365 Days of Prayer – Day 118 – Stay Home

One of the mandates for the Corona virus is to stay home to help contain the spread within the capacity of the hospitals and health help centers to care for its victims. Governor Cuomo was on the TV exclaiming over people who were still frequenting beaches and coming into close social contact with each other, and specifically asked us to stay home so that we can continue to meet this emergency.

So please, if you happen to see this blog, stay home and keep yourself and us healthy! Thank you!

Creator, today I pray for those on the front of this disease. Keep them healthy, keep them rested, and let this disease burn itself out quickly. Let us honor the caring these individuals do to help those on the brink of death heal. Amen.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 110

Something happened to remind me to remind people how important it is to pray when there is need to take a life. This could be for any reason: plants I am gathering for medicinals or food; a farm animal I have raised for food; or a prayer for the hunters to bring in the game food.

I have shared stories recently of Hem, my tree friend. In his grove stands an aged tree who had been a sapling two hundred years ago when people clear cut the Hemlocks of this valley for the tanning industry. This tree was angry and mornings Alan and I could feel under attack from its projections of fear.

When I visit Hem, we experience much joy in each others’ presence. This elder tree would watch, and project its resentment. It clearly did not trust humans. But I would talk to it. I would ask it not to try to poison my relationship with Hem, because I am not like those people who clear cut the trees of its memory. And I asked it to forgive me so that I could enjoy Hem. This tree was not budging in its opinions or its suspicion. Yet something changed.

Yesterday morning I felt fearful, so I consciously stepped into the fear as my Wind Clan friend Brigid Hopkins suggested I do when my repressed emotions present themselves for healing. I stepped into the fear, and deliberately intensified the emotion. As I did this, the fear faded, and behind my eyes I was no longer Susan, but the tree I am telling the story about.  I was so afraid of the loggers daily coming closer and closer to where I was planted, and feeling keenly the deaths of my people, some dying after lives as long as six hundred to one thousand years, their lives abruptly ended without prayer, without ceremony, without permission.

Her story was heartbreaking.

I brought prayer. I brought ceremony. I called upon the help of my tutelary spirits for something I could not do on my own. This venerable tree has carried her fear for over two hundred years, the tree version of PTSD. With the help of the tutelary spirits, we created sacred space for her healing and her peace of mind.

If these loggers had been conscious of the spiritual beingness of these trees , would they have been so wasteful, or so careless of the value of their lives?

Long ago I read of a Native American practice of praying to the spirit of the being whose life was being sought to meet the tribe’s need to survive. Offerings were made and prayers were said. The spirit of the being was assured that no part of it would be wasted. Every part would be used. And eventually the humans too would lay down their bodies to return to the natural world. All of this was consciously realized and accepted. The prayers made the connection to the spirit of the animal for the spirit of the people and the needs were met and gratitude given.

Here is a “fill in the blank” kind of prayer to ask for and give honor to the gifts of the Earth. Or maybe something else will move you to write your own ceremony. I pray that you will.

Holy Mother Earth, Sacred Father Sky, and all who live in-between. Today I have the need __________________ (fill in the blank by naming your need). I seek _______________ in order to ___________. (I seek medicinals in order to heal, or I seek the deer in order to have meat for the coming winter, or I thank this animal that I have raised for its life in providing me with meat). I know that my own time of dying will come, and at that time I will give my own life to sustain those who come after me. Amen.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 67 Grace filled soul

Garden time

“When I want something done right, I have to do it my self!”

Well, yes, if this particular project is my own idea, and will be subject to my own brand of perfectionism, then yes. If I want something done right, I had better look to it myself.

Still sometimes life requires cooperation. And the need for cooperation can be downright funny – in hindsight. Especially when there are two of us working together and each of us likes to be right! I will probably never forget setting up the garden with my second husband. I learned to keep my mouth shut until he had tried everything and then calmly state what I thought might work. Our arguments did more than most other efforts did to teach me to hold my silence and to allow another person a process. At other times I needed him to let me have my process, so it was a two-way street. The reward was not whether he was right or I was right. The reward was the beautiful food we grew and had to eat well into the winter.

Creator, thank you for allowing us our process. Whether I am right or wrong. I need this time of discovery and error, this time of making mistakes and rectifying them in order to grow a more grace-filled soul. Thank you.