Blazes and Cairns: November 2017


I think of the trees and how simply they let go, let fall the riches of a season, how without grief (it seems) they can let go and go deep into their roots for renewal and sleep. … Imitate the trees. Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember that nothing stays the same for long, not even pain … Sit it out. Let it all pass. Let it go. ~May Sarton

A friend recently sent me this quote, and it feels spot on for the energy of this month. The Creator of Roots is the pinnacle of the earth element: steady, consistent, reliable, moving forward.

The seasons feel that way to me. Change is consistent, reliable, and reminds us that we are always moving, whether it feels that way or not.

I love the idea of the trees radically accepting the change–the letting go, the descension into their roots to rest, to store up nutrients for the next growing season.

How can we be more like the trees?

I wrote a song many years ago, titled Keep Moving. One of the verses goes like this:

Isn’t the tree the fool
when already beautiful
to drop its leaves in the fall
and know they’ll return in the spring?

But the difference between
the tree and me
is on the other side of my winter
who will I be?

The song, as a whole, is about movement, about the certainty of change. And also about how scary that change can be. Especially when our sense of ourself is hinged on external things. When our sense of self is likely to shift with the strong winds or fade away with the heavy rain.

At a dinner party this past weekend, we were talking about how 2017 has been a year of seeing ourselves more clearly. Many of the insights and clear-seeing have been the result of some hard stuff, but there has been clarity in a way that there hasn’t been before.

It’s like we’re seeing through the layers.

That’s been my experience for sure. I have seen a lot about myself this year–patterns that I’ve been engaging in for years. Around intimacy and my scarcity mindset. About my difficult relationship with work.

I’ve known these things about myself, but I’ve been able to see them in a different way the past few months. I feel them differently in my body.

This clarity is an anchor. It’s a massive root system. It brings me closer to myself.

When we have our anchor, when we have our root systems in place, we know and trust who we are at our core. We can allow the seasons to come and go.

This is what the Creator of Roots reminds us.

We have done the work. We have driven that anchor into the ground. We know that loss and letting go and the cycle of death and rebirth are all part of the process.

We can root down into it this month. Into ourselves. Into the things we have made. Into the layers beneath us.

On the other side of this winter, we will be more ourselves.

And that is a beautiful thing.

Embodiment is radical. Experiencing is radical.
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Embodiment is radical. Experiencing is radical.
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