The Land Gets Inside Us…

 In Reflections

The land gets inside of us; and we must decide one way or another what this means, what we will do about it.”  —Barry Lopez

When you think about the land of your home what comes to mind? How does it shape you? In my adopted home of Austin, I think of the beauty of the wildflowers.

Even in the heart of the city, you’re sure to find a field of bluebonnets or Indian Paintbrush at Zilker Park come spring. Just weeks away from nature’s beauty pagent, it is my favorite time to be in Austin.

Inspired by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer beginning her biography with a description of where she lives (“Placerville, Colorado, on the banks of the wild and undammed San Miguel River”), rather than what she has published, I began to contemplate how the land we live on embraces and shapes us. Just as I imagine the San Miguel River flows into and out of much of Trommer’s poetry.

In his book Divine Beauty, John O’Donohue invites us into a relationship with the earth:

“Concealed beneath familiarity and silence, the earth holds back and it never occurs to us to wonder how the earth sees us. Is it not possible that a place could have huge affection for those who dwell there?”

What ‘conversation’ might the land you live on and around be having with you, if only you would listen? How has the land of your birth shaped you? What wisdom might the landscape of your life today have to share?

We speak about “getting grounded” to come back into balance when we’re stressed. What if there’s so much more this touching and connecting with the earth has to offer?

May you sense and see the land you walk with new eyes. And may you feel it always welcoming you home.

Flowing Water Peace

“I was listening to a recording of a flowing stream of water. There were no words and no musical accompaniment. In those few moments of total relaxation, the world was whole, the drama of these past months faded into the past.”
–Jean Springer

Your Place

“Perhaps your place loves having you there. It misses you when you are away and in its secret way rejoices when you return. Could it be possible that a landscape might have a deep friendship with you? That it could sense your presence and feel the care you extend towards it?”
—John O’Donohue, Divine Beauty

We Will Remember

Six years ago today, our beloved founder and spiritual amma, Jean Springer, transitioned from her earthly home to her heavenly one. Hearing stories of “conversations” with others, we trust she continues to offer spiritual direction to those in need.

Stay Home

I will wait here in the fields
to see how well the rain
brings on the grass.
In the labor of the fields
longer than a man’s life
I am at home. Don’t come with me.
You stay home too.

I will be standing in the woods
where the old trees
move only with the wind
and then with gravity.
In the stillness of the trees
I am at home. Don’t come with me.
You stay home too.

—Wendell Berry, Collected Poems

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