I just potted up some apple trees that I’m excited to plant on the farm this fall. The house I lived in until I was 5 had an apple tree that produced 100’s of apples, I can remember harvesting from it, it was my first experience with wildcrafting from the land, its funny that I love to harvest fruit from trees so much today because my memories of this one apple tree weren’t so fun, I was 3 or 4 years old and I was always alone, I don’t know where everyone was. I would come to this tree wandering around the land after lunch, seeking more food, seeking nourishment of some sort, something to pass the time, something to feed the sadness of being 3 years old and being alone, and hungry. I have one vivid memory of it, though I know I was there often. After preschool I got a ride home in a big old green station wagon with some weird old man who always had a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. The green leather seats stunk of cigarette smoke, the sun would shine through the dust covered windows, it was gross. I don’t who this man was or why any parent would put their child into his car. We lived in an old stone house then, and after getting out of the strange man’s car I opened the door to my house and stepped inside to a very quiet, empty house. Lorraine was always there, somewhere, she was our housekeeper who hated me and my brothers or so we thought, I don’t why we thought that though I don’t remember her ever really talking to me. I walked down a long dark hallway to find her in a room and asked her for lunch. Lorraine was big, and always had some sort of skirt on so her fat ankles with thin white socks would always show. They were at my eye level and they grossed me out. In the kitchen she made me sit down at the table and silently prepared me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and some potato chips and then she went back to her work. I sat in silence and ate alone, putting the potato chips in between the peanut butter and jelly so that the sandwich made a crunch when I bit into it. When I was done I was still hungry and I walked down the long dark hallway and found Lorraine to ask her for more food. She sat there staring at me as if I had done something wrong, did I do something wrong I thought, I looked down and all I could see was her fat ankles. So I found myself alone, on the land walking to the apple tree, I looked up in the tree and saw so many apples wanting to be eaten, though just out of reach of my 3 year old grasp, so I waded through the dozens of mushy apples lying on the ground and their stale sweet and sour smell, flies buzzing all around them until I found one that was still green and hard and shiny- that was my apple.
Roaring Mountain on Lemonade Lake
It was a mother’s tale to her children passed on from generation to generation, the story about roaring mountain on lemonade lake that someday we would see you there. It wasn’t until years after you slipped away from this world that I discovered that the endless expansive beauty existed not only in your imagination. Where did you go I asked the stillness in your closet as I smelled your scent on your freshly hung clothes, you were just here in this room with the sun shining brightly on the freshly made bed. And now years later following these days of rain pouring from the heaven’s above baptizing me in this unfamiliar place as I sung and danced and jumped in puddles with rubber boots on and an oversized borrowed rain coat, days of watching the thick fluffy fog move speedily by the beautifully charred trees who lived just long enough to spread their vibrant seed to the earth below them to sprout a new generation of glorious green life, and now I see what was behind the beautiful curtain of life giving water in the place where my familial story began. A roaring mountain shaped like the head of an arrow pointing up to the skies, to the wispy effervescent clouds darting through the air in every direction like angels coming to share their love with all of us. The sun is beginning its day on the other side of the mountain, its reflection is seen warmly in the angels as they turn pink in front of my sleepless eyes. The sight is fresh and new, hopeful and nurturing. It is then that I look down and see the fog lift away from the earth revealing the abundant body of fresh water that I had not yet known, the pink waters reflecting the angels of clouds reflecting the sun, a lemonade lake, roaring mountain on lemonade lake with angels flying sweetly above. And you were there gracefully looking down from above, and you and you, a family reunited if only for a moment. And the queen from the castle on the hill she was there too. Only I could still see her and feel her and touch her. Though soon she too would be one of those angel clouds gliding above lemonade lake.
The Bodhi Tree
OK people. now is the time. There really is no moment like the present. While we sit here in this room, at this moment, thousands of acres of forest are being cut to the ground. While we sit here cars and power plants across the world are spewing out massive amounts of Carbon Dioxide. While we sit here children are getting asthma, and losing their connection to the natural world as they sit mindlessly in front of the television. Now is the time to get up, to get outside, and to plant a tree. That’s right people, now is the time to grab your shovel, or my shovel and go plant a tree. They say that the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago and the second best time is now. We can sit here no longer. Now is the time to get up and go plant a tree. You can buy it, you can grow it from seed, just get outside and plant a tree. The tree that you plant can offer you years of happiness as you watch it grow towards the sky above its branches extending onward and outward in all its bursting forth splendor. You can climb it and eat fruit while hanging from its branches making monkey noises, you can sit under it on hot sunny days and ponder the meaning of life. Yes that’s right people, you can do all this and more. While we sit here someone out there is gathering wood at the base of a tree for their campfire, while we sit here children are laughing as they swing on a tire swing hanging from a branch high up in a tree, while we sit here a young couple is putting their initials into the trunk of a tree and making sweet love for their first time in its shade and privacy. That’s right people this could be you. Remember the Buddha became enlightened at the base of a tree, and you could be next.
Now is the time to get up, go outside and plant a tree.
Now is the time to get up, go outside and plant a tree.
I Want To Know
I want to know if you have seen what I have seen. I want to know if you have seen the world, truly seen the world. Not just the world of white sand beaches, and snow covered mountains. Not just the world of beautiful rainforests rich in diversity and life. Not just the world of inspired ancient architecture and art history. And not just the world of the human civilization’s rise to greatness. I want to know if you ave seen all of the world. If you have seen the destruction of war and famine. If you have seen the devastation of a clear cut and burned rainforest, if you have seen plastic trash and sewage floating down a river a whole community bathes and drinks out of. I want to know if you have seen planes flying over head of a banana plantation spraying toxic chemicals on school children playing in the school yard, if you have seen the ponds of oil the petroleum companies have left in once primary rainforests, the earth blackened with tar in the deserted landscape where an indigenous community once thrived. I want to know if you have seen your friend die on a battlefield, if you have seen people living in cardboard boxes and tarped roof shanty’s with their hungry families. I want to know if you have seen eight year old children begging for their next meal, or if you have seen them cuddled up on a street corner sleeping with their shoes tied to their wrists for fear of them being stolen in the night. I want to know if you have seen women carry water on their heads for miles or a farmer crying alone in the night for fear of not being able to feed their family after a summer of drought. I want to know if you have seen what I have seen. I want to know how it is you choose to live your life, I want to know if you love and if you care, if you care deeply about the world we live in and what you are doing to support the magnificent beauty that exists all around us. I want to know what you are doing to make sure there is always clean air and clean water for our children. I want to know what steps you are taking to be kind to others to ensure that all people have enough food to eat. I want to know if you are making choices in your life that are making the world a better place. And not just your world, not just for you and your family, not just for the community you live in. I want to know that the choices you are making are supporting the whole world, supporting the people who live in the places your energy and your food and your water comes from. I want to know that your choices are supporting the people who live in the places your cars and houses and computers and toys come from. I want to know if you see what I have seen, and that you care deeply enough to make choices that truly support the future of all life on this planet.
Water, I love You
There is nothing as rich, nourishing, and life giving as fresh water. Being soothingly submerged by the power of falling living breathing life offering water is a potent experience that I am forever grateful for. I am an Earth child, with roots strongly connected deep into the subterranean elements of pacha mama’s sweet loving embrace. With this powerful connection comes a strong sense of the profound importance of the most vital element for the existence of all life on this planet- water. Water, I love you. I witness you flowing in the streams peacefully winding your way back towards the abundant ocean, graceful, trusting and forgiving, and at other times when the thick black clouds fill the dark sky and rain pours forcefully down upon the soaked earth, you fill the rivers churning with your fire and fierceness, forcefully cleansing every thing in your path, creating changes that we sentient beings may never truly understand yet you leave a forever maturing, balancing landscape behind in your path, returning all elementals again to that from which they previously came. Whichever way you flow you are a teacher, at times teaching in your life giving, nurturing ways to let go and be tranquil in life, letting it take each of us exactly where we are meant to be, sometimes stuck on the edge of a sharp turn of a stream, and at other times in your fierce, forceful ways you take away so strongly that which was never ours in the first place. And even when you choose to leave us alone, stranded in the desert, you teach respect, humilty, patience and perseverance. You who dances over us tantalizing us with your rain rain rain, beautiful rain, rain come don’t come, rain come don’t come. We leave you all too confused as we sing and dance for you to join us at the table of life, to water all that nourishes our daily existence and we beg for you to stay away and let the sunshine its bright light today. We are confused, please forgive us, water we love you, we need, cherish and value the fresh life giving love you offer. We can learn to respect that which you offer us, which is life. We appreciate you and beg of you to always come pouring your crystalline splendor gracefully upon us again and again, please cleanse us, forgive us, free each and every one of us as you clench our never ending thirst for this thing we call life. Thank you water, I love you.
There is a blank page in my mind. It is worn and tired old parchment paper slightly curled at the edges and it just sits inside my head gently bobbing in the stillness to the song of the crickets telling stories in the night. This paper sits waiting for musings of something, anything, to inspire a word, a tinge of color splattered in the corners, the stroke of a soft brush bringing life to its otherwise dull appearance. But all it takes is for a shift in the wind the leaping of deer over the moon, a peacock shaking its bootie to the beat the African drums for the world to come alive with birds singing concerto’s in the morning---the sweet song dancing through the house, or the scent of the earth on a spring morning curling up next to my nose as I open my eyes and see the trees smiling at me in the distance. Mornings taste sweet on my lips, as is the kiss of my lover as she smiles lovingly at me, her warm love moving through my entire body, it is soft and smooth as water, warm and passionate as a gentle fire, fire and water move through my blood, ripening the essence of my being.
Where Rainbows are Born
We’re at the edge of that place where rainbows are born of the earth and the earth is born of the heavens and the heavens are born of the holy spirit. Jesus dancing on the water with a glass of blood perched upside down upon his head—this is until that glass shattered and a million cockroaches scurried out and ran down his robes eating every last morsel of his flesh and blood until they found themselves on an island of cockroaches that rose out of the calm sea. That was until the Earth leapt and the cockroaches on top began to sled down the sides of the mountain and found themselves all alone in the Ocean of His blood. And what was left was just another cockroach standing on a mountain of cockroaches with only cockroach shit to eat. Or was it Allah standing on every street corner while people walk through the infinite unknown and find themselves in a place that there still are many and none and only one and everyone all in one. This is all until you became you and I became me and everyone knows an eye for eye makes the whole world blind, but no matter In sha’ allah, it is god’s will. Or could it be Adonai our god because he chose the chosen ones hand picked them from way up high in the sky and flung each one across the desert, through the river, until they rolled across the mountain and landed in the land promised for only them for being daddy’s favorite child. And so the spoiled child continues to feast upon the milk covered mountains and honey filled rivers and don’t care one bit about the blind kids biting the heads off of cockroaches as long as they stay away from the milk and honey. Meanwhile they all become spoiled blind cockroaches biting the heads off of other spoiled blind cockroaches and shit in their own milk and honey. But when we put on our wing suits and fly free of this unholy trinity and we pass through our own atmosphere, resisting the melting of our own being and we look down upon this rhythmically rolling superball, this merry go round in the sky then maybe just maybe we can remember the flames that consume our very being , existing deep inside where that red heart shaped little being giggles and dances while it does flips inside of our chest every time we get close to that place where rainbows are born of the earth and the earth is born of the heaven’s and the heaven’s are born of the holy spirit.
It kind of trips me out how good Maui has been to me. I remember the first year I lived here, it doesn’t feel that long ago. I lived in a tent in Huelo and walked and hitchhiked when I wanted to go places. I came to farm and found a great teacher to guide me on my way. I lived and worked in the same valley and lived super small that year, mostly reclusive, not necessarily because I wanted to be, but probably because I am shy in new situations. Though really I think it was the world giving me exactly what I needed. I’m a big believer that nothing in life happens to us, and that everything happens for us. Despite the fact that our ego labels some stuff as good or bad, happy or sad. I didn’t know it, but I came to Maui for healing. To resurrect the parts of myself that were lying dead along side some river in the amazon, the layers of judgement wrapped in fear and anger that I had tossed around to the people that I love, mainly because I’m not so shy with the people I love the most and love to share what’s on my mind, for better or worse. So those first days on Maui I had a lot of space, a lot of silence, a lot of time getting to know Huelo, jumping off waterfalls, climbing trees to harvest fruit, read and write and learn. But mostly I was shown a path that really sung to me. It was the first path I had found in my life that really resonated with me. I remember one time in my late teens after a night of eating mushrooms I woke up in the morning and found a short poem typed on my computer, I could only assume I wrote it- it goes like this- two roads diverged in a wood, and I- I went straight through the fucking forest. I guess I am no longer bushwacking through the woods since Maui offered me a path. I remember that first year here I kept thinking about where I came from and who I grew up with and asking how did I get here, how is this my life in constant amazement, I still ask those question, though at least now I know where I am.
Seeds Are Sprouting
Seeds are sprouting, transforming from one form to another. My mind often explores these moments in looking forward to see the growth that is about to come. Once upon a time I dove deep into my memory bank unwinding the ancient journey of my ancestors, of my own path on this Earth. As this ancient path became clear with each passing day visions of the future to be had were all that was left, but what about that space in between. The moment of this breath, of this life, of now, now, now. In this moment I sense something different, I see time slowing down, getting lost altogether, I see seeds sprouting and there is nothing to see, there is no measurable change, no past to compare to, no future to wonder about. Yet seeds are sprouting and I can feel them in my bones, pulsing through my blood, I can feel the gush of my heart’s love, I know patience now, and to my surprise it is not a feeling at all, it is the absence of feeling, it is not something to be known. It is being so completely in love with this moment. I often looked at these moments of transition and wondered what it was that I am transitioning from or who it was I am becoming, and I see what a fool I have been to have missed out on the depth of connection I am now experiencing. I wonder where have I been all this time, and I am grateful that I am here now. Seeds are sprouting, all over, in every moment. I know now that a seed can only receive water in this moment, and that nourishment can only come from the loving presence of an open heart. And so I commit to this love, to nurturing these seeds, to the deep trust it requires of me to sit patiently in this space in between where the magic happens.
Prayer is a powerful medicine. Diving deep within to uncover the pure essence of our infinite being. To be able to uncover the chatter of the mind while maintaining a connection to every detail in divine timing allowing the heart’s deepest desires to flow in the form of our highest action’s and words. These moments come as reminders, as remembrances of who I am. I am reminded of my heart’s memory as it pours its love forward, as it experiences a comforting grace, as I sit showered in the blessings of this moment. Yes, prayer is a powerful medicine. As I sit remembering the journeys, deep within the majestic beauty of our planet, immersed in an abundance of fresh, clean, flowing water, the source of life, staring up at impenetrable canyon walls reaching up to lush green mountains above, I know god’s presence. These have been the powerful places where I have discovered my own self, discovered my own sense of place on this spinning, circling ball of mass that we call home. I remember who I am, I remember my place in this world, and I remember the miracle of life that leads me to a place of continued gratitude for the blessing of my own spirit’s path in this journey and gratitude for all that I have been offered, for my own sense of responsibility toward the one. Gratitude for the continued expansion of my own heart’s unlimited love and for this path that winds its way up and down these rivers, as I lay stretched out bathing in their rich waters, and gratitude for the opportunity to dance with the plant spirits and to sing songs to the winds beside a warm fire as the moon and stars shine sweetly down. These are the moments that I remember who I am, the moments that I connect with the deepest parts of myself, the moments that I shed the layers of fear and shame, anger and sadness and return to the pure essence of being who I am meant to be.
Dancing with the Stars
It’s interesting to think about the moments inspiration comes into our lives. Like the times it comes as I peer out on the world from that most beautiful place and my shoulder blades protrude out of my body until they become long and feathery as I stand at the edge of the cliff looking out on a vast green living ocean of trees, until I take the plunge and leap with my melting heart first, so in love with life, so trusting, so clear that even if I couldn’t fly, the forgiving trampoline of the earth will lower me softly and bounce me back up into the sky, to a point higher than where I started. The wings they feel so real sometimes, so I keep bouncing on the earth trampoline, the trees reaching for me every time I descend, sweetly, softly, lowering me and sending me right back up giggling in delight until I release and I let go and I realize there is no need for wings to fly, and my being explodes into a million suns raining down upon the whole world while children run in the soft fields and collect them all and tuck them into their heart’s. Then there are the other times inspiration hits, like when my wings fail me, when the trees don’t reach out there arms and catch me and I plummet to the earth below, and I find myself racing along with my dog ear’s flapping rhythmically in the wind slapping the side of my head, and my cheeks melting off my face, holding on to nothing for dear life and watching the telelvision of my mind share the history of my world that has been living deep down in my belly where it has sat guarded by those tiny little creatures under lock and key. Though even those moments are too powerful for those little creatures to hold on and so they release and let go and up comes that part of my being in an earthquake through my bones, a waterfall down my face, an explosion in my heart and suddenly I realize there is no need for wings to fly, all it takes is dancing with the stars while the moon plays the violin and the sun wraps its warm loving arms around me and whispers sweet nothing’s in my ear.