Monday, October 18, 2010

Where the Earth Remembers Me

There are many reasons to come home. The clues are everywhere; in crisp blue skies, lush grassy hills, cool shady woods, clean clear water and the blissful twilight chorus. When I inhale; the sweetness of all that grows wild makes me a bit lightheaded.

Last summer, I spent many nights sitting on the front porch watching fireflies and rapidly floating clouds against a dazzling moon. Now, bundled in a warm fleece jacket, I sit on the steps and wait for winter. Trees creak and sigh in the north wind. Branches – no longer cloaked in soft leaves – click against the other, while remnants of last years garden rattle. Throaty owls and barking coyotes remind me of the plentiful wildlife surrounding me and how I am at ease in their elusive presence.

As I plant, nurture and harvest many flowers, herbs, berries and ground nuts, I am filled with unending gratitude, validating my Abenaki roots. I celebrate each time I spread one of my homemade jams on an English muffin or when I burn candles adorned with vibrant leaves and delicate petals. There is nothing more satisfying than sipping tea made from red clover, rose and mint that I plucked daily and hung from the kitchen beam to dry.

Today, I walked down the footpath in the woods. As the multihued leaves swished beneath my feet, it suddenly occurred to me how significant it is to return to where the earth remembers me. As a child I played and wandered through these woods, playing house within a cluster of tall pine trees and navigating the ‘big rock’ – my ship. Many times I dug my heel into the fresh earth to make a hole for playing marbles, picked daisies for making chains and climbed into the thick, crooked arms of a timeless apple tree, resting and daring to dream while taking bittersweet nourishment.

Until I returned home, I didn’t know that the wild pleasures of my childhood, wonders of keeping it simple, and ways of Our Mother imprinted in my DNA, were lost somewhere deep inside of me. The stillness inside is enough to quiet the chatter, remove me from the chaos and reclaim all that matters then and now. It is so quiet here. Rejoice.

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