Sitting With What Is

Today I cry
There's nothing to figure out
Or analyze
I don't need to follow these tears back to their memory roots
Or ask them to show me what they mean
Perhaps there is a time for that
But for now...
Hush

Their voice is here
In my shaky labored breathing
Their medicine is here
In the way they roll into the corners of my mouth and slide off my chin
Their healing is here
In the trembling of my stomach
Their song is here
In the middle of this tension, the way my heart grips tightly shut then opens deeper and wider than ever before
Their story is here
Without words

In these tender moments
When I allow them to move
And I have no desire to categorize them as good or bad
They have a right to exist for no other reason than the fact
That they do.
Here
In this vulnerability
I don't need to write something beautiful
I just need to write something truthful
Here
My body is my poem.

Come Join us on Memorial Day Weekend for a Guided Nature Walk in Galt, CA

You will be introduced to the practice of Deep Nature Connection which brings us back into presence, helps us return to our bodies and promotes healing on all levels. We will focus on our relationship with nature and how we cultivate a sense of place and belonging. When we deepen our connection to nature in this way, we experience a restorative sense of calm and peace. This practice not only reduces stress, anxiety and depression, but it can also boost creativity and our overall well-being.

This 1 mile slow, quiet, meditative walk is at the Cosumnes River Preserve, less than 30 minutes from Sacramento. It is suitable for all fitness levels. For additional information and registration see the Eventbrite listing. 

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cultivate-deep-nature-connection-on-a-healing-guided-walk-tickets-45661399475

As an Earth Connect Nature Guide I will be leading monthly nature walks in the Sacramento area. We also have Earth Connect Guides located in San Diego, Seattle, Arizona, and North Carolina. Visit www.earth-connect.org for upcoming events and information. Earth Connect posts daily nature related videos, images and articles on Facebook and Instagram, follow the links below.

www.facebook.com/EarthConnectOrg

www.instagram.com/earthconnectorg

Wisdom

Twin Trees_full.jpg

(Photo: Ancestors, Kress, 2016)

You called them wrinkles
I knew they were actually timelines
Proof that you had weathered the test of eternity
That you held ancient stories deep within
Those trails, I traced
Like maps across your knowing skin.
Your hands
Swollen with grace
Said more about the heart of humanity
Than history ever could.
 

Life

Hush now.

Listen as if your life depended on it.

I am knocking

And though it rains outside your door

In fear of getting wet, in an attempt to avoid the mud below your window

You have locked yourself in a dry and barren desert.

Open your mind to me

So that I may water your garden.

Open your heart to me

So that I may quench your thirst.

Open your entire being to me

So that I may rise like the full moon within you.

Transformation

Changing Seasons.jpg

(Photo: Seasons, Erin Kress, 2016)

There is an imaginary battle that may grip our hearts at some point on the journey

This battle is waged near the Gate
That leads to newborn blossoms and the sweet nectar of Spring

Its squeaky hinges whisper ever so quietly,

“Unfolding in the midst of tragedy is your great blessing.”

Even though the pressed soil, the oaks who stretch tall and wide after a long winter slumber,
And the colorful lilies who dance beneath the sun— don’t suggest we go looking for misfortune along grainy riverbeds

They do tell us timeless stories

All that seem to, in their own words, say:

“Once difficulty has truly had its way with you

No sleep is ever quite tranquilizing enough

You will not again completely forget how to find

The polished jewel of yourself

On the bank where you first began."

An Ode to Nature

I sit beneath the opaque sky,

Where sun has found his rest.

Dusk is quickly drawing nigh,

While heart’s pulse slows within my chest.

I hear the crickets slumber,

Tucked gently in their beds of wheat.

Golden rows of cream and umber,

Where shaft and ground do meet.

Not chirp nor bark to pierce the night,

Yet

I can hear a dance atop wet blades of grass.

Perhaps a fairy, a graceful jolly garden sprite.

I come to find it’s merely wind, as she glides in shades of gray and brass.

 

Moon and stars are blanketed by this eve’s cleansing rains,

Clouds sluggishly wander across twilight’s stage,

Floating seamlessly within rivers of indigo haze.

The soil is damp beneath my feet,

Perfumed of birth… and death,

Neither dearth nor fleet,

Simply the invitation of dusk’s aromatic breath.

  

The breeze, she calls to me once more.

And I realize the wind truly does whisper.

Now she speaks to the surface of my skin,

Which grows cold within her vitalizing embrace.

Her crisp and brazen exhalation

Tempts me

As it gently kisses my cheeks and face.

I begin to quiver in the wake of her enigmatic chill.

She licks the edges of my ears,

I am listening… receptive… still

Where her quiet presence catches in the hollow chambers above lobe and fringes,

Sitting in their entrance, she sways enticingly like lock and key

A secret shutter on rusted hinges.

I am able to both hear and see.

Spiraling inward to gently drum my internal spaces with reverence

Heralding the beat of my deepest understanding.

I surrender to the whimsical teachings of this night’s quietude… the howling silence…

Neither deafening nor pleasing.

Neither indulging nor teasing.

Lessons on letting go,

An endless path of communing

Touching the truth of who

I am.

Nothing.

And everything. 

An Experiential Activity: The Power of Place

"The first time you consciously inhabit your ultimate place and act from your soul is the first time you can say Here and really know what it means. You’ve arrived, at last, at your own center. As long as you stay Here, everywhere you go, geographically or socially, feels like home. Every place becomes Here. This is the power of place, the power of Here.”

-Bill Plotkin

Recall a time that you felt utterly grounded, alive, present, and embodied. This particular moment may have been experienced during meditation or the birth of a child, looking into a lover's eyes, hiking, or while exploring a natural wonder. These times allow us to feel empowered and connected, and are a vital part of discovering our place in the world. This activity is designed to open us more deeply to our senses, the present moment, and the Power of Place.   

Activity: Find an outdoor place that calls to you. It can be a local nature preserve, a park, the mountains, your yard, or anywhere else that resonates at this time. Sit silently for thirty minutes in this place. Breathe deeply, get centered, tune into all of your senses. What do you see? What do you hear? Smell? What does the surface of your skin feel like? Are you able to discern any subtle sensations or inner openings? After thirty minutes has passed journal about your experience. (Note: if you would like to deepen this practice extend the length of time and/or continue visiting the same place over the course of a few weeks and journal about your experience. Are you able to see patterns and cycles? Are you able to connect more consciously with the Power of Place? What emerges for you?).  

My Personal Experience (backyard) 

When I am quiet and still enough, animal friends come to visit. A vibrant blue shrub jay swoops down into the grass an arm’s length away to pull worms from the moist dirt after a rare Central California rain. I have seen this same jay on other days in my yard too. A mockingbird, perched atop the neighborhood’s electrical post just a few feet in front of me, sings various tunes in rapid concession. I hear hawk, pigeon, crow, and lark… even a car alarm. I read a few weeks ago that mockingbirds can have up to 30 melodies in their repertoire at once. This bird, like the jay, has also visited my yard on more than one occasion and filled my heart with its beautiful voice. Flies buzz around every now and again, one lands on the ground just next to my right hand. It is so large I notice the hairs on its legs and the dark burgundy color of its normally scarlet red eyes. I think this particular fly is cute, if only for this moment, with its fuzzy body and the way its translucent wings become a webbed rainbow when the sun hits them just so. It turns its head from side to side as I lean in a little closer and smile.

I turn to my left and see my dog stretched out on the warm walkway. His nose twitches rhythmically in the wind, his head slightly upturned as if he’s caught the scent of something wild, something beautiful, something fresh and real. I can hear a lawn mower moving in rows a few houses up and even smell a hint of gasoline. There is a motorcycle and the sobering sound of sirens somewhere in the distance. A shovel hitting rocks and clumps of sand in the yard directly behind mine, the garbage truck making its weekly rounds and the dryer in my own house remind me that we are all in this together: the birds and worms, the dirt and rain, the sun and creatures of the world, humans… and the garbage truck. I touch a plank in porch below me with open palms and trace its lines to a row of nails. I see that wilderness is everywhere we look. Rocks and minerals can be seen in the cement of our sidewalks and asphalt of our streets. Millions of grains of soft white sand make-up our windows and glass. Wood, from trees, build the structure of our homes. Metals excavated from mountains build our tools, cars, batteries, electronics and so on. This means that literally everything we see was once wild... the very core of who we are and all that we create is sourced from Nature.