We Are Plants, Believing in WaterAug 05, 2022
If it were always summertime,
The blazing heat would burn the garden,
Soil and roots, so that nothing would ever grow again.
December is grim yet kind;
Summer is laughter, and yet it burns.
Dearest Sacred Spark,
More and more, we are plants drooping from the heat, believing in water.
As we move deeper into summer, as periods of longer lasting, more intense heat are arising globally, I feel increasingly aware of how the in-flame-ation within our bodies is being mirrored within a pervasive in-flame-ation on the planet. There is much complexity contributing to the troubles we find ourselves in (and by no means do I wish to oversimplify these difficulties), but it has been making me contemplate all of the many ways that the Fire element gets expressed in its extroverted excess, even down to the fiery energy behind our obsession with busyness and overstimulation. Our bodies are running hot these days. If we took a ride on a satellite and viewed our beautiful Earth from above, I think we would be astounded by what we are radiating out as a collective, the lights and chaos, the craze of activity and sensorial mayhem.
We are plants, dry, believing in water. Sweet relief from the heat comes by turning to the Fire element’s opposite: Going to the ocean, river, shower or midnight rain. Balancing ourselves with yin activities, like napping in the hottest part of the day in a dark room, slow breathwork before bed, or using sound/music/yoga nidra for deep relaxation. Slowing ourselves down.
Practicing becoming fallow. The word “vacation” actually comes from the Latin root, “vacuum” meaning to become empty, to be fully free of duty.
We can also find temperance in examples of health-giving fire within the living world, within stories, within our bodies.
My animal body knows fire as an archaic creative force, an elder deity, a grandfather of the entire cosmos. I feel fire right there in the center of all creation as well as in the digestive center of my body, lighting my many smaller pilot fires, initiating my metabolism, moving my blood, sparking my neurons, squeezing life into my beating heart.
And lately, my animal body says that I can’t go to bed without honoring the glow of fireflies devouring the dessert of summer fields…
chomp, chomp, chomp.
What does your animal body know about fire, in excess or in its integrality? What have your people known about this time of year? What stories, or songs, or secret yearning lived in their bodies that now live in yours?
Here in the Fire elemental season, we can find new dimensions of healing through heart connection and widening our sense of relational intimacy with everything around us.
And if you are feeling anything like me and want to gleefully, gladfully shut up and listen reverently on a regular basis to the playful, mysterious intelligences that surround us in every direction, check out the free replay of my recent webinar: Practical Earth-Honoring Skills for the Broad-Hearted and World-Weary. Aside from being a total celebration of eco-adoration, this class offers simple practices for deep listening, feeding the Earth as the Earth feeds us, and rediscovering the place where we live with fresh eyes. You can listen here.
(Excerpt from the July newsletter, if you enjoyed these musings, sign up for the monthly love letter)