Riding the Desert Wave

It feels like I’m living in a desert space lately. Hot. Dry. Dusty wind. A lot like the semi-desert parts of the Western Cape that I visited last December.

Week of a lingering heat wave…the rains should have come by now. Alas, still none in sight so I’ve had to find other ways hydrate my inner essence its soul soothing absence – swimming, jars of cold water with bits of lemon and strawberries and walks down to the river.

I can’t concentrate. This unrelenting heat has lulled me into a state of estivation. I’ve been hiding out indoors, where it is cool and the white sheer curtains dance in airy rhythms when the breeze flows in. Writing is slow, and I’ve shifted my attention to reading, researching and planning instead, so that I’m not completely idle. I keep wondering – if it’s this hot and dry in spring, then what does summer hold?

Mary Reynolds Thompson says that desert landscapes teach us about simplicity, clarity and emptiness. I can see how, because while I’m not in an actual desert, this extreme heat has got me shedding so many unnecessary layers. Layers of blankets and clothes, clutter in my home and all the unnecessary things and draining activities that zap my energy. I’m getting clear on what truly matters and right now what I need is cool uncluttered airy spaciousness to soothe my soul and fuel my work and creativity.

One thing I have been grateful for is that the heat has made it easier for me to serve my body  and work toward my goal of vibrant health. Simple healthful meals, smoothies, fruit, salads, lots of water…I’m feeling lighter and happy that I’m honouring my commitment to my body.

wedding pic on window sill

What’s happening in your corner of the Earth? How are the cycles of Nature shifting things in your life?

Two desert vibe inspired finds:

I discovered an awesome online archive of these fascinating Desert Magazines.

Edveeje shares the story, A Woman of the Desert, on treesisters.org.

Advertisements

Tending the Garden

It’s been a while since I’ve had such a quiet Monday morning, left to the stillness of my breath and comforting rhythm of my heartbeat. The morning was breezy, cool and grey, perfect for some gardening and reading books on gardening and flowers too. The whispers of the impending Autumn are becoming more pronounced each day.

I learnt long ago that tending to pots of fragrant roses, scented geranium, mint, thyme and basil, weeding the herb patch, harvesting and stringing up herbs for drying are all paths to the soul. These simple tasks keep me grounded in mindful presence. It keeps my humbled heart grateful to be part of Mother Earth and for all the gifts that she offers.

image

I often feel that I will never be the kind of master gardeners that my mother and my grandmother are. For the last couple of years I’ve only just been learning to keep my pots and herb patch alive, listening intently to the dreamings of my tiny little corner of land and trying to give it what it asks.

Sometimes I succeed, other times I do a poor job of it. But nonetheless the garden is always teaching me how to work with it. I’ve come to accept that despite my good intentions, sometimes I have little control over how things grow or turn out in the end. Nature has a will of its own. I respect this. To be honest, I do like leaving space for magic and wildness and the unknown to surprise me. Who doesn’t?  And of course, I’m grateful that the garden and Nature in general is also always teaching me about myself too, reminding me of our oneness and the wild spaces it embodies inside of me.

Only Peace…

All my life what I’ve craved most is peace.

Peace away from the violent conflict of my home life while growing up. Peace away from the bullies who tormented me at school. Peace away from toxic work environments and bosses that I seemed to keep attracting. The peace to breathe. The quietude to hear my own thoughts and to listen to the soft wild whispers of my heart.

It’s little wonder that was so prone to depression in my teens and early twenties. Except for when I was fortunate enough to escape to the wild comfort of Nature, peace seemed hard to come by. I didn’t know how to find it back then. It seemed rare, and fleeting and difficult to find for so long.

Although I still do fall into dark and melancholic depths when my thoughts are locked in negativity and the past, I’ve noticed something in recent months. Peace is finding its way to me more and more. I had to just take a moment to be fully aware of this fact. To notice it and to appreciate it….Peace is finding me in so many beautiful ways. Not just when I am out in Nature, but in simple moments throughout my days. And it doesn’t come when I’m searching, striving and struggling to hold on to it.

If “hope is a thing with feathers” as Emily Dickinson said, then peace is a thing that wraps its soft and delicate presence around me when I release the trying, the needing and the wanting it so much.

There is no searching in sitting by the window to watch the glistening beads of rain drip from the tree leaves. Only peace.

There is no striving when I give myself the space to read poetry or write the words embedded in my soul. Only peace.

There is no trying while brushing my hands through the yarrow, lemon verbena and rose geranium in the mornings, revelling in their fragrant beauty. Only peace.

There is no struggling in lighting tea light candles to fill my home with a warm glow on a gloomy afternoon when the sky is grey and stormy. Only peace.

There is no needing in strolling around the garden under the moonlight, breathing in the cool night air. Only peace.

Of all the lessons and blessings that I’ve uncovered over the last few years since I began more actively unshackling myself of things that don’t serve me and since I’ve devoted myself to a more spiritually inclined authentic path, learning to understand the nature of peace and what it means to me personally has been one of my most cherished lessons.

I am grateful to spend my days leaning into peace with ease, allowing it to find me in each breathe and in the simple ways of daily life.

What does peace mean to you? How do you lean into it?

IMG_20141117_133028