“It always seems impossible, until it is not,” – Nelson Mandela
Midsummer's eve is a time to gather and celebrate light. It's a magical time of faeries and folklore.
“Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light; I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.” – Sarah Williams
Story Themes: The Ways of old often call out, to be changed and refreshed. For the Good of All.
Book Recommendation: The Hidden Life of Trees
“When trees grow together, nutrients and water can be optimally divided among them all so that each tree can grow into the best tree it can be. If you "help" individual trees by getting rid of their supposed competition, the remaining trees are bereft. They send messages out to their neighbors in vain, because nothing remains but stumps. Every tree now muddles along on its own, giving rise to great differences in productivity. Some individuals photosynthesize like mad until sugar positively bubbles along their trunk. As a result, they are fit and grow better, but they aren't particularly long-lived. This is because a tree can be only as strong as the forest that surrounds it. And there are now a lot of losers in the forest. Weaker members, who would once have been supported by the stronger ones, suddenly fall behind. Whether the reason for their decline is their location and lack of nutrients, a passing malaise, or genetic makeup, they now fall prey to insects and fungi.”
Photo Assignment: Create Images of nature sharing resources. Plants that grow & lean toward the sun. The roots that rise up above ground that are beautiful in their abstractness.
Journaling Assignment: Is there a wish deferred you harbor love for? One you share with others, or one you secretly work on but few know about? One of mine is a constant striving to learn all of the 108 Tai Chi long forms. I have about ten to go, but I’m constantly going back to the beginning. As I learn the tail of this dragon, the head is forgotten. As all things that hunger, it requires feeding, but it is a hidden aspiration of mine few know about.
"May you soar on eagle wings, high above the madness of the world." ~ Jonathan Lockwood Huie
A mantra for this week might be; breathing in: EARTH to ground yourself & breathing out: LIMITLESS SKY to look beyond.
*Throughout the story, you will hear a bell sound, and you might like to take that opportunity to breathe in deeply, sending your air to a place in your body that might like some oxygen
If you would like to breathe mindfully & deeply throughout this tale, you might imagine you are an eagle. Each time you hear the chime of the bell throughout the story, simply use the audible prompt to pull your breath in deeply, before letting it go. You might use the chime as an opportunity to check in with yourself.
*This story offers six total, audible prompts, to breathe deep, checking in with yourself, sending oxygen, from head to toe as we progress.
“You can’t be everything you want to be, but you can be everything you are” – Jay Shetty
In the United States, the bald eagle as a species, began to fight back from near extinction in the 1960’s. At that time, there were only around 500 nesting pairs of bald eagles.
Bald Eagle Conservation Wins:
In the world we live in, sad tales of loss and depletion in regard to planet earth are prevalent. However, this tale ends on a hopeful note when it comes to Bald Eagles. Today the numbers of total bald eagles
soar comfortably around 317k in the United States. In 2007, Bald Eagles were removed from the Endangered Species List. The bald eagle is proof, that the Endangered Species Act can save populations close to extinction.
A Photo Assignment for the week: Set your camera phone or digital camera on nature walks to the skies. Clouds, tree branches, or birds if you can get close enough!
Taking a deep breath in, hold it as you snap the shudder. In that moment you come into the magic of your presence. Use that space as a sanctuary to come back to through the day by using your breath, and your mind to center yourself.
For Journalers and Writers, here is a writing prompt for the week:
If you had a gap year between High School & College, where would you go? What would you wish
to learn about yourself? Who would you take with you?
Sometimes, to discover parts of ourselves, it helps to leave our nests and have an adventure.
A STORY THEMES:
“Sometimes you need to leave the nest to find yourself.”
How High Can Eagles Fly. (n.d.). Www.Americanexpedition.Us. Retrieved April 11, 2021
Iron wood Trees. (n.d.). Www.Houzz.Com. Retrieved April 11, 2021
The New York Times. (2021, March 24). A Conservation Success Story.
Vermont Highest Trees. (n.d.). Www.Newenglandhistoricalsociety.Com. Retrieved April 11, 2021
What Do Eagles Eat. (n.d.). Www.Rspb.Org.Uk. Retrieved April 11, 2021
“You have to write a lot of bad poetry, before the good,” Rumi the Troll
As gardeners, cave dwellers, and hobbits crack open their windows and doors, we observe the final weeks of spring, as it continues to bloom itself to life.
In the realization of the aliveness of all that is nature, we might soften our gaits, our trod-dings and rapid strides, in order to respect and benefit from a gentler hike.
“Speak Softly, and Carry a Big Stick, You Will Go Far,” West African Proverb
*Throughout the story, you will hear musical prompts, and you might like to take that opportunity to breathe in deeply, sending your air to a place in your body that might like some oxygen
If you would like to breathe mindfully & deeply throughout this tale, you might imagine you are a Friendly Troll. Each time you hear the music throughout the story, simply use the audible prompt to pull your breath in deeply, before letting it go. You might use the drums as an opportunity to check in with yourself.
*This story offers 9 total prompts, to breathe deep, checking in with yourself, sending oxygen, from head to toe as we progress.
A Humble Green
It’s not hard to find a poem about a flower in spring
or a star radiating glittering on high,
It’s easy to find poetry about the curling shapes of clouds,
& the longing wail of a chatty dove;
But below our feet
grass lives a quiet & humble life,
underneath us, by and by
and, it is not often the first subject
to catch a poet’s eye.
So maybe for today,
lets offer cheers and many thanks to you; grasses,
our often-forgotten friends,
for all you endure,
under oblivious strides & gaits
thank you for
rolling out your minty carpets
delicate to the face,
kindly hosting babies’ knees
at play &
for hosting picnics,
spread out wide,
as you hold us all
celebrating each given day.
Thank You - Rumi The Troll
Rumi reminds us of our mantra for this week:
Breathing in soft steps, breathing out, light steps drawing attention to how you place your feet with each breath in and out
A Story Theme:
Leave not your dreams, no matter how far afield they seem. Hold them
against your chest and allow others to help you reach them. They were sent
as a blessing on your path.
Photo Assignment for the Week: Can you document grass or green landscapes,
blowing side to side inside a spring wind? Getting up close you can! Let the grass know you love it with your eyeful attentions. Try to make a water droplet the star if you can macro in super close.
A Journaling Prompt for the Week:
It is a mindful practice to consider; how would it be to leave your house and wonder if huge feet were going to squash you as you drove to the store, or walked the dog to the park? Nature views us this way, but with awareness we can be lighter, and gentler. Noticing if birds and animals come closer, as we travel on our hikes.
A Few Nature Walking, Barefoot Questions:
Has anyone noticed on walks in nature that you are mindful when you step off the trails? Like myself, does anyone silently say sorry sorry ! As you inevitably step on a plant, or flower or two?
Has anyone tried Earthing, which is new science around the benefits of walking with bare feet on the earth? Most likely you have all walked bare foot on a beach in sand, but has anyone taken the next brave step and tried it in the forest, or desert, or along a lake bed ?
*Book Recommendations: The Green Cure by Alice Peck
Swedish Folk & Fairy Tales by John Bauer
The Echoing Green, Poems of Fields, Meadows & Grasses
*Shoe Company: Show my Soft Star Shoes out of Eugene & the Website