Friday, January 7, 2011

earth gazer

Back in December (which seems like so long ago today for some reason) my wonderful HuBBy built trails through our woods. You can read about that here if you haven't already. They have become a daily routine for me. My days feel incomplete when I don't get back there and walk. I am more grounded and focused and my mind is clearer and my dog whose old weary bones get stiff is so happy when he gets to go with me. Of course, that depends on his arthritis and the weather. I timed myself recently and I usually spend anywhere from 20 minutes to 45 just wandering the paths. We don't have a tremendous amount of land behind our house maybe 4 acres, but it is enough to get a good peaceful walk in and feel cut off from the hustle and bustle of life for a small fraction of time - there really is no escaping the sounds of the highway we live off of, but at least it is more muffled. Now, I'm on the look out for a quiet sitting spot to reflect on my day or just lie on the ground and take the wood in or to meditate at. I think we are beginning to get it narrowed down to a few different places, we just have to spend some time in each to figure out which is the best for us. I want to have as little impact as possible, but I do want a small fire circle, so it has to be just right.

The other day I was walking back there by myself. Tonka wasn't up for it that day. As I was walking I realized, I am an Earth Gazer. Many of my friends are sky gazers, but I almost always have my head down taking in the Earth as I walk. I pick up small pieces of bark, lichens, I'm always on the look out for mushrooms that may have risen up or animal scat or animal tracks. I seldom look upwards towards the sky. I was giving myself a hard time for this realizing all that I miss by not spending my time looking up. Then I started beating myself up for being fearful of falling or tripping or stepping in hole, but then I realized, I am an Earth Gazer. I live for what is happening UNDER the leaf and pine needles. I live for seeing the mushrooms in all their sweetness and the magic they weave in the wood. It brings me immense joy when I stumble across a path of ants making their way through the wood also (although I experience NO joy when I find them in my home.) I love finding rotting pieces of wood or beautiful leaves that have fallen to the ground to become food for the tree they grew from and food for the trees around them. The whole process of decomposition speaks to my soul. The constant renewal of everything. Things die only to be reborn as something else.

Now, don't get me wrong, I also love taking in the sky - thus the sit spot. I want somewhere to lie where I can look up through the trees and breathe the sun, but at the end of the day, I am still an Earthgazer and I'm probably going to continue to be an Earthgazer for a while. One day, I may find myself looking up or straight forward, but for now, I'm discovering where the mushrooms grow in the woods behind my house and noticing the paths the deer take and in constant look out for where the raccoons and possums hide during the day. What are you?

If you look closely behind the trees, you can see where the land that meets the land we cherish is in recovery from being logged... that portion of the trail is always a reminder of the human impact because there is also an old decomposing house of sorts and quite a bit of trash that in the spring and summer I plan to attend to.

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