I’ve been swamped with my day job for at least three weeks. Time on the land has been sporadic, time journeying has been even more absent. The short days keep us all inside more, giving us family time, which I’m grateful for.
This morning I stepped away from the clock to walk the land and be pulled where I might. I found a sunny spot near the lavenders, near where the frogs were talking. I let my heart sink into the land, to be carried by her. I am more received by our homestead each time I let myself become more a part of this place.
Our land is never fallow, something is always ripening, one of the blessings of living in California. This morning before he left for school, Tadg and I harvested some deep red prickly pears that seemed to appear out of nowhere. We still have a boat-load of pumpkins to pull out of the ground.
In this forty-sixth year of my life I’m grateful to have something so vast to sink into. I know that my own vitality can be easily restored, if I just let go a little bit more into her depths. Maybe this is part of why some Native North Americans call this land Turtle Island. Maybe they know how much she’s carrying us all. I like the idea of resting on the back of a giant Mother-Turtle.
Being a father and a bread-winner gives me a small taste of what it means to carry others. I feel the weight of my family, I know many other Fathers and Mothers who bend a little beneath similar burdens. We all know we work too much, take too little time for ourselves, but we feel we can’t stop or even slow for a moment. Time pulls us forward, grinding against the soft animal within that knows how to crawl into the soil and suckle at our great Mother until we are restored.
I’ve been hearing the voices of frogs at the weirdest times of the day. Usually they wait for nightfall or a really wet day to talk. The last few weeks, frogs are always joining us during the day on the land, not without great risk to themselves (chickens and dogs and little-boys love frogs).
Every time I check in about these and other quirky moments, the spirits always just tell me to listen. Of course its not just with my ears, they want me to listen with my soul. To do that, I really need to open my heart wide. I think there is a part of me that fears giving in too much to the land, then I might not be able to rejoin the pace of the modern world. Now wouldn’t that be a tragedy?
Vitality is always being renewed here, so long as we don’t get in the way of the land expressing herself. She is always giving and receiving, I’ve been leaning away from that lately. Today she’s teaching me to let go and listen, to allow her to ripen me a bit more. Today she’s reminding me that like the frogs, I too am a citizen of Turtle Island.