IN MY BACK YARD

 

My daughter and I walk on the beach. Early morning mist drifts across the sand, creating a luminous in- between world. We have arrived at the same beach at the exact same time, getting out of our cars, amazed to see each other.  And now we walk with three dogs circling around us. We are heavy with the weight of the morning’s news.  My grandson was back stage producing the show in Los Vegas when the shooting massacre occurred.  I am deeply connected to this grandson whom I held at the moment of birth and nurtured through his childhood.  I am feeling deeply the shock of this random violence. Suddenly it is in my back yard.

We are talking about what it must have felt like for him to witness this violence, not knowing its source, not knowing what would follow, caught in a horrific moment. We are so deeply shrouded that we are unaware even of the Beauty that surrounds us.   Suddenly, we are startled aware by a flock of peeps (Sandpipers), flying in an orchestrated synchronicity.  They circle us, then sharply veer off into the distance until they disappear, Darby the dog, chasing madly below them.  Then they swing back, in perfect harmony and circle us again, closer this time.  Suddenly we realize they are playing with us—and with Darby.  And we can’t help it–we just burst out laughing.  We thank the sandpipers for releasing us into a moment of Beauty and Joy.

Still it is very difficult sometimes to break through the weight of what is happening around me– to just keep the “door open” to Beauty, Love, Hope. I am reading  a book called “Standing Rock,” by Pamela Eakins.  It breaks my heart and yet inspires me. It flows like a river of passion, grief, love. .. In the portrait of these Native people who know what is True, there is a courage which lights the way.  When I look, I see it all around me in people speaking and standing up for what they know is True; some for the first time finding their voices—because the threat is not in some abstract place, but in their own back yard.

Living in the forest, instead of on a city lot, has made me much more aware that my back yard does not have property lines—the wind, the water, the trees, the earth all move. What is done to one area affects the surrounding.   And now, peaceful and beautiful as it often is in this place, I find there is no way I can simply retreat and close my mind to the larger body of the earth.

All of this I took with me into meditation later that day—what do I want in my back yard? In the meditation,  I had the sense of emerging from darkness and constriction into light—golden and  rose colored light.  And song.  Not a particular song, but the sense of music. Then I realized that this was the energetic atmosphere of happiness.  As I dwelled with this, what I saw emerge was my backyard as I wanted it to be.  It was a vision of people doing work they cared about; people relating to each other with kindness and caring; the earth healthy and tended with care; people and children playing, safe; laughter in the air; people walking more than driving; people celebrating life, treating forests and animals with respect.

“The task is to step into the reality you visualize,” a teacher once told me. I start with an advantage in that the coastal community where I live in many ways reflects this vision.  When I bring it in more personally, I challenge myself to make each of my interactions, no matter how small,  reflect kindness,  love, respect; to make each situation lighter, not heavier from my presence.  When I broaden my vision, I challenge myself to take action in whatever ways my gifts allow me to create this atmosphere globally.

So what this means is first of all “keeping the door open” and not falling into despair, hopelessness, and negativity. Not so easy right now. It also means shedding a lot of those nagging patterns and attitudes I keep working on—judgment, comparison and competition, FEAR—fear of  loss, of scarcity, of difference, of vulnerability, of change, of my own power…. Most of all, perhaps, it means trusting that we will move through this very tight, dark place in our evolution to be born into Beauty.

“We are Anima Cosmos growing the soul of its Being” —and as the Fool, we make the journey again and again, remembering what we have forgotten, learning to love more deeply. (Eakins, Tarot of the Spirit)

 

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HOLY DAY CEREMONY

HALLOWMAS (SAMHAIN)

Wednesday, October 31

12-2 at Wanderland Rainforest Iseum

“May you be like the moon; Undone and remade a thousand times; Always returning home to your opening heart. “(L.Sixfingers)

In the forest, Earth is changing. Waters are singing. Alder leaves drift in the wind and pattern the damp earth. Darkness and cold increase and the green force dies back as the strength of all that is returns to its inner source. We, too, return to our core, listening deeply.

“Hallows” means threshing floor, where the wheat was separated from the chaff, where we let go of what is no longer needed for our growth.  Something dies. Something new begins. For the Celts, this Holy Day was the Shining Portal of Winter and marked the passage into the New Year.

This Ceremony, led by Gwendolyn Endicott, includes myth, story, ritual, and time for reflection.   For more information on Wanderland Rainforest Iseum see wanderlandrainforest.org . Questions: gwendolyn@nehalemtel.net

There is no charge for this ceremony. However, suggested donations of $10-$20 are greatly appreciated to help with the maintenance of the Rainforest Sanctuary.

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AUTUMN EQUINOX HOLY DAY CEREMONY

At Wanderland Rainforest Iseum

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 12-2

“In the process of soul making, we can visit our depths over and over, and with each turn of the spiral, gain deeper wisdom and peace.” Hallie Austin

At Autumn Equinox, day and night are once again equal—for a moment balanced—but we can feel the winds of change as we travel into the dark cycle of the year. This ceremony, led by gwendolyn Endicott, will focus on finding balance within the dance of polarities.

In a time when the meaning of Truth and Justice have become blurred, we will dwell with the ancient Egyptian goddess, Ma’at, Guardian of the Justice and Truth of the Universe. Ma’at leads us to the understanding that “…the oldest meaning of Truth is Balance and it is called by the name of Earth: maat, matter, mother. Our ancestors knew that in her cycles and systems, Earth teaches us of balance in change. In Egyptian mythology “seeing” this balance was the basis of wisdom.  The mother syllable “ma” meant “to see”; in hieroglyphics, it was an eye.” (THE SPINNING WHEEL, Gwendolyn Endicott)

Ma’at does not promise that there will be no darkness. She provides the vision to “see” while traveling through the darkness. Truth and Kindness are  Her compass on this journey.

Ceremony begins at noon. Come a bit early rather than late. There is no charge but donations for the maintenance of the forest sanctuary are greatly appreciated.  Questions: Gwendolyn@nehalemtel.net or 503-368-6389

 

 

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HOLY DAY CEREMONY: LAMMAS

HOLY DAY CEREMONY: LAMMAS (Lughnasad)

THURSDAY, AUGUST 2

NOON—‘TIL TWO

At Wanderland Rainforest Iseum

At Lammas, the Earth comes into fruit and flower. Abundance surrounds us, but there is still work to be done. What will we harvest from our labors? This ceremony, led by Gwendolyn Endicott, focuses on “Tending the Creative Fire.”

“If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention,” Bumper Sticker Wisdom informs us. But how do we transform anger into creative action? Using myth, story, and ritual we will look at where our passionate energy is focused; how we feed our creative fire; and the tools that we carry.

For more information 503-368-6389 or gwendolyn@nehalemtel.net; for information about Wanderland see wanderlandrainforest.org  There is no charge for the ceremony, but donations toward the maintenance of the rainforest sanctuary are appreciated.  The ceremony begins at noon.

 

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POISON IN PARADISE

POISON IN PARADISE

Do you know Oswald West State Park? a place of pristine beauty on the North Oregon Coast where you can still glimpse old growth trees, a clear running stream, and a beach, “Short Sands,”treasured by surfers and tourists—people, children, and dogs.

Did you know that its neighbor up the hill plans to spray a toxic poison by air adjacent to a stream that runs through the park “sometime” in the next few months.  They can’t say exactly when this will happen because weather conditions are so unpredictable—wind, rain, fog, temperature inversions…. It’s a tricky business. Those of us who live on the coast can verify that, yes, earth, air, and water all move– especially downhill.

But Perhaps it would not matter if they let people know ahead of time, anyway, because  according to the packaging  the herbicide, Indaziflam, “has a high potential for reaching surface water via runoff for several months or more after application. “  They need to spray, they say, because they are a tree farm and need to make money.  This is a BIG neighbor, Weyerhaeuser, the largest private owner of timberland in the U. S. (12.4 million acres).

Although the packaging  does read: “toxic to fish, aquatic vertebrates, and plants…” “Human health hazard: Organ damage. Specific target organ toxicity,” they will tell you that what they are doing is legal– for they are following the guidelines of the Oregon Forest Practices Act, the weakest forest protection act on the West Coast.

If this concerns you, contact ODF, ODA, Weyerhaeuser, and your State Legislatures : Ask what is being done to protect the people, children, dogs, and wild life from the toxic spraying above  Oswald State Park.

Oregon Department of Forestry:  Peter Daugherty , state forester, 503-945-7211;

MeganDEHNLE@ oregon.gov

Dale Mitchell, Oregon Department of Agriculture, pesticide complaints—pestxodaState.or.us

Senator Michael Dembrow, Chair Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resource,  Sen.Michael Dembrow@oregonlegislature.gov; Senator Betsy Johnson Sen.BetsyJohnson@oregonlegislature.gov

Weyerhaeuser Timber1-800-525-5440

 

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