the grid of ecology



The shape of a landscape is an ancient
and silent form of consciousness.
Mountains are huge contemplatives.
Rivers and streams offer voice;
they are the tears of the earth’s joy
and despair. The earth is full of soul.
……John O’Donohue

we are reduced to a two dimensional landscape within the smallness of points of view and rudimentary awareness…..but to breathe in experience is to see all lands from conscious embodiment… rare, but so true……

The eyes of the future are looking back at us, and they are praying that we might see beyond our own time. They are kneeling with hands clasped that we might act with restraint, that we might leave room for the life that is destined to come. To protect what is wild is to protect what is gentle. Perhaps the wildness we fear is the pause between our own heart beats, the silent space that says we live only by grace. Wildness, wilderness lives by this same grace. Wild mercy is in our hands……Terry Tempest

to dig as to dwell

A large sycamore stands before me. I see roots fingering their way through river rock and digging and spreading into the edge of a creek. I see branches that carry my wandering eyes outward and upward into the sky, my heart carried with them. The pattern of thought and reverence that connects me to the tree is just one step beyond its visible branching pattern. And as I let my eyes leave a branch and dive into the sky, I am pulled, even tugged, more deeply into the universe. It is as if my mind has suddenly grown larger. I recall (I invoke) the Tree of Life, it uppermost branches reaching into the home of the gods, the roots spreading laterally, just below the surface of the known world. I remember (I imagine) the Omphalos, the cosmic axis, or axis mundi. The Omphalos is the mythic center point of a sacred circle within which the shaman traditionally moved between the underground world of soul and the powerful sky realm- through the world of earthly concerns. Across many cultures, marking the Omphalos is the first act of geometry, or sacred geography. This act declares that the sacred center of the universe is here, and that the cardinal directions extend from the “point of cognition,” the place where one stands. I remember that the Omphalos is a sacred center where the potential of mind, the possibility of transcendence along a vertical axis, intersects the horizontal axis, that of the ground, the earthly realm of soul……Laura Sewall

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