A few of our Hollyhocks are still blooming in November. Their beauty on these often grey and rainy days is a sight to behold. As I start out on my walk with my old companion Frodo, I see the soft pink greeting me from a distance.
Making my way through the meadow I can’t help but notice many different tribes of mushrooms dotted throughout the landscape. I feel their invitation to stop for a moment. I take a closer look and feel touched by their mystery and beauty. Most of them I do not recognize. Life seems ever changing as I take in the many different shapes and sizes that are here today and may be gone tomorrow.
Frodo and I continue our morning walk and soon we are stepping over all the little creeks in the meadow that are making their way to the ocean. I watch Frodo stop and sniff a cedar branch for a very long time. This brings tears to my eyes. His eyesight is slowly leaving, his hearing all but gone. Each moment is becoming more precious and these walks with him are not taken for granted anymore. Quietly I watch him take in the sweet smell of cedar and who knows what else…
A couple of weeks ago I had an experience that is still with me today. I was looking at posts on Facebook when I came across one that stopped me in my tracks. I had seen it before. Last time I quickly clicked onto something else. The image was breaking my heart. When I saw it again this time however I knew I couldn’t just pass over it. I looked at the picture of a starving polar bear floating on a piece of ice and I became very still. Perhaps you know which one I am talking about. I didn’t read any words, the picture spoke volumes. The usual feeling of deep pain, helplessness and hopelessness arose and I sat with it as I would with a friend who is sharing with me a painful experience. Then I did something else that surprised me. I asked myself not from a place of defeat, but from a place of earnest inquiry: What can I do to make a difference? I don’t usually ask myself this question, because I think I already know the answer: There is nothing I can do! Or perhaps I am afraid of the answer.
I did not address the question to that little me who feels powerless and inadequate, I asked my very core, my centre of being and the answer was matter of fact, immediate, very short and very clear: Write!
As soon as I heard it, I felt an immense amount of joy followed immediately by fear. I remember my Shamanic teacher Sandra Ingerman telling a group of us once, to only ask a question if we are really ready to hear the answer and accept it. Sometimes we don’t actually want to hear the answer and do what is asked of us. I have never forgotten her teaching and now only ask when I feel ready to honour the response.
I let the answer wash over and through me. As I watch the raindrops gather together becoming little creeks, gaining momentum and power as many become one, I wonder if that is what is needed to shift what is happening in our world today. Is this what is taking place at Standing Rock in North Dakota where tribes, nations and many people are coming together from all directions to stand up for what is sacred: our water, life, Mother Earth, our burial grounds…?
On my walks recently I have been looking for a stone that resembles Standing Rock for me and then I suddenly realized that what I was looking for was not to be found on the outside. I had to look for it on the inside. As soon as I turned my gaze inward I could see that Standing Rock is that centre of my being that stands solid and strong regardless of what is happening on the outside.
As Frodo is taking a sip from the little creek under the big old cedar tree, I am really glad I asked myself that question and for a moment I imagine a world where people come together and stand for the sacredness of life and create a new world together based on love and oneness not fear. I look out onto the garden where the soft pink Hollyhocks are beckoning: Come! Take a closer look! And I do…what I see fills my heart with joy: the seeds are sown, it is already in the making.