Thursday, September 22, 2011

Getting "Gaia'ed"

These experiences were shared in response to a prompt from a classmate to tell about times when we experienced deep connection to Gaia, or Mother Earth.

*When I was about five to six years old we lived on a small hobby farm in rural central Illinois.  We had a couple of acres replete with a small willow tree banked creek, dilapidated barn, a herd of goats and an open field.  We did not have a TV, so I spent my days playing outside.  The creek was pure magic, the barn was musty and mysterious, the goats were fun to frolic with and milk, but the field was my truly special place.  I would lay on my belly in the grass looking at all of the tiny life teaming around me or lay on my back watching the grass and trees sway and clouds drift by.  I remember feeling deeply content and at home in that little patch of earth. Definitely a part of a powerful whole.  I attribute much of my current love of nature and desire to recreate that little farm, goats, barn, creek, field and all as a part of my life dream.

*We moved a lot when I was young, at least every two years.  Although we have been in Maryland long enough for me to consider it my home state now, the place that I have called home throughout my entire life is Virginia Beach. I was born there, we returned there for a few years after our stint in Saudi Arabia, and we have visited my maternal family there multiple times a year for as long as I can remember.  I get my feet in the sand as soon as I can on every trip, preferably at a time of day when the beach is fairly empty.  Although I am not at home in the deep opaque water of the Atlantic, sitting at its edge watching the ebb and flow of the waves cleanses and revitalizes my soul like little else can.  I feel rocked and hushed by the vast maternal presence of the ocean and come away feeling like the world will be alright and my small part of it is worth contributing.

*The events that led me to live in California for a few years were rather drama filled. In short, a few days in to the cross-country drive to move from DC to San Francisco with my fiancĂ© I broke off the engagement.  We moved into a 500 sqft studio with our two dogs and tried to heal the relationship for a few months.  I spent a LOT of time going to yoga and sitting on top of a hill with the dogs.  He spent a LOT of time working and drinking.  I did a tremendous amount of soul searching during that time and found seeking counsel from the wind and trees.  It may sound odd, but a country away from all my friends and family, nature was a great listener and a trusted companion.  There was a particular evening when I was grappling with the decision to leave for good and struggling with feelings of guilt, when I am quite sure the eucalyptus on that hill whispered a passage from “The Invitation” by Oriah Mountaindreamer that confirmed the decision I knew to be right and set me in motion to move on. 
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.  
If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

1 comment:

  1. Your upbringing on a small hobby farm sounds so amazing. I'm sure you had so many great experiences that the rest of us may never have. I sure hope to give my kids such an upbringing one day.