Greetings! In regards to the admittedly small chance that my absence was noted, the several day loss of my phone is now rectified and so my understatedly triumphant WordPress return! I was wearing a very shallow-pocketed coat at a playground, thinking, “these pockets are so very shallow I’m probably going to lose this phone,” aaaaaand – I was right!
My brain has lately been experiencing some unfortunate difficulty in choosing between overwhelming anxiety and utter despair. I could not fall back to sleep the other night per the worry and fretting of it all. I got out of bed to read a bit instead of scrunching my eyes uselessly shut. I ended up perusing an ebook club selection entitled “The Sacred Tree.” Decidedly an optimistic little book, replete with reminders of how the natural world is the source of and balm for all. Typically, I would breeze through such a message in a whirl of head nodding and sentimental tears.
But, situated in my dark mode, it was a challenge to get into the groove of ancestral teachings. I will share the ebook club discussion posting I came up with. Not very sunshiny, but actually quite helpful to my overall mood once expressed:
I think we are so far into the poisoning of the world that it’s unfathomable. The sickness of hearts, including my own, result from our extreme displacement from the sights and sounds and scents of the living world responsible for humanity’s long path toward consciousness and meaning. We are cut off from intimate knowledge of the cycles and contours of seasonal patterns that were once deeply observed and evolved into the symbology of psyches that , I think, intuited the extreme dangers of spiritual disconnect. The ongoing physical disconnect, as we are ever more accustomed to surroundings of concrete and plastic and wire and steel, likely makes the spiritual crisis inevitable. There is so little to sustain hearts and eyes starving for the sustenance of natural cycles experienced and familiar and loved. I’ve spent my entire life in cities, at times finding the strength and determination to really see and feel gratitude for the trees and birds and insects remaining. But I cannot deny that the sheer mass and scale of the manufactured world drives me to despair. Maybe all of us.
I am at a low point, which is an interesting place from which to engage with this book as a message of hope and truth. Try as I might, I haven’t been able to materialise a life situated in the woods. I fear symbolism alone is simply not sufficient to provide the healing required for individuals, and certainly not enough for the planet. Reminders like the Sacred Tree are useful as templates of right action. But so many of our actions are circumscribed by the industrialized norms dominating the landscape. The changes required to restore the health of the planet are profound, all encompassing. But petty arguments are linked to monetary profit, limiting the terms of any discussion on how to move forward. I ache for my children to know the beauty of life the way our woods-dwelling ancestors did. But I can’t find a job, I’m in growing debt from student loans, and my husband’s job is in the city. That is the systemic cycle that binds so many of us, consuming and replacing the guidance of the natural cycles and sickening our trapped hearts. Seeing pictures of eagles does not help, I am not rectified by symbolism so easily co-opted for marketing purposes. Though some small hope remains, in that my heart and soul are truly lifted when I see an actual eagle flying in the sky, feathers and flesh and air.