Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Local Yule Trees

To be honest, I don't know how far the Yule trees traveled that were featured for sale on my local fire department's lot. Maybe they came from North Carolina or quite possibly Maine, but I do know their close proximity to my home allowed me to obtain one without using any fuel this year. Typically, my family and I head out into the country, spending the day and lots of gas to arrive at the perfect place to select and cut down our tree. But when we noticed a tree lot being set up by the fire fighters at our local station, we decided to purchase our tree from them instead. To support their cause and our desire to shop local.

After selecting our tree, Mike and Ryan carried it the few blocks home where it now stands proudly decorated in our living room, ready for the upcoming Yuletide.

As 2011 winds down, I feel a sense of gratitude that this year has brought me the opportunity to finally begin to live my environmental values in a huge way. To have downsized into an appropriately sized home for our family. To live within walking distance of all day to day activities such as the food co-op, library, bank, post office, public transportation etc... To have reduced the use of my car to mostly just going back and forth between church and my son's alternative education center twice a week. To have close walking access to the woods and creeks near my home for my enjoyment as well as my pup's. To have found a sense of community in my neighborhood and borough as well as through my church and son's alternative school, allowing me to begin to put down strong roots and create a sense of place for myself and my family.

So yes, our Yule tree may have come from somewhere else far away. But so did I. I am not local to here either. After a bit, my tree will be chipped up and spread on the gardens and soil of this new place creating new life from itself, just as I myself will bring something new to this place I now call home.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

For the Journey...

This branching tree with its many paths, I view each morning as I look out my window. Tall and straight, reaching skyward, it certainly knows where it is heading. Along the way the tree had many choices, many branches to develop further but it choose instead to grow upright, following it true path.

Its roots are grounded solidly with as much below ground as above. Digging deep, searching for the strength to keep itself from toppling. Rooted in the knowledge that it is on the right path.

When I head into the woods, I notice there are many trees that serve as examples of a life well lived, a knowing. These guides offer stability, wisdom and strength for the journey to those that are willing to stand close and feel the roughness of their bark. Venturing into the woodlot, friends and family, books in tow, I know I am on the right path, the clear path to me.

While I understand I am wandering on the correct trail, I still don't necessarily know where I am going. I sense this unknowing in life doesn't have to be known. It can just be followed, taking a step forward, enjoying each step over the leaf strewn path, around the rocks and over the hills to a secret spot.

My spot, where I can sit amongst the trees and watch the creek amble along. The birds offering their thoughts and the stones at my feet radiating warmth. This place, this space is mine. Where I can journey forward knowing that it's OK to not know.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

New Day...

Looking east out my window, the sun not yet up, a new day begins, perched between what was and what will be. This in-between place, this moment, not yet written in history and not something you are looking forward to but the place where you are living now, this second, is what matters. Is what allows you to build a life, these moments built one on top of another, joined together.

I want to rest within this space in time, stretch it out and linger in it, feel my breath, listen to the birds outside my window, notice my dog resting on the couch, feel the warmth of the heat from the furnace, smell the coffee brewing. This moment, this day, let it begin slowly as I pause to feel gratitude for all that graces my world. The beauty that surrounds me, the love that holds me, the community that supports me. There is much good in this world. As the sun reaches higher in the sky, a new moment is upon us. Enjoy it!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Can't see the forest for the trees...

Sometimes when you spend so much time looking at the small pieces of a puzzle that make up a whole, you miss out on the big picture. You go round and round, looking at each piece and trying to figure out how it relates, how it impacts your life. And you come up empty because you can't find the connections. One day something is pulled back- much like when the leaves fall off the trees in the fall and you can finally see how far a woodlot extends- and suddenly everything makes sense. You can see the whole forest, your whole life as you've lived it clearly. Your world opens up when this happens. You no longer have to wonder why things have been the way they have been because you know. As the leaves have been falling this fall, my awareness has grown. With the leaves finally off, I now know. May all of our deep questions find answers so that we can live our truth unencumbered.