(working as part of a ‘Japanese 72 season micro-climate’ artist collaborative initiative within Treesisters)
Japanese season called ‘Rikka’/ Beginning of Summer. 5th May until 20th May .
Micro climate ‘bamboo shoots sprout’ 15th May – 20th May.
No bamboo shoots sprouting here, but everything else is!
Summer is definitely here!
I had a wacky inspiration to create a kind of litmus of the colours of spring here….the dog rose is out now too, almost wish I had added a streak of brilliant rose pink at the bottom….but where would it end as all the garden is now coming alive alive with colour!?!
I have been so very busy with tackling the trailer, and beginning to build the ‘tiny’ gallery.
It is very challenging for a creative dreamer like me to become a builder.
Firstly there is the material side of such an action…the physical buying of screws/tools etc….then there is the using of them!
In asking for guidance my whole meditation practise has evolved too….the wonderful weather we have been having lately has encouraged me to meditate outside daily. The need for ‘action’, ‘courage’ and ‘strength’ has led me to explore standing meditation.
Such a revelation!
I have naturally gravitated to sleeping on the floor recently (as my husband and I are exploring ways of giving each other more space to grow…each in our own directions!). This came first. I got my old student futon out of the attic. My aches and pains where almost instantly addressed!
I have been getting up a lot earlier with the light also.
Then I found I was growing increasingly frustrated with sitting to meditate.
I enjoy the feeling of being grounded/rooted, but my feet were always curled up beneath me, not making contact with the ground and then there are inevitable pins and needles after 1/2 hour!
I always walk barefoot around my home from April to September and as I was outside I thought I would explore more of ‘being tree’, feeling into that contact between the soles of my feet and the ground, facing one of my young trees as I do so. Becoming one with it.
I begin by adopting a Qigong pose, feet shoulder width apart, relaxed knees and arms held slightly out to either side and commence with the usual deep breathing, letting go, then through left nostril (10 deep breaths) then right nostril (10 deep breaths) as I was taught by the Dali Lama….this centres me….opens the third eye.
I continue by visualising my roots and also the branching upwards towards the sky. Finding that balance.
It was very interesting to me how I seem to hold my stomach in and how I need always to work on releasing that and lowering the energy into my ‘hara’. So much in my head.
Then I find I am enjoying the prayer hands mudra (mainly suggested by Kartikeya coming into my life in the form of an unexpected gift. A pendant that the giver suggested was Buddhist, but I knew was not! The unteachable boy, son of fire and water, the god of WAR and BRINGER OF PEACE. The master of OM and wrestling the ego…perfect! Just what I needed!)
OM SARAVANA BHAIRAVAY NAMAHA!
My hands then rest in front of my solar plexus. I play with drawing the energy from the ground and breathing out…thank you….then drawing the energy in through my crown, through my centre and giving back….thank you….then comes the bow.
And what a bow!
I jut out my chin (as taught to me by Dru yoga) and stretch out my neck as I do so. ‘I bow to you in service’ this brings me face to face with the ground. The colour in my closed eyes changes to a wonderful violet. I then, slowly allow my spine to stretch, down and down, until (I do have a long back and short legs!) my hands touch the grass. I dangle there and loosen my spine until I feel all the vertebrae separating…I caress the ground with my hands and utter my devotion. Then I let my hands make full contact….a kind of downward dog pose….and become four legged…connecting with the animal kingdom….I bring my head up as far as I can and look forward….then, releasing the head again….very slowly…..I return to being upright, which often feels like evolution itself!
I feel inches taller and twice the warrioress!
Then I return to simply standing, being, breathing, correcting, adjusting. Lowering the centre. Sometimes swaying with the breezes….feeling the resistance…..I often OM during this section….adding my felt resonance to the worlds.
To end I bow again….hands in prayer mudra and lower myself all the way to kneeling, stretching my legs the otherway. Then reach out my arms and touch my head against the ground, like a Muslim prayer, relaxing into this posture and talking with Mother….to end I stretch my whole body out, face down and let myself be held by her, as I hold her…..and relax.
I had thought about drawing this whole sequence, but it has come out in words!
I have learned so much about my body doing this.
The main lesson has been not to root too much!
In the beginning I was very focused on only ‘grounding’….in one session I mentally ‘buried’ myself up to the waist, but actually the soles of my feet hurt all day after doing this!! I did wonder if this was the Earth’s pain I was feeling…but now know that the lesson is to ‘go lightly’….almost to imagine one is levitating across the Earth’s surface. To keep the power/weight in the pelvis while not letting it up into the chest/head, but remembering also not to root too deeply down.
It is a fine balance.
She does not need our weight….she needs our HANDS and our ability to move FOR her….rooting down is for TREES, not humans!
She whispered these words to me:
“Balance, Grace. Awareness.
Hold on, but not too tightly.
Let go, but do not waste.
Slow down, take time to taste……OM’
And these words have become my mantra during this build.
I am encountering many hurdles. Testing obstacles to overcome.
Not least of which was beginning, going out, ready to start and discovering that a queen wasp had got to it before me!!
Such beautiful, perfect creations, but I was faced with a very difficult decision!
I simply could not allow her to build there.
After consulting the internet I realised that I had to knock all her work off…they were only days old….and discourage her from building. Which, with sincere apologies, I did. She was not well pleased and kept coming back, looking for her babies and her home….a huge, angry, confused, queen wasp.
I wondered if it was a sign that I should not be attempting this.
But then I brought out incense…smudged my trailer in ritual, asking her politely to leave…she did not like the smoke and has not bothered me since!
The beautiful, tiny, ‘bykes’ are now my prize, to treasure in my nature collection, (after leaving them in the porch and allowing other predators to feast on the tiny living larvae within), and a reminder to really make something beautiful, in honour of them and the cedars, and not to rush it.
It rained yesterday for the first time in weeks. The whole land breathes a sigh of relief, so I am taking a break for the weekend. I will be helping my father with his garden opening anyway….and there the colours will almost be overwhelming!