Partnering with the Power of Nature

To the East, over Lake Michigan a mile or so away, the sky is navy blue, even now. Last night, more than 12 hours ago, the forces of nature — wind, lightning, hail — created a dramatic light show. Great forks of lightning illuminated the sky. The power of nature was palpable as the hail flung itself against the windows.

So grateful, then, to be inside, in our house. Outside, some of the plants in the garden of Shangri-La took some damage. From my office window, I spot a few holes in the plate-sized redbud leaves. The ligularia, not under the protection of a tree, was torn to pieces. Lots of leaves came down in the heavy winds and hail. I’ve taken a sweeping-meditation break to move them into piles to pick up on the next break. All in all, we are grateful for the minimal damage.

The power of nature is dramatic, yet embracing it as a partnership not a war can make for an experience of integrity, wholeness, oneness. The prepositions are important here: with Nature; in Nature; of Nature. And *not* against or over Nature. That’s the misstep.

We as a species are still learning, and there remains much we do not know.  Mysteries remain that the scientific method (sorry to tell you) will not unravel. And yet — these mysteries, this other kind of knowing and knowledge, can be accessed in other ways.

How? Those prepositions are the key. It’s starting with the heart, the compassion for all on the planet and the planet herself, Gaia. We, and all beings, both seen and unseen, are worthy of our places here. And notice that we are here together. We are here together at this time for a purpose. Our mission is to engage within that continuum of relationships in all the many manifestations.

We are moving from the old model of “power over nature” to partners with Nature, learners and students in Nature,  beings of Nature. Yes, we experience AWE in the raw power of nature, while at the same time, consciously engaging with the Earth and her creatures to listen for the lessons we are now able to hear and perhaps even embody.

If tapping into the messages from the animals is the way that best draws you into conversation with nature, I’d like to introduce you to David Wodtke, aka Pine Tree. His focus is on Earth-Service over at: David shares messages from the animals that offer powerful ways to learn from the wisdom of the creatures.

Seeing with New Eyes

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.”
–Marcel Proust

What makes you “see with new eyes?”  In late June, I returned home from a week-long retreat just a short couple of hours’ drive from home.The retreat, in a beautiful, sacred space, was filled with radiant and divine people. It was a magical time out of time.

(And did you know that yesterday, July 25, was Day Out of Time Day, courtesy of the 13 moons, Mayan calendar?)

So from this June 2010 time out of time retreat, with people I’d never met, and yet who became like long-lost family to me, I hesitantly returned to my ordinary reality. But I returned with new eyes that saw the blessings in my life for what they were: true gifts of support in every way.

Somehow when I returned to our cozy house and expansive, lush garden, I saw what had been there all along in a totally fresh, and yes, radiant, way. Where we’ve lived, rooted, for more than two decades, shines with a renewed vigor and magic, visible through my newly polished eyes. I said, while on the retreat, that I lived in a Shangri La, although in the middle of urban Chicago. When I came home, that is indeed what I experienced.

In seeing with new eyes, I strive for maintaining consciousness, for appreciating the blessings, for stepping into each day as a gift. It is easy to appreciate. What is harder, at least for me, is to take the mindful action steps necessary to expand my presence within this holy, sacred space of my life.

Several weeks after my return from the retreat, we (husby, teenage son, et moi) ventured to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, a preserved segment of Mother Earth tucked in between heavy smokestack industries on both sides. Lake Michigan was still cold, but the day was hot enough that the chill felt refreshing. I spied hawk flying over the beach twice, bent on some mission. The smell of pine tickled my nose as we walked along hot sands to the dune succession trail boardwalk through the preserved wild lands inland from the beach.

Counting my years along the shores of Lake Michigan, I realize it has held my heart for more than three decades, as I bask still in her flowing and liquid magic, a grateful acolyte to these central waters of Mother Earth.

I’d love to hear how you are seeing with new eyes. Take a look into your own life, your own backyard or treasure closet. What do you see when you look with new eyes? Where can you gain renewed energies from looking anew at what is familiar?

My friend and mentor Susan Castle is leading another magnificent, eye-opening retreat, this time within the sacred space of Sedona, Arizona. I’ll be there. I’d love to have you along! Retreat spaces are very limited. To learn about Susan and this opportunity for learning to “see with new eyes,” I invite you to step into her circle. Click here to learn more.

I wish you Abundant Blessings that are available when you are willing to see with new eyes.

Warmest regards to you,
from Bobbye Middendorf,
the Write Synergies Guru