I’ve spent a lot of time in my yard lately, filling barrels with dead branches and endless bags of detritus left by wind and rain. In the last few weeks, I have also engaged in the housekeeping of my soul. (Refer to the latest rants, please.) It was during those roiling, thunderous gales and the gray days that followed that I was engaged in storms of the spirit, lessons and spiritual exercises. I was like Nature’s tempests—restless, irritable, and discontent.
We are now in a string of calm, sunny days. The world has changed. I have changed. I took my ninety-five-year-old aunt on a shopping trip to buy new sneakers. The store she insisted on going to (she had reward cards) is a little over thirty-two miles away. Arthritis has rendered her virtually unable to walk. Leaning on a shopping cart (she won’t use her walker), she made the tortuous trek from the store’s entrance to the shoe department, stopping to rest a couple of times. She was her old self-willed, cantankerous self, but the Universe gave us a sales clerk gifted with patience and kindness. It took a full measure of both to get the exact shoes she wanted in the right size. Miraculously, we found them and made the thirty-two mile trip back without an unkind word between us. I engaged her in recounting some family history. I’d heard it all before, but it was good for her to remember another time, a time when she was young. A time when she could walk. I heard details that had escaped me before. Maybe I’d never listened well before. It also helped that we were awash in warm sunlight. It was as if the earth and the Universe had given us both one gigantic break.
I am familiar with the condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), that low energy, depressive mood that comes with fall and winter, and stays till spring. I know about lower light levels affecting the brain. They affect mine, and probably two thirds of the people with whom I come in contact (including you-know-who). That’s not what I’m talking about. No, I’m talking about a psychic connection to the earth. I’m talking about storms and the cleaning up of the detritus of the soul. I’m talking about a return of warmth and sunlight and a few calm days in which nothing has to happen, and nothing has to be learned. I’m talking about a deep, psychic breath.
We breathe with the earth; we move with her through space. We are part of her ecosystem, part of the dance in which all things grow, change, die, and live again. I felt this as I was in my yard today, filling more bags with pine cones and detritus. I was conscious of little more than the sun on my back and the sweet sounds of birds. I didn’t think much. Earlier, on my morning walk, I saw an eagle sitting in a tree. As I came near, he flew to a tree away from the road, not letting me get too close, but not disappearing either. He sat there, august and still, as I walked past, a signet of Nature in her dressy dress.
I am grateful that I had no lessons to learn today. It was time for the earth and me to rest and rejoice in the great gift of being, to be warm, and for a few hours, to shine.
Read The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide by Helen Delaney. It can be found at www.Amazon.com.