A note from Erin:
Hello, friends! I hope this note finds you having your heart slayed with delight about something, in spite of everything else. Birdsong? Cloudscapes? Someone’s laugh? A stranger’s kindness? A hot shower? A reliable old tree? The tiny pink tongue of a cat? The attentive ears and soulful gaze of a deer? This weekend I was utterly enchanted by the intimacy and details on the skin of trees. And when I stopped to admire the intricacies of bark, look what I found!
Do you mind if I call her Saint Mary? I’m always up for reveling in her words and I feel compelled to share some today. (Hasn’t it been delightful to see all the tributes and celebrations of a beloved poet online?? These kinds of things make me love the internet all over again.)
“It must be a great disappointment to God if we are not dazzled at least ten times a day.”
Let’s not disappoint!!
“I know, you never intended to be in this world. But you’re in it all the same. So why not get started immediately. I mean, belonging to it. There is so much to admire, to weep over.”
Indeed. And those are my favorite kinds of tears.
I can never express my thanks with sufficient reverence or gratitude. Thank you, Mary. Your words have woven so deeply into the fabric of my heart and mind and have beautified my life beyond measure. I know it’s true for so many of us. Your words and your life are a gift for all time.
Ok, one more from Mary. An excerpt from one of my favorite poems:
The witchery of living
is my whole conversation
with you my darlings.
All I can tell you is what I know.
Look, and look again.
This world is not just a little thrill for the eyes.
It’s more than bones.
It’s more than the delicate wrist with its personal pulse.
It’s more than the beating of the single heart.
It’s giving until the giving feels like receiving.
You have a life—just imagine that!
You have this day, and maybe another, and maybe still another.
(excerpted from To Begin With, The Sweet Grass from the book Evidence.)
Y’all, I had such a powerful weekend with Mutima Imani who came to town to offer a workshop in The Work That Reconnects. Did I tell you I’m doing a year-long training to become a facilitator of this work? I’m adding to my toolbox. Why? Because I love the world, and I hope that I can be a skillful support so that people who are called to do inner work and embodiment work are also called to help the world; and hope that I can be a skillful support for people who do world-saving work to also attend to, care for, and heal the inner world and the body. Both are so necessary.
As part of the workshop, we did a practice called The Council of All Beings. Everyone in our group was invited to get quiet, be still, and listen for which being might want to come and speak through us to the circle. We were visited by Darkness, Soil, The Seed of Life, A Star, Snow, A Child of the Future, Gardens, and Petrified Wood. Can I share what I wrote, or rather what Petrified Wood shared through me?
“I am here.
Feel my weight. You cannot deny it.
I am a tree being.
My life began more than a hundred million years ago. Did you hear me? More than a hundred million years. . .
And I am here still.
Heavy and hard. I have turned to bone.
On that ledge where you found me lie other bones. Bones of tree sisters.
Bones of great dinosaurs, who just like you, like me, loved being alive.
Carry me in your heart.
Let my weight anchor you to this knowing: Life goes on.
It changes shape and form but never ends. And we stay connected.
Across 100 million years, I am sending you blessings.
If you root yourself deeply, if you continue to grow, and if you remember to remember,
you can hurl blessings across a hundred million years too.
Gaia changes her garb – ice, fires, water, mountains, great dinosaurs, great oceans, great whales, tiny insects, viruses, humans, fungi.
Have you noticed the vast intelligence in each of these?
Can you trust life?
Bodies never last forever.
But life does. Never doubt it.
Remember all the ancestors you carry in your beautiful bones.
Remember all the beings for whom you are an ancestor, both human and non-human.
Be a good ancestor.
Remember to bless.
Fling those blessings like seeds hundreds of years into the future; further even than you can imagine.
I’m with you.
You are not alone.”
We are not alone.
And we have this day! And maybe still another!!!
How could we allow it to be less effortful and more pleasurable? Right in this moment?
Shoulders drop, belly soften, noticing the bones can hold you up?
Being extra kind to someone who looks like they could use it?
Letting someone (maybe yourself) have their hard feelings without trying to put a silver lining on it? (What a gift that is!)
Let’s hurl blessings with every step.
And when we can’t, let’s open our eyes to be dazzled, to see the blessings being hurled at us.
And when we can’t do that, let’s just meet whatever is here, be it worry, depression, pain, grief, with ginormous kindness.
We can do that.
Friends, we are beaming so much gratefulness and love your way.
Thanks so much for reading. Thank you for the privilege of allowing us space in your inbox and in your life.