Sunday, August 28, 2011

But Still I Stand Under The Trees

As I sit by the lake listening to to rooster's call to morning echoing in the distance, I contemplate the richness of Tuesday's dance. It could not have been a more perfect poem or line that chose me this week. I had just put out my hummingbird feeder, at the beckoning of the hummingbird who visited me last week. I have not seen her yet this weekend. I hope that she has not given up on me! The words of Mary Oliver resonated on two levels for me. At first, I thought of all the fulfilling work I accomplished last weekend, under Mother Nature's awning of trees. I sanded and painted the old bench overlooking the lake a new and vibrant deep green, to provide a place for me to BE under her arms. The work for now is done, until I move on to the next project, but as I still stand under the trees, can I stand STILL? Therein lies the lesson, the practice that I embark upon. How do I learn to still stand under the trees and remain still with the silence, with the non-doing? How easy the doing is for me, the finding sense of purpose in the projects, the accomplishments, that I can stand back and admire and feel, yes, I did this. Defining myself by all that I have DONE rather than all that I can BE, by standing still under the trees in the moment. To be able to touch the silence, that quiet place that I know lies deep within me, waiting to be unleashed. Then the being can begin. The trees are not going anywhere. They are still, they are being, they exist and have their purpose and importance by remaining rooted, by bending and swaying with the wind, reflecting their grandness in the lake as the breeze ripples  and distorts their shape, yet they remain unchanged. They surrender, and it cannot be any other way. I look out and up at their arms, at the shade their canopy creates. I feel protected and held. A seagull flies by, swooping and skimming the glass-like surface of the lake, looking for breakfast. The crows and other birds sing and echo in the morning, as the fog burns off. There is more clarity now as the sun awakens and makes it's presence known, burning through the morning clouds. Time for me to begin the day. How will I be today? Will I be able to learn to be? Baby steps once again, back at the beginning to start anew. To still stand under the trees and stand still under the trees. I welcome the sun as it yawns and does it's job of burning through the blanket of morning fog that hovers over the lake. I want to bask in it today. Just that and no more. We will see. Yes, permission for baby steps and room for a bit of doing, but creating more room today to allow the being to begin......

The Hummingbird

~~ Mary Oliver~~
"It’s morning, and again I am that lucky person who is in it.
And again it is spring,
and there are the apple trees,
and the hummingbird in its branches.
On the green wheel of his wings
he hurries from blossom to blossom,
which is his work, that he might live.

He is a gatherer of the fine honey of promise,
and truly I go in envy
of the ruby fire at his throat,
and his accurate, quick tongue,
and his single-mindedness.

Meanwhile the knives of ambition are stirring
down there in the darkness behind my eyes,
and I should go inside now to my desk and my pages.
But still I stand under the trees, happy and desolate,
wanting for myself such a satisfying coat
and brilliant work."

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