The Sermon

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

On King’s Mountain stands
a house of worship. Within it,
each humbled footstep makes the cool earth sigh…
not a gasp, just a breath,
as if a small child were walking
barefoot down the concave of its otherwise
barreled back.

The muted spangle of sunlight tendrils
down around and seemingly through
matter itself.
Effulgent air is grace embodied
fanning the tiniest ballet of particles.

It is here, where storied redwoods
stand in reverenced walls of sanctuary,
or have fallen into gnarled, patinated, pews.
A cathedral obedient
to only a faultline.
Flying buttresses of bay laurels
lean in to support these aged ones.

In this place,
sitting, praying, gazing,
humming and considering
are all welcome.
Squiring jays and mourning doves
herald commencement of the sermon.

Repressed within the needled ground,
submerged below sorrel and ferns,
are muffled calls which harken back
the perversion of a fool’s fortune a century
or more ago.

Before the fools,were the Ohlone, ‘the western people’,
gentle stewards before this land was
tied up
in parcels.
they were guided by planets, seasons and
transmuted stardust,
intuiting what the land could bear,
leaving sacrament, at its altar.

Indigenous yielding to the conquest
of exploration,
defeated to new settlers who built
their own place of worhsip
atop the immediate,
so available, abundant sanctuary

Blight, from plundering men
with oxen and saws, the groan of mud,
trudge, work songs, dynamite,
whiskey, and whips on work animals
are all hushed deeply
within the consuming breast of earth.

Hushed, as does a mother who simply
cannot bear to hear that her own child has died.
But not silenced,
for the anguish, heartbreak,
is deafening.

Saplings who sprouted, broadening their stance
to revered
long before any lord, prophet, or  prince,
whose stately halos stretched out to
75 feet had fallen to a thunderous death.
Shaking Earth to her very maternal core.
And all she could do, all she could do was strive,
upward and onward.

And now with each present step
on this forest floor, awareness lights awe
in meditation of forgiveness.
Land which persevered, in face of betrayal and molestation.
Revivals of new growth
abound over the oxen trails. And vestiges of Fairy Rings
honor the fallen.

copyright: Jennifer Brinn 2013

Putting Down Roots

Putting Down Roots

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A few weeks ago, before the rains, I had a gardening bonanza! I never thought of myself as much of a green thumb. In fact I still don’t, but since my pre-school years, I’ve always loved seeing the first peek of green peering up from the soil and tendril upward into the world.

I’ve long graduated from Dixie cups and sunflower seeds and now have a 4×4 veggie garden patch. It’s not much, but something which fits perfectly into the sun-soaked spot just beneath our kitchen window. This year I planted two 6-packs of rainbow chard of which the jackrabbits have made their personal salad bar (note to self: chicken wire ASAP). Still standing are the zucchini, squash, japanese eggplant, jalapenos, red cabbage, dino kale and a trailblazing effort of asparagus. Every morning I go outside to coo over them like they’re all my little babies. My 9yo daughter and my cat, Pablo stare out the window at me like I’ve lost my mind.

In Ayurveda, spring is Vata (air/wind) season. It’s the Mover & Shaker of all seasons. It’s the season for birthing new ideas, meeting new people, taking action on those new year intentions. With it can come unexplained feelings of overwhelm, anxiety, irritability.That 3rd chakra, the energy center of our will and moving forward in the world, gets super activated and if we’re not careful can completely quake our foundation.

Getting grounded: Just like that little pea shoot is striving to break through the soil, it also needs to be rooted in order to survive. It’s important to practice grounding this time of year in order for us to move from a true place, rather than falling over ourselves to get to the next project. Think about that picture for a moment…we end up getting in our own way!

Being in nature, getting my hands in dirt, cultivating and nurturing seedlings into the earth, planting a stack of clay pots with jasmine, lavender, hydrangeas and herbs…this grounds me. After working in the ethereal realms of Reiki, kneeling and bringing my focus downward to soil is something my body craves.

So if you’re feeling unmoored in this early bit of spring, we can get you grounded. And be sure to back it up with getting your feet and hands on a patch of mother earth.

 

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Talk to the Animals: 5 Simple Guidelines

artwork by http://www.ejaculesc.com
artwork by http://www.ejaculesc.com

Last week I was on my early morning hike. The fog was still waking and lifting from the hills. As a I reached the top ridge line a gorgeous, black Raven swooped over my head into the overhang of a eucalyptus tree about 15 feet above. It faced me directly and began to repeat a ‘knocking’ sound. Its throat ruffled up and continued making this sound for a good three minutes. I stood there watching, what I later learned might have been a, ‘her’. I listened how she was communicating, watched her behavior. I stood perfectly still and opened my heart as if to shine it to her, letting her know we were, in some sense, the same. She then flew to the ground beside me and casually walked along picking up bits with her ebony beak, her sleek feathers shined in the morning haze. As she walked along she would look up at me with ease. She then flew off into the trees. The visitation was complete. Continue reading Talk to the Animals: 5 Simple Guidelines