by Letha Kiddie •
When I think of mother’s, I think of the protective, creative force of Mother Nature.
There are so many examples of this, from the mama birds building their nests in my yard, to my friends who are mothers—constantly sending love, strength, care and encouragement to their children.
But the mother’s energy exists in both men and women and can be seen and felt through the heart.
Especially during these pandemic times we find ourselves needing to be reassured that “everything is going to be all right.” And mother’s energy is so good at giving reassurance!
When I think of all the hardships that humans endure in their lifetimes, I am so grateful for the mother figures that stand by, offering their sometimes silent support of what we are going through, and sometimes offering their physical, emotional or spiritual help as well.
Let us all give thanks for this beautiful part of our natures and cultivate it within us to help soften the sometimes harsh realities around us.
The Divine in me, bows to the Divine in you. Namaste
by Letha Kiddie • Outside my fence blooms a 100 year old rose. Every spring, without fail, it explodes in pink flowers blessing all who walk by.
The amazing part of this story is that the rose, which was planted at an original homestead on this land, was left alone for many many long years to fend for itself. Many long summers came and went and yet this rose survived.
It was only after we moved in and were deciding on a perimeter fence that I noticed the very small and withered vine struggling to bloom in spite of no water.
Although we weren’t able to include it within our fence line, the hopeful rose sent its roots into our yard in search of life (water). Within 1 year it had covered a portion of our fence and bloomed joyfully for each year after.
What a wonderful example of being willing to give
our gift to others, whether small or large, and
consistently show up for others with our love and friendship.
Nature is here to remind us of this every spring.
This morning, my husband Al and I were walking home after group meditation around 7:15 a.m. The sun was just coming up at Sunburst Sanctuary. Deer browsed in the meadow, and numerous bluebirds flew across the road ahead of us. But what really caught my attention was all the chatter coming from the birds in a cluster of tall sycamore trees.
“What are they saying?” I asked Al, who kept quiet. “They’re not saying, ‘Look at me!’ because they’re trying to attract a mate. And they’re not saying, ‘Get away from my spot!’ because they’re building a nest.”
Finally, I called my friend and excellent birder, Cary. She answered my questions with: “They’re saying, ‘It’s a beautiful day!’”
I think she’s right. Those birds could also be celebrating the end of daylight time getting shorter. With winter solstice, the days start getting longer, just as winter begins. How curious! This day lengthening continues until summer solstice, the longest day of the year. Sunburst Sanctuary’s standing stones help us celebrate these celestial moments. Of course, the southern hemisphere celebrates summer solstice when our northern hemisphere is celebrating winter solstice.
Around the world in ancient times, many celebrations began that are still held today at or near the winter solstice. Some age-old stories about the rebirth of the Sun are connected to this time of year.
At Sunburst, we enjoy a day of quiet meditation, and an evening of dining with friends (a potluck), as well as physically tracing our Hopi labyrinth. Walking the labyrinth “resets” us for a new beginning, a new year. This is a beautiful experience, walking among the colored luminaria.
This year the moment of Solstice takes place around midnight, when rain is supposed to begin. Perhaps this portends a wet winter. The other amazing occurrence will be an eclipse of the Sun by the Moon on Christmas.
My friend and astrologer, James Kelleher, informs us that our current winter solstice has the Sun aligned with the center of the Milky Way galaxy. “The galactic center isn’t an exact point, but rather an area in the middle of the galaxy, and it will take the Sun a long time to move through this area. This alignment has already been going on for a few decades and will continue for about another hundred years.…
“I think we can say that this event represents a realignment of the world’s collective consciousness with the laws of nature. We are being asked to center ourselves, and remember what is important. The vehicle that is being used for this reminder is the environment of the planet. …The power of destruction is being utilized in order to get our attention. So it is no surprise that we are experiencing the onset of a destructive period for the environment.”
Taking James’ sobering comments to heart, let us each do what we can to help our Earth in 2020.
By Dawn King
Each morning brings a new opportunity to engage with Life. At Sunburst Sanctuary, we generally start the day in group meditation at the Temple, with residents and visitors (who are camping) in attendance. Most mornings find my husband, Al, and I joining in.
We live nearby on Sunburst’s large property, which is also a wildlife sanctuary. Because deer would eat all the landscaping, some yards and the Temple/Lodge area are fenced. Most mornings we walk to and from group meditations, taking a longer-than-necessary rout by staying on the all-weather road. In this way, we begin our day with a beneficial walk immersed in Nature.
Some mornings are quiet with fog shrouding the surrounding hills. But some days reveal the wild animals with whom we share this land. A recent November day was particularly spectacular.
Just beyond our yard, a flock of noisy turkey hens pecked through the numerous fallen leaves. They called to each other; some were up the hill, some at the edge of the field. A few flew over a fence, and into a neighboring yard. Al and I walked on.
Not far from home, we saw black shapes moving in the big field. These soon turned and ran on—wild pigs in their usual trek toward the neighboring property. Next there were grazing mule deer, often curious spectators to our daily walks. While eating, walking, or resting, they watch us off and on, and keep their distance. Most of them already know us as harmless passersby.
After morning meditation and during our walk home, normally there are fewer wild creatures to see, but this day was different. Right in the Lodge gardens, the whole flock of turkey hens had gathered. We were nearly stepping over them to make our way out of the side gate toward the campground. That was certainly unusual.
In another two minutes we were midway down the main road, and noticing a half-dozen deer running full tilt toward the Lodge. This was strange. We marveled at their graceful giant leaps, as though they had springs on their feet—Boing! Boing! Boing!—resembling the agile bounding of kangaroos. I wished my feet and legs were as springy.
Now they were turning to cross the road on either side of us. This was all taking place very quickly. Now we saw the reason for their flight. A beautiful, darkly marked coyote was tearing across the field in full pursuit. He didn’t even see Al and I; his gaze was fixed on the deer.
The coyote raced far enough behind, that I couldn’t imagine he or she would catch the deer. I said as much to Al, and he responded, “Maybe there’s more coyotes ahead laying in ambush.” Wow! Some wild drama was playing out before us, whatever the outcome would be.
Needing to walk on home, we imagined the deer got away; in fact I think I’ve seen the same group since then. Every day isn’t like this. Some days are so quiet you might be startled by a bird pecking in search of an insect, or a lizard scurrying away.
Most mornings we walk silently through the mist, or the breathtaking beauty of sunrise, lost in our own thoughts, or intensely engrossed in the joy of being immersed in Nature. If you would like to experience the wild beauty of a retreat at Sunburst Sanctuary, visit our “Upcoming” page sunburst.org/events for opportunities, or give the office a call.