Tuesday, May 3, 2011


     Burning piles of brush is an experience in paring down and transmutation. The bulk of the pile, the mass of tree branches and rotten fence boards, becomes ashes and smoke and lumpy hot coals. The leftover material of property clean-up transforms into flame and living energy. But overnight, the fire changes. Its energy changes. The next day it is smoldering and grey. Gone are the active flames. Gone is the snapping and crackling, gone the crisp clarity of the big bright burn. It feels worn out after all the energy of prior flames. It could be enlivened with some poking and a bit of a strong wind or some diesel fuel, but left alone it just smokes and smoulders, bone tired, used up from the extreme effort.
     Energies of all things are constantly changing, including my own. On a quiet afternoon, the breeze through the branches of age old maple trees is gentle. The fluttering leaf movement and solid tree trunks soothe my spirit. The maples at such a time are like rocking-chair energy. Their wind music affects me like a calming lullaby. But in the chaotic moment right before a thunderstorm, the same leaves peel back on their branches and sway erratically, chasing me inside.
      Buzzing bumblebees and flies are insistent and intense as they hover, land, fly away, and return. Dogs impale the silence with their sharp barks. Cars approach and recede with energy arriving and building and passing away. Birds chirp and whistle and flit. They alight on small tree branches and tilt their heads. All these energies, all together, are all ever changing, filling the world and the landscape with their life.
     I will observe my own energy today. Am I frantic? Am I tired and smouldering? Am I sharp? Am I impossible to settle down? I want to be like the maple trees on a peaceful afternoon. I want to be grounded and solid, rooted deep in the earth, and spreading all around me a sense of ease and gentle calm, a playfyul fluttering and rustling movement in the flow of the air.

I will pay attention to the energy I bring to my day today, and make an effort to remain grounded and calm no matter what.