
windstorms. The best defense? Grow in huge groves so that each tree is
protected by the others. So a world forest as a symbol of faith isn't too
far off. Each tree protects the others and any damage to one tree threatens
the rest. So instead of one great tree, I find myself picturing a world with a great
forest in every part of the globe with the roots reaching for the center.

So, where did this come from? As I read her guided imagery exercise my
little avatar didn't go looking for an oak or a maple. It made tracks for
the tall timber. Some place with tall trees, ferns, deep moss, some deadfall
for the mushrooms and lichens to grow on, and some berry bushes. If a
waterfall makes an appearance that is a definite bonus

 

 If I can't have a waterfall then a drippy, misty, coastal forest will do very nicely.

 So if my little spirit self doesn't head for the Cascades it heads for the coast. Not to the beach, to the great basalt headlands graced with low-lying evergreens shaped
by the winds. To that Pacific Ocean that William Clark called the Great
Western Ocean. When he made the entry he said he wasn't about to call it the
Pacific. He hadn't had one pacific (peaceful) day since he laid eyes on it.

And silence. Not the scary, wake up in the middle of the night, where is
everybody silence. But the root deep silence of the world before the first
word was spoken. Not a silence where there is no sound. Bird song, wind song
and water song are part of that silence. A silence with no background hum. A
silence that sings.

 

Sunday, April 23, 2006

FOR THE FAIRIES AND ALL OF US


Leave Them A Flower
  • (Wally Whyton)
 I speak on behalf of the next generation
My sons and daughters, their children to come
What will you leave them for their recreation
An oil slick, a pylon, an industrial slum
        Leave them a flower, some grass and a hedgerow
        A hill and a valley, a view to the sea
        These things are not yours to destroy as you want to
        A gift given once for eternity
You plunder and pillage, you tear and you tunnel
Trees lying toppled, roots finger the sky
Building a land for machines and computers
In the name of progress the farms have to die
        Leave them a flower, some grass and a hedgerow
        A hill and a valley, a view to the sea
        These things are not yours to destroy as you want to
        A gift given once for eternity
Fish in the ocean polluted and poisoned
The sand on the beaches stinking and black
And you with your tankers, your banks and investments
Say, Never worry, the birds will come back
        Leave them a flower, some grass and a hedgerow
        A hill and a valley, a view to the sea
        These things are not yours to destroy as you want to
        A gift given once for eternity
When the last flower has dropped its last petal
When the last concrete is finally laid
The moon will shine cold on a nightmarish landscape
Your gift to your children, this world that you made
        Leave them a flower, some grass and a hedgerow
        A hill and a valley, a view to the sea
        These things are not yours to destroy as you want to
        A gift given once for eternity
 I remember when this song came out in the seventies. For all the fairies in my garden, your garden and everywhere else. And most of all for all of us.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

SWEET DREAMS

The first forget me nots are up in the sunny spots. And I think this goes very well with this little something from Caitlin Matthews. Oh, and the fairy is one of Mary Barker's Flower Fairies.

Free-born flame in Spring arising;
flickering in the glowing dark,
light my spirits self disguising,
wake the core of soul's sweet spark.
 
I cleanse my soul in the dews of Spring,
light of mind's refreshing dew,
love of heart's renewing dew,
life of being's restoring dew,
cleanse and recreate my soul this night.
May the souls of all beings
be peacefully preserved
from fall of night
to day's clear light.
 
Cave of the Heart
Sanctuary of the Soul
I sink down into the sleep of repose.
 
 

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

WEDNESDAY NIGHT

It's Wednesday  and my current mental state is just this side of bombed. Mentally, not chemically. When I get like this, trying to read anything more complicated than "See Spot Run" is almost more than I can manage. The words start running together and head off the page in a little Conga line. But I did manage to make it through this little prayer from the Tewa Pueblo.
O our Mother the Earth,
O our Father the Sky,
Your children are we, and with tired backs
We bring you the gifts you love.
Then weave for us a garment of brightness;
May the warp be the white light of morning,
May the weft be the red light of evening,
May the fringes be the falling rain,
May the border be the standing rainbow.
Then weave for us a garment of brightness
That we may walk fittingly where grass is green,
O our Mother the Earth,
O our Father the Sky!
This is from a book on Native American remedies and healing rituals.
It just hit my how beautiful this image is. Either that, or I'm a little loopier than I realized. Imagine a robe with all the shades of sunrise and sunset, fringed with all the shades of the rain from soft showers to drowning downpours with a border of all the colors of the rainbow. While I'm at it I'd add beads to the fringe. Beads that flash with all the colors of the stars and glow from within with silver of the moon and the gold of the sun. Sweet dreams to one and all,

Sunday, April 16, 2006

BLESS THE LORD

Kathleen Norris's marvelous essays in Dakota are periodically separated by weather reports. The one for a February describes a day so cold that you don't dare breath without layers of good wool between your lungs and the air. Weather so cold that spit crackles when it hits the sidewalk. Much to the delight of the kids who keep doing it. She remembered this, but couldn't really remember where it was from.

Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord.
Frost and chill, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord.
Nights and days bless the Lord.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord.
 
I'm not quite sure which way this is going.  It works either way. All these elements may be blessing the Creator for making them possible. Or the writer may figure that no matter what the weather is, no matter whether it's day or night, no matter how dark or light it is, rejoice and be glad that you're there to enjoy it.
 
Blessed be!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

BUBBLES?

Sort of a cosmic Easter egg. The Bubble Nebula can be found near Cassiopeia. The colors have been enhanced to bring out the color contrasts. This is from one of my favorite astronomy sites and was featured back in November of last year. The nebula is the hot bluish gasses. The surrounding cloud that hampers the nebulas' expansion shows up as the reddish-golden to purple colors. I know I couldn't come up with eggs those colors. :-) But I wish I could.

 

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

LOOKS FAR WOMAN

 
Mother, teach me how to see
The shining light of stars,
The faces of the Ancestors,
In worlds both near and far.
 
Show me how to welcome
The visions appearing to me,
Seeing the truth in detail,
Unraveling each mystery.
 
Walk me through the Dreamtime
Of altered time and space,
That I may share these visions
With every creed and race.
 
Doorkeeper of all dimensions,
I seek your medicine ways,
Of how to earth my visions,
Seeing truth, inside me, today.
 
by Jamie Sams
 
Looks Far Woman is the name Jamie Sams gives to that which helps us to the truth of the visions we receive. She is what stands  at the doorway between this world and all the others we can travel to in our dreams or visions. The guide who helps us to return the awareness of our bodies in safety.
 

Sunday, April 9, 2006

HERE I STAND, FOR NOW

 

When Martin Luther was finally pushed to the point where there were no squares on the chessboard to move to he is supposed to have said, “Here I stand. God help me, I can do no other.”

 

Well, I’m not comparing myself to Martin Luther but I am looking for a place to stand. For a spiritual place to stand where the feminine is respected, where men are comfortable as nurturers, where there is a place for the fellow travelers on this planet to find their voices, where all the earth is considered holy ground, where the evidence of science is not dismissed as a trick of the “devil.”

 

While Rae Beth uses the term hedge witch in the titles of her books, I prefer her term wild wood mystic. With work it might be fitted into the older Christian traditions of Meister Ekhart and Hildegard of Bingen. I’m not that far yet, I’m still taking baby steps. Whether I can find a way to stay within the traditions I was raised in or if I find myself moving on I would like to be in the words of Rae Beth’s cunning man.

 

“One who speaks for the tree roots and stones. Who speaks with the tree roots’ and stones’ voices. One who speaks as the grass and rivers. One who speaks as fields and woods and hills and valleys and the salt marshes and waves and tides. Yet who speaks as what is close to home. With the mouse’s voice or the seagull’s or the fox’s or the badger’s. One who speaks in cadences that go beyond the darkness and beyond stars, encompassing what is unmeasurable. One whose entire being vibrates to the spirits’ words in nature, like a reed at dawn in a pool where trout swim.

 

Is she really channeling the words of a village wise man who lived more than a thousand years ago? I don’t know. I don’t know that she’s not. But, the words and message fill an empty place in my soul. So, I will continue to visit little cottage by hedge, or the medicine lodge, the achorites cell or the thicket by the river. I will read, I will listen and I will see where the path leads me.

 

WHERE I'M FROM

 

I am from Douglas fir, hemlock, spruce and cedar.

 

I am from the Cascades, the Blues, the Siskiyous, and the Wallowas.

 

 I am from clear cuts, choker cables, riggers and log trucks with one log loads.

 

I am from sandy beaches, basalt cliffs and mudflats.

 

I am from wild geese calling at sunrise, wrens in the thickets, and great blue herons on the other side of the river.

 

I am from the little creeks, the mighty Columbia and the Pacific breakers.

 

I am from tricycles, tetherballs, little sisters with skinned knees and a love for bugs.

 

I am from the ivy by the patio, the hydrangeas with dinner plate size clumps of blossoms and the garden in the back yard.

 

I am from a wringer washer, a concrete laundry sink and clothes full of the smell of sunshine.

 

I am from missionaries, Methodist hymnals and fairy rings.

 

I am from winter gales, spring showers, sunny summer days and autumn fogs and frosts.

 

I am from lavender, dogwood, daffodils, daylilies, ivy and blueberries.

 

I am from rivers with concrete barriers, hydroelectric turbines, anda creek that’s lost its namesake salmon run.

 

I am from Hanford Reach, the Umatilla Arms depot, and the Columbia Gorge where condors may soar again.

 

I am from logging towns with no mills, harbors with no fish, and farms being swallowed by urban sprawl.

 

I am from books, and a flute and feeling out of step on the march to wherever.

 

I am from feeling like I’m on the outside looking in. I am from seeing what no one else seems to see.  I am from hearing what no one else seems to hear. 

 

And Russ, you’re right. I think I’m gonna stop here myself.

Thursday, April 6, 2006

THE PRAYERS OF STREAMS AND STONES

Rae Beth writes of one of her familiars, an old cunning man who lived in Britain over a thousand years ago. He speaks to her of prayers. That some prayers are meant to be shared and some are meant to be kept private. That we must know all the prayers of everything around us. Of the wrens, sparrows, or fish. I can understand the idea that a bird or a badger might pray. But a stream or stone?

What does water dream of and pray for? Does the water in a tiny brook remember when it was part of a mighty ocean? Does it remember being a snowflake, a glacier, or a tiny drop of rain? Does it remember another tiny rivulet? Flowing from rivulet, to stream, to mighty river and finally to the sea. Of being caught up by the warmth of the sun only to become a raindrop again. Of the endless fall to earth and another stream.

What does a stone remember? Does it remember when its atoms were part of the primal lava flows? Does it remember further back when the atoms were formed in the death throes of a super nova? Do the atoms remember their lives in a cliff face being ground down by relentless breakers? Does it remember the endless pressure as the sandstone became rock to be thrust again into daylight or carried down into the heart of the earth to become molten lava once more?

Trying to imagine the dreams of a bird or a badger is difficult enough for a human. But, we normally see water or grass or stone as inanimate, unaware. Trying to imagine their dreams or prayers; that is a mystery.