Remembering Who We Are

 In Reflections

“Indigenous groups honor the sun in different ways, thereby honoring Great Mysterythe force behind the sun. Most times we are happy to see the sun, especially on colder days. Sometimes we see too much of it…” ― Randy Woodley, Becoming Rooted

While walking early this morning, I noticed some of the trees clearly suffering from the lack of water. I began wishing there was something that I could do.

A powerful story Randy Woodley told in his book, Becoming Rooted: One Hundred Days of Reconnecting with Sacred Earth, came to mind.

A tornado was directly in the path of Jake’s (Woodley’s Kiowa dad) home, when Jake was a young man. Jake witnessed his father facing down the tornado and loudly directing it to go elsewhere. “To Jake’s amazement, the tornado immediately changed its course and bypassed them.”

And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.  ― Mark:4:39 (ESV)

Like Jake’s dad and more famously, Jesus, imagine if we began to live into the possibility that we too have access to this power. How might our prayers change? How might we use the power of our imagination to envision the blessings of water, wind, air, fire, and earth showing up when and where we need them and moving on when we don’t?

We’ll never know if we don’t try. Won’t you join me today in envisioning the blessing of cool rain where it’s needed, bright sunshine in the soggy places, and healing breezes where the air is stagnant? Perhaps there won’t be an immediate change in the environment, but I believe we will be changed by this endeavor and who knows what kind of impact that will have…

May you remember your innate ability to communicate with the Holy One and all you see, sense, and hear around you. And may you harness this power for compassionate service to the world.

Love Letters

“Every day, priests minutely examine the Law and endlessly chant complicated sutras. Before doing that, though, they should learn how to read the love letters sent by the wind and rain, the snow and moon.”
― Ikkyu, 15th century Zen Buddhist monk, as quoted in Earth, Our Original Monastery by Christine Valters Paintner.

Speaking to Trees

“Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth…”
―Hermann Hesse

The Fist

There are days
when the sun goes
down like a fist,
though of course

if you see anything
in the heavens
in this way
you had better get

your eyes checked
or, better still,
your diminished spirit.
The heavens

have no fist,
or wouldn’t they have been
shaking it
for a thousand years now,

and even
longer than that,
at the dull, brutish
ways of mankind—

heaven’s own
creation?
Instead: such patience!
Such willingness

to let us continue!
To hear,
little by little,
the voices—

only, so far, in
pockets of the world—
suggesting
the possibilities

of peace?
Keep looking.
Behold, how the fist opens
with invitation. ― Mary Oliver

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