This weekend heralded the Fall Equinox here in the Western Hemisphere. In my world, that means acknowledging the seasonal changes by gathering with kindred spirits at the home of my friends Stephen and Kathy Redding at Happy Tree Farm in rural Pennsylvania. As an arborist, I think of him as being like The Lorax who “speaks for the trees” and to the trees that dance in the wind, and stand steadfast like guardians of the sacred land on which his family (including his wife and 3 of his 4 adult children) has lived for many years. At Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice as well, they invite folks to come over, camp out (I only live 25 minutes away and prefer my comfy bed and shower:), bring food to share, instruments to play, stories to tell, spiritual insights to offer, love to scatter. The theme this year was “The Secret of The Bloom”, the title of which came from what Stephen thinks of as a visitation from a flower that sprung up between rocks recently and also had shown its pink and white face a few years ago. It stayed a day or so and then disappeared as mysteriously as it appeared. We are encouraged to look at such experiences as expected miracles. The day was spent lounging in the sun, swimming in the lake (I got nibbled by fish who thought I was a snack), taking necessary time to veg without agenda. As the sun was setting, we were treated to a fireworks display across the lake. We expressed our delight in the pyro-technic language of ooohhh and ahhh~ Within moments after the last sparkly light spiraled into the water, the towering bonfire was built from dead trees on the property. The word ‘equinox’ was carved into a wooden plaque and placed in the front of the teepee shape. Many of us sat around the fire on carved topped benches or folding chairs, enjoying the radiance and warmth. Some had brought drums and serenaded each other and the flames; noticing that they dance in time with the pace of our percussive motions. The sparks flew to the sky, at times appearing to be stars and at others, like the fireworks moving upward, rather than downward. A carved tree stood next to it that served as the perfect perch and vantage point to watch the show.
Long about 10 pm, I meandered home, with the pungent aroma of woodsmoke wrapped around me and tumbled into sweet sleep, ready to head back out the next morning. We held a Sunday afternoon service by the lake, the temps considerably cooler and a blustery breeze dancing off the water. This time, the focus was:
Flower Where You Are “How Intention sets the bud from which we bloom.” I had the joy of assisting with my friend Rev. Glenda Smith as well as welcoming others to step up and share their wisdom and insights in poem, prayer and song. My sharing was about intention setting as a dream in progress, and passed around a bowl with wildflower seeds appropriately called ‘cosmos’. I asked those present, while in meditation, to hold the seeds and place their hands on the parts of their bodies where they felt how it will be once their intentions come to fruition as we had explored earlier in the service. I could already see the wheels turning, seeds taking root and growing. I asked that when we came together again at the Summer Solstice, that they share what had transpired in the meantime and how their gardens had blossomed.
I look at my intentions on a daily basis and more often these days, am a willing participant in growing my own wild flowers as I allow myself to be those outrageously hued petals that once upon a time were just buds; pure potential, to be abundantly harvested.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVi0UvFu8Yo Harvest Moon-Neil Young