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Coming into the Peace of Wild Things

March 3, 2021

Coming into the Peace of Wild Things

By Amba Gale

“Every human being comes to earth with sealed orders.”
Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard said that. A good question is,
What are your sealed orders?

I feel that one of my “sealed orders” is to go into the wilderness, and, through
being fully Present, noticing, and not buying into, the chatter in my mind, I can
hear the speaking of the world. And that speaking informs me, delights me,
enlivens me, brings me to a new level of wisdom and care for all things.

Poet Wendell Barry shares with us in one of his poems that when “despair for the
world grows in me,” he “comes into the peace of wild things.”

As I shared with you in my most recent Blog, centered around the “hike” we
took in the rainforest, while despair was not overtaking us, we, like you, have
been sequestered so long, that it was wild, going into the wild. Just driving in
the trees, listening to music in the car, listening to the audio book of my book,
Crossing Thresholds, that my husband and I are currently recording in his
studio, and listening to classical and country music restored us. Simply through
moving into new physical spaces I started to see the world differently. Just the
change of scenery from one beautiful place to another, from a place that had
become familiar, to going to a place that was unfamiliar to me, filled us both with
a sense of well-being. It filled us with a sense of freedom, breathing different air,
seeing different views, creating new intentions, as I did in my blessing for
“slow sauntering” for our hike we took later that day.

I like that the word, “sauntering,” came into my blessing. “Sauntering” is one of
John Muir’s favorite words. He says, Hiking — “I don’t like either the word or the
thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains — not hike! Now these mountains
are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not ‘hike’
through them.” While he was speaking of the Sierras, still….in retrospect, that
casts a whole new light on our experience….”sauntering.”

May you as well, dedicate yourself to finding a time, near to you, to “saunter.”

On the morning of my hike, I wrote three Haiku and a Blessing. The video clip is
what the waterfall, from the bridge, looked and sounded like. May the experience
of reverence touch you..

Three Haiku and a Blessing

I.
Across the still lake
Cloud Eagle swoops ‘neath snow trees.
Forest and falls call.

II.
Branches shape a heart,
frame the lake, the trees, the sky,
singing, “all is well.”

III.
A heart to look through
across the lake. A new view:
trees and clouds and snow.

 

Blessing:

 

May our day

of slow sauntering

amidst the evergreens,

the Fir, the Spruce

soften

into smoothness

my heart.

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We are so filled with prescriptions for positivity, that sometimes we forget to include, to allow for, to put our arms around, all those parts of ourselves that are hurting, that are lamenting, that are grieving, to be with what has ended, and embrace those parts of our lives, or ourselves, that it is now time to let go. As I say in one of my poems, “Heartbreak,” in my book, Crossing Thresholds, Island Reflections, pain not honored or fully experienced hides in the years, hides in our body/mind, goes underground, and so we live with a brittle heart, not…

May 25, 2021

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Each morning, before I go to my office, in my morning practice of drinking tea, and reading poetry, and writing, with an intention to “get out of my head” and “get out of my plans” and move into the natural world “out here,” something new clicks for me. The morning, noticing the bright red rhododendron blossoming near the greening of the leaves, and the waning petals of my magnolia tree, the poem, “Magnificent Magnolia Morning” came my way, opening the territory for me to reflect upon the impermanence of all things. Even though we often avoid it, or deny it,…

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