Down by the Cottonwood Cathedral that now, in only these few days has let go of it’s gold cloak and has allowed these child-like leaves to fall earthward, in a startling array of hushed organic sound I looked eastward to see nearly 40 Canadian Geese flying towards me…over me, in their classic “V” formation. I stopped dead still, holding my breath, so I could hear every sound they offered. There were a few honks, but what drew my attention was the sound of the wings and something else…I’m not really sure what it was…clicks and muffled sounds of squeezes, orrr muscles flexing??? I felt a blessing fall over my body with what I can only imagine to be the sound of their bodies in this magnificent miracle called flight. The point of their arrow went directly over me towards the western mesa…it seemed they were just barely above the cottonwood’s highest branches. They were so directly above me and so close that I could almost see feathered quills, and I could glimpse their webbed feet tucked in beneath their tails. There was SO much to take in. I opened to receive and yet it all happened so fast that in only one moment it was only a memory that was fading from my cells. Something in my heart longed to have this last forever…so gorgeously alive it was.
I was awed as I watched and listened as they proceeded west and northward…the “V” shaping and unshaping. Awed. This experience of awe rose in me so instantaneously…a gift that is most certainly given in nearly every encounter with the wild beings of this earth…if only we give them our attention. Here there is reciprocity…a gift of wild beauty given and the receiving of it.
How has it happened that we can turn away so effortlessly from such a ravishing spectacle?
As I turned and walked towards home, I wondered at this. What has happened in the hidden anguish of this ripping divorce from nature?
My mind was bowled over by the so muchness of what I imagined my response to be to my own question.
I wondered at the harm done while we humans, the children of this magnificent Mother Earth, turned our attention toward some patriarchal father figure called Industrialism. We humans, still with a glimmer of innocence in the cells of our skins, were shuttled and stretched and made thin by the tension of being moved away from this voluptuous, all giving Mother and towards an angular more mechanical father figure. Disorientation infiltrated us in the movement between, and our heart bonds were pulled on by the rapture of Mother tugged on by the ease of allurement of rapid growth and sensory stealing technology. Somehow more and faster, became better. Somewhere in the hustle and bustle and confusion of this changing world we began to forget Mother’s offerings and leaned in towards this new way that seemed so comforting, safe and available. Fear, it seemed, seeped in under the floor boards without us noticing and by and by we found ourselves closing doors and pulling blinds and turning on what is inside, which quietly made us ignorant to the life that was outside….and we began to fear it and so were drawn up close to straddle these man-made controllable items that promised safety. We cast our shadows on the motherland and she became dangerous.
There was a time, I know, when only a simple animal hide or a few rocks were what was between us and the open air and all that came in the wildness of our homes. We knew it. It was part of us and we were part of it. It was family and we understood innately when there was danger and when there was not. The animals, the weather, the rooted ones, and the seasonal patterns were our familiars and we lived with them in communion.
We became more beautiful immersed in this temple of aliveness.
Now, with every locked door and window, with every curtain drawn to the sun, and the lights turned on to off the night, with every humming motor and engine of our ease-making life, we shut out that world that is our family that so generously teaches us and shows us the beauty way.
It’s no wonder I sometimes feel lonely.
Sometimes I wonder if our Earth family misses us too…and I ask, what more have we defiled beyond the visible Earth family, that holds us as something greater?
The image of the geese is breathing in me now….still.
Prayers of gratitude surround.