Flow the River’s Daughter is a faerie storie about a River Faerie named Flow. It is also about the natural history and the natural mystery of water. We are by molecular count 99% water. Our world and everything in it is shaped and moved by water. Only recently we have discovered that water is everywhere in the Universe. Science has also just recently discovered a 4th state or phase of water, a liquid crystal structure that accounts for the amazing properties of water and perhaps the answers to a whole host of world problems.
I am a deep student of the Medicine Wheel of life, and Winter Solstice falls in the North of this powerful mandala. This direction speaks of the deep stillness of earth, and a vast night sky that seems to make an endless night. The winter night sky is so present in the deciduous forests now, where the summer before the cathedral canopy of leaves gave us only peaks of sky in the breeze.. Now the branches of the bare trees seem to etch into the winter night lifting our gaze into the dark immensity. The stars grow brighter, more present.
“The human venture depends absolutely on this quality of awe and reverence and joy in the Earth and all that lives and grows upon the Earth…In the end the universe can only be explained in terms of celebration. It is all an exuberant expression of existence itself…We must feel that we are supported by that same power that brought the Earth into being, that power that spun the galaxies into space, that tilt the sun and brought the moon into its orbit.” Thomas Berry
Our brains have a strong biological tendency to notice what “is wrong”. Our attention is drawn to what is out of place, or insufficient or irregular in some way and we respond with worry or reaction or resistance to this “arising” out of the field of perception. A large part of our unconscious waking attention habitually seeks out the “problem” and there is a sense of positive reinforcement for noticing and acting on it. On one hand finding a problems is not what we want, there is effort, a disturbance of plans or peace, but there is also accomplishment in this activity. It is connected with our sense of control and mastery in life.
Meditation by the Fire Tonight is another beautiful full moon night by the fire, and again I sit alone. It feels as if I am the grief of the forest all around me, waiting for the people to return. Where are the people, I hear a cry inside! Alone I sing to the fire, the moon and the night. It seems I feel what the forest feels. Why not? If I am part of this earth, then my longing is an expression of the forest’s longing. In my being I carry an ancient memory of others-being-together, sharing the stories, sharing the fire, sharing the other-worldly light of the full moon on the forest floor, crisscrossed with the shadows of the trees. Tonight it is just me under the moon by the fire. Together nature and I celebrate each other. We also miss you. This is a paradox to me. The fire still crackles merrily and the deep peace of the forest abides all around. I see how life continues to hum, to buzz, to radiate, to crackle, to gurgle and to roar, in the midst of its sacrifice, and the continued loss of human wonder. The forest, never losing connection with the ground of being, remains filled with possibility, with new surprises and always celebrates this moment now. But the forest also remembers the pleasures of our ancient communion. The truth is that few people remember that sacred life is more than human and that nature is more than commodity, and fewer still have time for sitting by a fire. Most of us would be too embarrassed to allow ourselves to be taken over by Yansa, the spirit of the wind, as she blows through the treetops. There are only a few who remember the years long past when we came together by the fire, and communed with nature and each other. Remember how it was, grounded deep in presence, listening within, listening to each other, held by the whole, speaking our truths from these depths, with great resonance and intimacy. It was In this way we came to know our own souls and each other, and to know our oneness with the soul of nature. Deep inside we all long to return to an ecstatic participation and a simple connection. Coming together around a fire under the full moon is a simple spell for synergy and magic. I await your return to the forest. I invite you to come and remember. I abide here with the forest. I affirm the emptiness of the Winter.
The great benefits of Yoga and meditation are being embraced in our culture now. As we adopt and create technologies and spiritual disciplines to achieve mind/body/spirit integration, I want to suggest an approach I call the Yoga of feelings.”
I am the inn keeper, who has a blessing for each one who wanders down this road, for those who would linger long enough to walk down to the stream side, strewn with ancient bedrock boulders and sit in the hammock above the lagoon, where beach leaves, overhanging pools, shimmer with dappled light.