Friday, April 27, 2007

The Vagabonds

Is there anything as peaceful as a morning walk in Spring mist? With Wind a breathy whisper and the quiet only punctuated with the sound of bird's trills? I hear the underlying sounds then...the sounds that are usually muted by the roar of Spring machinery.

I hear the swish of water from car tires, passing by the house. I hear the distant surf, and seagulls calling. And if I focus my senses on my hearing, I hear a roar and there, in the underlying hum, I note vibrations of sound coming from Earth. The sounds of sucking mud, the drip off the eaves, the crinkle of a dry branch underfoot, the whisper of the worms...

And so it was this morning, as I ventured outside. The weather has been rainy and cold and sunny and warm lately, in fact, it has been Spring weather. I was dressed warmly, took my Camera, with some trepidation. I am still used to coddling my old Camera, Camera No. 1.

But Camera No. 2 performed admirably, as I ambled along, listening to the songs of the plants.

It is time to deadhead...a horrible term, for a peaceful Gardener. But it is what it is, and the Daffodils and Tulips look naked without their frill of overblown petals surrounding their hearts. And there is another show to look forward to next year, as these Daffodils and Tulips store food from their leaves in their bulbs for the rest of the year, producing once again next Spring.

I love the cycles of the garden...the complete circles.

I came upon Lady's Mantle, one of my favourite self-seeders. She is strong and adaptable, showing off chartreuse, airy flowers all summer long. I have a picture of her flowering exuberance somewhere, but couldn't find it. This photo is of her just getting started...leaves are still small and tender, just right to enhance my salads, with her slightly bitter taste.

If I were to collect the water, be they Raindrops or Dew, that settle on the leaves, I would join a long line of Women doing the same from times gone by...

Lady's Mantle was considered a Woman's protector, she was given the nickname 'a Woman's best friend'. She was used to regulate the menstrual cycle and to ease the effects of menopause. She was useful, as well, in reducing inflammation of the female organs. Since the 18th century, her large leaves have been applied to women's breasts, to recover their shape after breast- feeding.

And the magical properties! It is said that if a Woman were to collect the Water droplets on the Lady's leaves, in May, on a full Moon night, naked and with bare feet, showing her purity and ability to ward of opposing forces, she would preserve her youth.

My youth has been left behind. But I wonder if the collected droplets of dew would do well on eBay. And off I go, fantasizing about the wonderful possibilities for Lady's Mantle Water...

The Lady's children are vagabonds, taking long trips away from the Lady's settled home, to try out different parts of the garden, hopscotching here and there, carefree and putting down roots wherever they find a hospitable patch of ground. I don't mind these baby Ladies, I try to keep things manageable, but they do look lovely! and these volunteers are so very indepen- dent.

On this misty morning, the salad garden looks crisp and luscious. We have been enjoying Sorrel for a month...another amazing plant.

She has blood cleansing and blood improving qualities, similar to spinach...which improves haemoglobin content, along with Vitamin C. Granny G would feed everybody Sorrel Soup in the early Spring, when she had great quantities of this strong warrior.

This was one potion of Granny's at which we didn't turn our noses up. The soup had a lemony, very tart taste, which bit into your taste buds with a punch. There were bits of ham and potato and lots of parsley and was one of her Spring Tonics.

I use her sparingly, much as I would any other Herb, fresh, added to salads and stir-fries alike. She is high in oxalic acid, and a little goes a long way. Sorrel can also, in large quantities, cause problems for arthritic people, of which I'm one. But in the Spring, she helps me cleanse Gray's and my blood; her fresh taste, beginning in early February, a prelude to the dance of Spring yet to arrive.

Sorrel's children, too, are vagabonds. She also has inconspicuous, yellowy-green flowers. But she has fooled me once, and I let her go to seed...the rest is history. But her seeds take a long time to grow to an appreciable size...she is best propagated through division. Her children, too, are a little tougher to remove than the precious Lady's offspring.

But Roman soldiers used to suck on Sorrel's leaves to relieve thirst; Henry VIII loved her, with the Tudors considering the herb one of England's best vegetables. Roman doctors used her as a diuretic. It strikes me that the use of an herb as a thirst reliever and as a diuretic is a little odd, but I remember as a child sucking on Sorrel, relishing her tartness. But I can't remember the result.

Lady's Mantle and Sorrel...the women's protector and the warrior helper...two plants that have taken up residence in my garden that love to wander. If their roots and leaves find the nutrients they require, they do well. If they don't find the habitat to their liking, they will still hang on and on, trying to replicate a former hospitable corner. Trying to find home.

Volunteers such as these are the backbone of my garden...I know when self-seeders have found a place to be that I have a choice to move them or enjoy them where they are. I rarely consign these two to the compost...I would rather pot them up and give them away.

Something these two plants allow me to do with regularity.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


For the first time in this life, I looked after my baby grandson for a very short hour. I live in another town from my family, and I have not had the opportunity to do so any earlier. I was lucky enough that my care fell during his social time, right after a feeding. He was content; and so was I, in spades.

As his parents left, a little unsure of the whole idea, I think, as parents of newborns can be, I told little Graydon that we were going to use this time to get to know one another; he was not to instantly fall asleep, as is his wont.

Graydon and I discovered the piano. I pressed one key at a time and Grady's wriggly body went still, as he listened to the fading note. He had a look of intense concentration, holding my gaze, and then waving his fists once again, until another note sounded. I detected wonder in his eyes, as the vibrations of the notes filled his being...and then I played a series of four or five keys. I could feel his soul want to dance, as those notes tinkled...I could feel him want to laugh. I giggled for him, for his soul which wanted to move and play. I detected impatience in him, impatience at the limitations imposed by his baby body.

We wandered to the window. His eyes closed against the bright light and he squinted at Maple Tree, just unfurling his leaves. I opened the door, and he felt the breeze that whispered over his body...what secrets was Wind telling him, or was it only a welcoming kiss?

But it felt chilly to this grandmother, and so I tried to close the door, but Graydon's little body tensed...warning signals from a one-month old I let the lullaby from Wind caress his soul a little longer. Again, the look of intense concentration, and the look of pleasure.

The baby is more or less on a schedule; at this first time in caring for him alone, I didn't want to change anything! I was told he would be awake for perhaps half an hour, so I made every minute count as we told each other stories, of the past and of the dreams of the yet-to-be.

We burped, he and I, as I tried to teach him how...I am not a good, satisfactory burper. So I understood Graydon's dilemma in not knowing how to do this thing that is so essential for all babies, if the parents are ever going to get any rest. We tried different positions, I showed him on his body where the burp should come from. He succeeded a couple of times, and we celebrated each hard fought for burp.

And then there was the unforgettable chuckle, with the widest, crooked grin...a gas smile and hiccup in one, probably, but I believe he gave me a of those soft, tug-at-the heartstrings baby chortles. It didn't just tug at my heart...that soft, sighing sound of a happy baby melted it.

I sensed him fighting sleep; it was time. I recognize the fight to stay awake and aware; it is my legacy to all my children. And so, I'm an expert at this one. I bundled him in a soft, blue, fleecy blanket, held him close to my chest, and sang some of the soft, silly songs of childhood. He became still, his eyes unblinking. They would droop, he would sigh...and then, open his eyes wide, trying so hard.... But his body's need for sleep overrode his desire to stay awake.

I had decided to find his mother's chair, the one where she feeds him, when it was apparent he was ready for sleep. The smell of his mother, the familiar surroundings, and the ultra comfortable chair we were sitting in that almost lulled me to sleep did the trick...he was soon sleeping soundly.

And there we sat, he and I, me drinking in his face and the feel of his warm body next to mine, and Graydon sleeping deeply. We were there when his parents came home.

Our solitary interlude, our first intense bonding, on the day of his first month on Earth...yesterday was a gift every grandparent shares the very first time caring for their new grandbaby.

It may differ in culture; it may differ in language, but the end result is the same...a strong link, a chain of love, is formed when we open our hearts wide to the unblinking gaze of a newborn grandchild, in solitary communion.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Grandfather Tree's Story

Grandfather Tree and I have had many occasions in the past five years to sit down together and speak with each other. He has told me a little of his story; I have told him mine.

I wrote about how he began his life here on our property some time ago, and then saved and forgot about it, until Gray reminded me by telling me something he had heard about Grandfather.

There were many parallels I could not have known about... this is one example of how plants will "tell" us what we want or need to know. It was wonderful to me to be able to corroborate a 'feeling' or intuitive thought from Grandfather...and find it to be true.

I'm presently reading two of Stephen Harrod Buhner's books...The Lost Language of Plants and Sacred Plant Medicine. In both works, he has clearly shown how we have lost our ability to communicate with the Plant World; his words are a reminder to me that plants are Mother Earth's natural healers...and that they are fully sentient.

On a warm day last Summer, when the only cool spot for miles around is under Grandfather Tree, where a breeze always sings a song...I felt the urge to speak with him. He took me on a journey that seemed strange to me at the time.

I was riding in an old vehicle...a vintage car, where there were no springs and very little comfort. It was black in the interior and very warm. There seemed to be many children, also...from a young toddler to pre-teens, with us all riding in this jouncy, bouncy conveyance.

It seemed as if we were traveling very quickly. Yet, how could it feel so, when somehow I knew this old car would only be chugging along, at best? And I could not really see the children. I could hear them clearly, and felt a strong energy signature coming from each.

But where was I? And then I saw the wooden box, placed on top of leather luggage, almost as an afterthought. Every time there was a bounce in the car, the box would jolt, and a small layer of dirt would appear to trickle from the side of it. Inside the box, where I seemed to be, was a layer of baby of whom was Grandfather Tree.

This family was on holiday. There seemed to be much singing and laughter and tired tears. The trip seemed interminable. I wondered where we were coming from and where we were. I was given the answer...this family was from California. They traveled to Vancouver Island every year for summer holidays. I saw a small cabin as their destination...the forerunner to the home in which I now live.

I saw the older boy take the box of seedlings and place them in a corner of the yard, when we arrived. And then...I saw lightning strike a far more mature Grandfather Tree, three times. Sequoia's bark is very thick and fibrous, non-resinous and it is very resistant to Fire, but the heat from the Lightning strike did leave scars. They are apparent to an expert, but I did not know Grandfather had been struck three times, until I was told by an arborist.

With the Lightning, and the resultant feeling of extreme heat, I came out of my meditation and wondered at what I had seen. I wrote it down as a children's story, one I thought I would expand on for my grandchildren. But it faded into the background, with life's events taking precedence.

Grandfather Tree is not indigenous to this area. We did not know he was of the Sequoia genus until after we bought our home. But he is well known to the folks that have lived here for a long time...when I explain where I live, some residents ask about the big, tall Tree in the garden. Is he still alive and well?

And I tell them he is doing very well.

But Gray heard an explanation, a few days ago, of why we have a Sequoia growing, with great gusto, in the yard. He heard there was a lady from California who used to vacation here, many long years ago...and she planted quite a few Sequoias in the general area.

He brought the news home...

It took me a minute or two...and then the light bulb went on!

I had already written Grandfather Tree's story, when I thought it was just that...a happy, little tale to tell my grandchildren.

It was a reminder to me. A reminder to take my gift of communications with Animal and Plant beings seriously and with awe. A reminder to believe in myself.

And a reminder to believe in the stories I hear from Grandfather Tree.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Otherworldly Dreaming

I look outside this morning, and there is nary a cloud to be seen. Sun's warm rays brighten Daffodils' shiny, eager faces even more, making them shiver with delight.

Red Tulips, sensuous in their silken cups, line the path, sending a siren's scent, lingering...overpowering at times, soft and gentle at others. They seem to preen themselves with Sun's rays even more than usual, this morning.

Sun chases the last vestiges of a soul-speaking dream I had last night; the message given has not been deciphered as yet...

Sodden, it was...dripping and gurgling, sloshing and splashing...I was in a world of Water. I was not in my cumbersome physical body, I was only an eye, an eye that was ever aware of each nuance of the droplets of Rain and flowing streams that surrounded me.

Objects and Beings that came to me in my watery World shimmered silver at times and became gauzy grey at others, obscured by bubbling froth. My Soul's eye recognized these incandescent energy signatures, connecting with each as it passed through in a small whirlpool of wavering thought.

There was the Cat, sleekly gliding through heavy moisture, his eyes burning into my Soul, telling me to be aware, offering protection from deceit. Eagle, a frequent enough visitor in my daylight hours for me to nickname him Scree, glided by on a stream of Water, offering me the gift of farsightedness. He tells me his tales of prosperity and success...he tells me not to fear failure, for without failure there is no success.

An avalanche of Pebbles and Stones floated by, each turning and winking a bright light, each a warm bastion of strength in this uncertain watery place I found myself in. My spiritual guides for this journey had arrived.

I became a slithering droplet of water, with the ability to adapt and become entirely mutable, independent of other's words and thoughts. I experienced the silky sensation of runneling down a Flower petal, gathering with other droplets in the heart of the Flower.

I became a Raindrop, freezing into a Snowflake. I joined other droplets, gathering in pools, small and large. I entered the Ocean, tasting the brine. I kissed the tops of Trees, before running down to invite their thirsty roots to drink.

I became a Tear, sliding down a downy baby cheek, or gathering in the deeply carved fissures of an elder's face. I learned that different Tears for different Beings feel the same.

I tasted hard baked Sand and Dirt; I gave a small, insignificant flower, a survivor of neglect, a kiss to nourish its weak growth. I wanted to give it hope.

I fell through pollutants and tasted acid, making my soul curl and shrivel up in disgust, sadness and fear.

I merged with a dewdrop, I extinguished a burning forest, I slaked the thirst of a runner...

I opened my unconscious, closed energy and allowed it to flow freely, allowed it to be submerged and cleansed in the Water of Life.

But when I became aware, in my dream, that I was dreaming, I felt my body return, my guides leave, and I knew I would soon waken.

I am a Pisces; I dream of Water often. It is an entirely comfortable place for me to be. It is the first time I have experienced being a drop of Water, however. It is a difficult dream to describe...feelings and emotions were fleeting, hard to catch and hold. Always, Water in my dreams reflect my emotional status... so what did an insig- nificant droplet of Water have to tell me?

A glimpse into another World, it seems.

I would awaken to the sound of Raindrops being driven against the window by a strong Wind. Without a doubt, I thought, the morning would bring clear weather.

I snuggled in, leaving otherworldly dreams be dissected in the morning.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Now that our family has a new baby among us, I wanted to research the process of incarnation.

In Barbara Ann Brennan's book Hands of Light, she talks about human growth and the development of the auric field. She writes that at each major stage in life, corresponding new and higher vibrations activate different chakras.

And with this in mind, each stage of life opens new energy and consciousness to us, expanding and evolving our ability for higher vibrations and expanded realities. Higher and more sensory than the previous generation. And so humanity evolves...

Many different scholars of incarnation have a similar belief in the process of a baby's birth. I agree with this...I think I have believed it all my life, I think I was born knowing it.

This belief states that the incarnating soul plans the coming lifetime with her Spirit Guides. Soul growth is uppermost, and negative belief systems that were prevalant in former lifetimes need to be cleared. Karma needs to be dealt with. So the Soul has to plan experiences where she can perform the tasks she requires in order to grow and evolve.

The incarnating Soul chooses her parents, who will provide the required environment for future life circumstances. The parental choices will give very precise energies that will give the Soul what she needs to complete her life task. There is a Personal task and a World Task. In order to work on the World task, which involves a gift to the World from the Soul, the Soul must first complete her Personal life task, thereby releasing energies that can be used for the gift to humanity or the Earth.

The life plan that the Soul chooses has many probabilities of different realities, giving her huge choices of free will. Aaah...there's the problem...right there is where I went wrong when I planned my life...I should have given myself just one detours, no side paths that looked so inviting, but turned into huge rocky cliff hangers. I swear I'll remember next time...not so much free will choice!

After this planning period with the Spirit Guides, a Soul then enters a process where she slowly loses consciousness of the Spirit World. There is conception, where an energetic link is formed between the Soul and the fertilized egg. An etheric womb is formed, protecting the Soul from outside influences, other than the mother's. The baby forms, the Soul slowly feels pulled towards it, and then there is a strong flash of consciousness, corresponding with the time of quickening. And then the Soul again loses consciousness, to awaken slowly in the physical.

Upon birth, the etheric womb no longer protects the Soul. She is subjected to the outside energy influences, alone. She will have great spiritual aid during this period, but many babies are still attached to the spiritual world, having great difficulty letting go.

Babies sleep. The soul is, during the sleeping, occupying her higher energy bodies. She leaves her body behind to do the physical work of growing quickly.

Now Graydon must become used to the limitations of the physical sensations and three-dimensional space that is the Earth plane. He was born with a very wide open crown chakra...his spiritual body is very large and imposing...and he must now undergo an enormous struggle to open his lower root chakra and connect to Mother Earth.

It is a fascinating study.

What has our Graydon incarnated to learn? What lessons must he undertake in order to reach ever higher levels of energy vibrations? And who has he left behind, on the spiritual plane...the ones that he might mourn, when he cries?

Graydon's incarnation is the death of his Soul's old way of being. He has undertaken this journey on the Earth plane alone, just as we die alone. Along with us...his immediate family and others yet to be manifested into his life...he will learn how to deal with the detritus of his Soul's past and he will work towards his own further evolution.

He has already helped me move further on my own journey. In countless ways, since he was born and before, when I practiced Reiki on my daughter when she was in labour, he has allowed me to learn a new way...and he has looked, consistently, quite smug about it all.

Who is this Soul who has arrived, in time for Spring and all the rebirth that surrounds me? Who is this Soul who looks as if he is playing a practical trick on me?

I guess I'll find out.