Sometimes things show up the opposite of where we think they should.
And we have to look closely to understand how they got there.
There is tenderness everywhere. How gently the fungus cradle the leaves.
I am observing circles and the stories they tell.
How the elements hold each other.
Both random and profound.
This month I have been writing a book. And my internet provider awaits new equipment lulling in customs, so my internet is glitchy. The above is a picture story of my days as I prepare to publish a book for the first time!
I am blessed with a trail on the land next to my house. The man we bought our home from still owns the property next to us, and he allowed me to create a path around it. It takes about 10 minutes to walk, but it’s easy to wander out well after that.
Walk. This word is for me a spell, the action a rite.
I am a Walker, not for exercise: for thought, connection, and growth.
When I suffer, I walk as if I am kissing the earth with my steps, as we were taught by Thich Nhat Hanh. My bare feet touching the ground heal me. When I cannot feel joy, I can find it through the soles of my feet, from the earth, the sky, the wind, all of life around me. When I feel lost, when my loved ones are not enough to hold my heart, I have my feet and the earth. They are always enough.
Grounding, is part of the process, but the forward movement is essential as well. And the sunlight, the wind. Dr. Andrew Huberman agrees with me. It isn’t just abbyscience. He prescribes a walk or jog, outside in sunlight upon rising for the best brain function.
I thought when I moved close to the ocean I would want to walk on the beach every day, but I still prefer the woods, I like shade and birdsong. I like to see animals going about their business. There are of course birds and animals on the beach, but it feels different to me, I guess it’s the Midwesterner in me that still prefers green to blue.
-harvesting congo chilies on my walk this morning
I logged hundreds of hours on Chicago streets, finding treasure in garbage, my creative flow stemmed directly from my feet on the pavement.
I memorized 52 poems in 2016 while walking the Cero Frio in Mexico. I mourned my father walking that mountain, and I lost my beloved Bear there. But, I had hundreds of deep work walks there with her too. Walking is not a cure for hardship, it’s a balm, and can be therapy when applied regularly.
I wrote three books while walking, putting them to paper was the outcome of the actual work that occurred while walking. I have received real magic from the earth as I place my feet, one in front of the other upon her.
-my spirit animal, red dragonfly, resting in my hand
I know the earth is alive and sentient. I have felt it, heard it, talked to it, received care, support, and inspiration from it. If you haven’t visited her lately, she misses you.
Are you a walker, a surfer, a gardener? How do you touch the earth? I’d love to hear your stories of earth magic.
Twelve years ago Felipe and I were married in a garden we revived from a syringe strew lot, next to our Humboldt Park apartment in Chicago. I didn’t realize we were building a personal metaphor with that plot.
We have adapted weed nature to survive in México, and sometimes it certainly feels that we have been pulled and burned and carted away. Still we stay and flourish. Tenacious as weeds, our flowers. This week I recite the fitting poems read during our wedding service.
I’m very happy to be back to my walking and memorizing, oddly I was nervous after such a long postponement, and as you’ll hear my wind has not fully returned.
I’m excited to have discovered a poet I was not familiar with, Juan Felipe Herrera. I love this poem, in part because it sounds a little like the dialogue inside my head, a mishmash of English and Spanish, giving advice to the world, though mine is not so eloquent.
Even Felipe liked this poem, and poetry is not his thing. So without further ado, please join me at Ytube for the 29th poem I have memorized for my year long project, Where I live: a Devotion to Poetry. Let Us Gather in a Flourishing Way, by Juan Felipe Herrera.