The Soul of InterbeingOct 21, 2021
My soul is not a box full of glitter that lives under the bed of my heart.
My soul is not a fairy godmother that blesses me periodically with clever platitudes.
My soul is not a battle plan with predetermined strategies and precisely inked commands.
There is no user’s manual that I am aware of.
My soul does not check the news. It has no job description to give at awkward social gatherings. It does not give a crap about how productive I thought I was today.
Ah, there it is.
My soul notices that there are eleven more leaves that turned bright orange on the maple since yesterday.
There are five less seeds in the head of the sunflower.
(Didn’t you hear the laughter of the chickadees this morning?)
My fingertips trace the edges of my soul and it is fleshier than I anticipate, a soil-made placenta that contains the essence of every living thing. Slippery and warm, its borders are lined with purple veins that quiver.
My hands find it to be utterly whole.
And also, it is breaking down, tearing and mending, growing and dissolving again. It lives in the nutritious black butter of bogs. It drifts out to sea on currents that only the turtles know. It is lovingly offered on granite peaks to croon in the belly of birds.
My soul is not a special floaty thing just for me. It is sourced from the soft ache of living, the stages of aging, a faith in being, and a vast trust in life as it is. All the while it contains layers of depth that are concealed, time frames that are ungraspable. It does not want to be held captive inside some mental casket.
Always hesitant to be entirely revealed, my soul longs with its whole self for me to see it fully.
But it is only my body that really understands.
There are offerings to be made.
I give an eye to the stream to be nibbled on by the minnows. I give a rib as a precious dog-bone, forgotten in the long grasses of the yard. I give a toenail to the pile of snake skin heaped along the back corner of the house. I give a fallopian tube to the phlox, a patch of pink to be worshipped by the hummingbirds.
I give my soul to an underground hollow within the tangled knees of the old woman pine. There is an expectant lacuna cupping the dark, a cradle made of ashes and owl pellets and hypericum flowers. My soul’s home. What a relief to hear the songlines of the land again, to dream in interbeingness, to laugh in sunrises. Taken apart, yet deepened, my soul knows: This is where I am going. This is where I have been. This is where I always am.
©️ Kendra Ward, 2021