Harvest started late this year, the rains held strong until the last day of Spring. Plants went into beds slowly, owing mostly to my injury. Thick coastal fog is still a regular visitor, hiding the sun for most of the day. The Earth’s climate change weather dance continues carry us to new terrain.
Yesterday I awoke with an image in my head of the Spirit of the Land I journey to. She was smiling, gesturing to the ground, a voice said – “Dance the harvest.” In one of my first journeys to her she was giving and receiving continuously, growing and harvesting in a dance of easy love. This time her focus was just on the harvest, living and dancing within the circle of harvest.
Dance is a way of expressing gratitude fully, without reservation. We plant, tend our crops, then finally receive the bounty of the harvest with gratitude. Like the psychopomp work I’ve written about, dance is a transformative activity that can provide the final material to complete a hoop of vital, authentic sustainability. We fully receive the harvest – emotionally and spiritually – and return energy back to the land. The cycle finally complete, begins anew.
Grief and anger interrupt my own internal cycle of renewal. Lately I’ve felt stuck, cranky, unhappy. Dance helps me to open up and let go. I began to dance a Harvest Dance the morning after her message to me. Saying yes to her vision, beginning to work with the harvest in this way, gave me the extra tinder I needed. Last night I dreamt of my Dad for the first time in months.
We were standing at the side of a road as a parade passed. He was much older than when he died, and very emotional. We talked about our relationship, we cried, we embraced in a way we never have, not even in dreams.
I awoke feeling like I’d really received the gift of forgiveness, understanding how it allows us to renew ourselves. When we forgive we’re saying yes to life again. We’re saying: “Yes, even to this. Life contains suffering, even incredible horror, yet it is still a gift. Yes.”
Terry says that when we show gratitude for something, its like making room for more. “Yes thank you, that was great, can I have more?” Its the final step in receiving something. Like dancing the harvest, like forgiveness, its that extra alchemical element required to take the heavy stuck-ness and transform it into the miraculous abundance of harvest.
I want my son to have the chance to learn forgiveness from me. I want him to see his father cry with relief, give up his resistance and allow life to flow through him again. I want my son to grow up with a father who knows how to cultivate the soil of his own heart.
I wrote a poem about forgiveness a while ago, just nine days before my Dad died. I’m reposting the poem with new lines inspired by last nights dream:
I thought I had forgiveness
until I saw it glowing bright in the distance
and me walking there
a free man.
Then you died,
only to return and embrace me.
You forged my path to forgivness
with the hidden gentleness of your heart.
Forgiveness brings with it the gift of gratitude.
Thanks to the Spirit of the Land and my Father, for the incredible beauty and power of this seasons harvest.