Like many indigenous cultures, my ancestors, the Southern Italians, considered plants to have a sentience and consciousness. Likewise, many earth based spiritual traditions consider plants to be our ancestors, which is both actual science and animist rooted belief.
Our nourishment comes from our ancestors.
With the creeping dawn of Summer Solstice, this morning, I think back through this most recent solstice cycle, where I was at on the Winter Solstice (both physically and in spirit) and what are the lessons of this cycle— both personal and transpersonal.
I was part way down the Baja peninsula, camped under one of my favorite ancestors, this massive, mighty Grandmother Cardon cactus. In this 6 month cycle of the return of the light, a certain quiet has enveloped me. I have spent (by choice) much of my time in the company of plants and dogs and less with humans.
There is a sincere and deep listening that can occur in this space. There is an education dispensed that is recorded in bird song and the thorny leaf cluster of the Boojum tree.
One of the teachings that comes with this dance of light, is the “as above, so below” relationship. The sun nourishes the plants, imparting to us the nourishing energy we carry within and have a responsibility to extend outward. The sun does not hoard its light or withhold nourishment.
It does not grasp and clutch at more than it needs. It is out of alignment with natural law for us to disengage from our responsibility, our ability to respond, of offering nourishment back to the fabric we are woven from.
Dropping into the cover of shingle covered boxes cannot, will not, absolve us of this responsibility. Engaging only in ego identity/mechanical relationship with nature does not absolve us of this responsibility. There is no crack the light cannot shine into where we can hide from our human duty to nourish, both ourselves and the world reaching out from and back into the sacred axis of our being.
My wish and prayer for humanity on this Summer Solstice is for us to reach deep into the ancestral wisdom of nourishment for that seed of sentience that recognizes the birthright of all life to receive palpable sustenance of body and spirit. Happy Solstice!
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