Sunday, May 27, 2012

Rowdy Abundance


new abstract "If Trees Were Mountains" 11"x14"

I am still gulping in this season of rowdy abundance that has thrown itself at my doorstep. The sun gets up early and stays up late and somehow I try to keep up.  The settling darkness laughs at my foolish tag along attempts as I fall into bed exhausted. I don't want to miss a minute.  I am full of energy for all that needs to be done, for sipping in the deliciousness of the greenness and the savouring the occasional tepid breeze. The grass is waist high in parts of the meadow. The tent caterpillars have consumed the leaves from entire trees giving them an eerie silvery glow. They are cocooned in in a tangle of emptiness. Soon their little moth selves will bump against my windows at night like little winged zombies.

The birds dart about in frenzied feeding. Even the tiny woodpecker comes to tap at the plastic feeder hoping to find something to his liking. The quail keep look out for each other as they eat, this seems so endearingly sweet, but of course it is merely a survival behaviour. The hot pink hawthorne tree who showed no sign of blooming last week is tosses it hot pinkness into the sky, even in the distance. In my human way I am constantly reading meaning into the natural world where there is none, or at least not my imagined stories of sweetness or worry or delight. They have their stories but not the ones I stitch together for them, charged with my own hope and fear.

And I  have been plunged into this radical abundance, feeling the energetic pull to be part of it. The lazy slow days of hibernation have disappeared into the drawer with the wool socks. The stack of books I am reading is as tall as the grass. There is "In Buddha's Kitchen" and "Gardening At Dragons Gate", both written by women Dharma practitioners.  Wendy Johnson gardens at Green Gulch Zen Centre in California, Kimberley Snow cooks at a Tibetan Centre in Northern California.  As I read these books at different times over the days the stories seem to merge together and I weave one book out of two. But as I travel deeper into the books  their roads of similarity diverge with the writing and story of the gardening book emerging stronger and more vivid. And so the stories separate and the reading of one increases and the other falls quietly into the background.

New Buddha 16"x20"  heading off to Norway this week


Also traveling  from bedside to coffee table are: "Long Life" and "Why I Wake Early" by Mary Oliver, "Pilgrim" by David Whyte, "Broken Open" by Elizabeth Lesser, "Journey In Ladakh" by Andrew Harvey, and "Collage Discovery Workshop" by Claudine Hellmuth. I am living in the waist tall grass of my reading list, sometimes feeling overwhelmed and sometimes simply picking up what I fancy and reading a bit. I imagine the birds and dear (ha, ha, good typo, deer), must feel this sense of lush madness each day as they make their way through the world.

And between reading list and my infatuation with the outdoor world there seems little time left for virtual living. I read the odd blog. I watch Jeane broadcast from the shed, check a few emails but this is the stuff of colder seasons or rainy days. I suspect many of us have the same inclination, torn from our screens by the the energy of growing things, of warm breezes, a world that offers us so much for so little.

How about you? How has the energy of the season tangled and mixed with your life creating a new you? I am reminded of a quote attributed to the Buddha that I have used on a painting: "Each day we are born again. What we do today is what matters most."

14 comments:

  1. beautifully said Carole, it's like you are in my head - cyberspace in a backseat until those colder seasons or rainy days you talk about - the painting that started this post is just so good - I'm not a green person, but this piece really wanted me to look - the layers are lovely - the waist high grasses is such an evocative picture for me - I'm out to putter xo

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  2. thanks Jeane. I was happy with this piece until I looked at it from across the room. The lines need to be more define. And the green is a little softer in person.

    Yes, happy puttering!

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  3. I started out - typical - overwhelmed by the growth and invasion of various plant siblings on each other's turf. But it seems to be coming into some sort of order. and it's only May yet... still... even...

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    1. yes same here. parts are looking lovely and tamed and yet wander down to the pond and it is another story. makes one hopeful for the coming months as you hint, and yet each season with it's own surprises.

      ah, the dharma is everywhere. and then there's the clay soil in the veggie garden, but that's another post.

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  4. The tent caterpillars are everywhere around here. I even had one fall on me while I was biking the other day. It's been a warm, wet spring - green all over the place. Rowdy abundance no doubt!

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    1. And you a moving target, would be enough to make me swerve some! I'm hearing it's the end of their life cycle here and between that and a parasitic wasp that are feeding on them, next year will be better.

      Way back when, when I lived in Manitoba, we were out in a canoe and saw tent caterpillars inching along on top of the water, no really it's true!

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  5. rowdy abundance for sure. it seems to have cast a spell on me... i just wanna rowdy around with it.

    xoxo

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    1. yeah, I can imagine you out there rowdy in the forest, leaving your magical traces behind for other rowdy forest goers to find. wishing you blissful rowdiness!

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  6. Rowdy abundance indeed...your descriptions are even like gorging at a banquet table...which phrase/image/idea appeals most...I want them all!

    Yuppers...the cycles say...get outdoors and read the grasses and the bird songs and the moth wings like a tarot of never ending 'meaningless/meaning-full direction...what we gather all depends on how long we can stay awake!

    Fabo paintings!!

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  7. "what we gather all depends on how long we can stay awake!" I love this! yes the tug of the natural world is so strong these days! thanks for the kind words!

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  8. YES: "torn from our screens by the energy of growing things"!!!

    Beautiful post.

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    1. enjoy your day out there in the green place!

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  9. "rowdy abundance"...I love that expression, Carole! And your reading mirrors my own, as Mary Oliver and David Whyte often vie for pride of place on my nightstand. Each season holds and gives special gifts. But spring and autumn are the one I find myself most active in terms of physical and mental energy. Spring is a great time for getting things done. ;o) So much happening just now, my cup runneth over... We're just back from our trip the US. Lovely to catch up here with you. ((HUGS))

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    1. Welcome back to home and routine! There is something delicious about this after being away. And yet I always find the transition a bit challenging, the feeling of what now, what do I do here?

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