Note to the reader: We’ve been wrestling with some pretty heavy topics for the past few weeks. This week, I thought we’d take a breather and refresh ourselves. Guest blogger Tracie Nichols offers us a fresh voice and some beautiful thoughts. Be sure to visit her blog, listed below. Thanks, Tracie!
I experience my deep relationship with the land where I live as a truly sacred partnership. And now, in the winter, is when I most appreciate the depth of that relationship. When I most clearly feel the essence of this Place. The strength, stillness, and solidity that hold me steady throughout the movement and change of the rest of the seasons.
During the rest of the year my perception of that steady essence drops into the background of my awareness. I’m teased by color, movement, and light. Scent and sound distract me. I follow the rhythms into bursts of movement and creative flow of my own.
Then late autumn eases to the foreground. In an annual botanical striptease the essential strength and stillness of this land is revealed again. I’m mesmerized every time. My own body rhythms yearn for the same gracefully stark leanness emerging around me. Stillness and solidity begin to sing in my bones.
Visually late autumn and winter in this Place can seem a bit monotone. No more brilliant leaves or flowers. The noisy insect bands have all found warmer places to be. Other than the occasional murder of crows or passing flock of geese, even the sounds are more spare.
Oh, but like the subtle beauty revealed as a work of art is cleaned, each day the bones of the land quietly surface a bit more. Bare trees. Exposed stone in stream beds. Pods and cones, seeds long dispersed. Leafless gnarled twigs. Tan and silver grasses. I imagine this Place is showing me its Crone face.
I have cultivated my relationship with this Place. Opened my heart and spirit to our relationship every day, sometimes every moment. Given as much as I have received. Loved constantly. Respected. And, as I would with any beloved, I’ve sometimes chosen the needs of the land over my own.
At this naked time of year, resting into our relationship, I can feel my very breath infused with the stillness, solidity and strength this Place embodies. I am held with exquisite perfection so I can enter the dark stillness of the winter womb. I’m offered strength and steadiness so I can gestate, and ultimately birth, the powerful work I’m called to do in the world. Without this partnership, my work wouldn’t thrive. Without this relationship, I couldn’t live.
What’s your relationship with the Place where you live?
Tracie Nichols, M.A. helps compassionate changemakers become more effective at what they do by forming a sacred partnership with the earth. She blogs, mentors and teaches at http://alchemyfortheearth.com (and loves comments on her blog posts!!)
Photo Credits: Photos courtesy of Tracie Nichols.