Another luscious life lesson on my Country Curriculum Tour.
Every time I go for a walk in the rural surroundings of my upstate New York, home, where I own an old farmhouse, l am immediately enrolled in the classroom of life. My teachers, are rarely human beings, but rather nature in all its iterations; maybe Finn, the jumping boxer that always seems to have a spring in his step, or the pushy dog across the street that has no compunction asking for what he wants; a handful of biscuits with no fear of rejection, or Spike, the mostly blind, but not terribly bright Donkey who brays so loud he literally stops traffic. But this week’s teacher was neither fish nor foul, nor canine, it was the mighty oak that had fallen down post Sandy, and what its demise had revealed.
As I walked down the road, I saw the tree literally horizontal (as you can see in the picture), and of course it saddened me, since it was, at one time a majestic one, but when I looked closer, I noticed that the base with its roots was neither deep nor wide enough to support the tree given its sheer weight and width, and therefore was easy prey for the furious winds that accompanied Sandy.
There were actually very little damage to our township, something of course we were very grateful for, but the few trees that did go down, seem to have that trait in common; a narrow and shallow root base.
“Are my roots deep enough to weather the storm?” I had to ask myself that. And a storm it had been. My mother having been in the hospital over 20 days in the last 40, with 4 relapses, not putting a full days work in for close to 2 months between visiting her, rallying with Team Edie (my brother and sister and myriad of health care workers), Sandy, Noreaster, and a kazillion other changes happening in my life.
I had to wonder when I looked around if I was a tree which one would I be, would I remain upright and centered, or would I be one of the few fallen ones, and ultimately, how deep are my roots, or wide is my base?
For me, both depth and width of my roots always begin with my connection with spirit, source, inner guidance, big Cahuna, whatever you want to call it. To be able to return to my spiritual practice no matter what is going on in my life, to fall and to return back to center, to shift my focus to the FOG (fabulous opportunity of growth, or other expletives) and to really stay present and focused on the moment.
To really choose sanity over craziness, whether I feel that way or not, and to make a human connection, and to both reach out and receive from the people in my life. That’s how I widen my root base, and quiet reflection amongst the chaos help deepen my roots.
I welcome your comments, stories, insights, and ponderings.