Swallows swooped and whistled, insects settled, and an eagle glided high above.
The light on the hill across the valley drew up a veil of shadow from the ground.
My breath was music through my flute and the sound of my footsteps a drum beat that soothed me.
Nothing grand or spectacular seemed to happen in the month I spent alone off-grid in the wild. It was remarkably simple and easy.
Rhythms emerged and danced between a meeting of my cells with the landscape.
I followed my nose, my heart, my guts, and in that way days and nights unfolded.
In those first hours of being alone I planted seeds in clay pots and took cuttings. Just for the pleasure of doing that. Watering the seedlings with a tiny watering can each day became part of my morning ritual.
During retreat I wondered about the rhythms of our lives. What takes us towards and away from things? What are we aligning to? What leads us into and out of relationships? How do we spend our days? How does the changing season feel in my body?
Sometimes it happens that our life rhythm feels less kind and natural than we would like it to be. It seems to be set by outer demands and an inner sense of lack. Imposed time schedules, an inner critic, our drive to survive at all costs, fear or judgement.
We do our best, and still we find the things we love most are at the end of a long to do list, after all of those shoulds and shouldn’ts.
Meanwhile, every day, the sun appears on the horizon and lights up our life.
Meanwhile birds soar, fish swim, lions roar.
Meanwhile, millions of bacteria live a life inside our guts.
The image came to me recently of a compass. I imagined how a small movement at the hinge of the compass would be a massive change in the radial trajectory far away space. A tiny angle shift at the centre, radiates outwards towards a much bigger shift.
A different rhythmic momentum can be surprisingly close. It could start with a tiny shift. A 5 minute space in your day to do the thing you love most.
A bit more rest, another glass of water, some doodling, a wander in the garden, a home cooked meal. A 5 minute meditation. Looking out of the window. Taking a deep breath.
With awareness, we can stay close to these small inner rhythms, following our senses and intuitions in small ways can create ripples in our lives and in the world. We find ourselves coming into alignment with a rhythm in which we can flourish.
As we become more aware of the rhythms around and within us, and participate in the community of life we sow our seeds of goodness. This community calls us towards it. It needs us badly. It doesn’t need us to be perfect, or tidy or apologetic. It needs our willingness to notice the rhythms of our life, To feel what we are living for, to open a tiny bit and breathe fresh air around the habits and ways of thinking that hurt us and others, and then to trust the trajectory of our goodness.
It needs us to stay close to an inner voice which calls us into a wild rhythm. Not wild in the sense of careless, or reckless. But a wild that is set free. Wild that does not seek praise or blame or guarantee. Wild that can love life and stay close to it's fragility.
The rhythm of a breathing cell, a beating heart, of day and night, or tides and waves, or living, loving, dying, gratitude and grief. The rhythm of beating wings, wagging tail, sleep and wake, taking in and giving out. The rhythm of the turning earth, starlight, moonlight, birdsong, the vibrations of matter and space...happening inside and outside our bodies all the time. As we tune our awareness to these movements, we hear them calling us into life.
Fruit Foraging Fest
Biting into a sweet fig at breakfast time is heaven for me, and picking them from a nearby tree on the way home from my morning run, feels like such a blessing....
I love how a tree offers its fruit as part of it's own rhythm.
I eat figs because here they are, on my doorstep. Time and place come together, and I eat figs.
It is a whole different thing from eating a fig bought in a shop that grew miles away.
I have also been foraging...
In a Capitalist society it would be easy to see foraging as either a waste of time, or just a great way to save money.
What if it is neither? Would we still pick blackberries?
It is not like I can't buy fruit if I want, or that I have nothing else to do.
Foraging feels good when it is done without the drive for gain or ownership. A way to connect to our food source and appreciate the abundance of life.
When we pick fruits or berries we are joining in with the community of life. Taking part, showing up.
If we are feeling stuck in a rut of busyness, swamped under lists, then maybe taking a pot or basket and wandering along the lanes picking fruit can be a revolution for us.
Finding a rhythm, which is in tune with the seasons and our own nourishment.
Let's not wait until the hedgerows are gone before we miss them.
Let's feel our love for wild food present here and now, and let that love take us out into a wider, wilder way of being that celebrates beautiful Earth.
What could be more needed right now?