Tuesday, May 23, 2006


peace place

How many times did you hear that as a kid?

Did you know that in many Native American cultures the Hawk is considered to be a messenger from the grandmother world. I learned this many years ago and often the primary message from the hawk is quite simple PAY ATTENTION.

For me this has taken on a meaning like MINDFULNESS. Occasionally, I have been warned of impending danger by the appearance of a flying hawk. Simply because I see the Hawk, I assume a more watchful demeanor. This has been very valuable when driving on long trips.
It is almost as if the Hawk is giving a WAKE UP CALL that reminds me to be MINDFUL to PAY ATTENTION.

Maybe you saw or read the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Long ago it was considered subversive. Now it is considered wacky humor.
But DONT PANIC no matter what and keep your towel with you for your travels across the galaxy.

One section was really special for me. As the main characters tried to run across the barren plains to a great fortress, each time any one of them had a thought, a signpost popped up out of the ground and smacked them in the face. It was the barren plains of NO THINKING ALLOWED. The antithesis of PAY ATTENTION.

I have often thought of this image. It was hilarious then. It made me remember all sorts of times when my ideas were slammed down or shut out of a discussion. Those silly signs made THINKING an undesirable activity. BUT to reach their goal the main characters HAD to think somehow.

It is almost a Buddhist koan to think without thinking. Or how ideas form without thought.

So when I fell flat on my face the other day, I decided it was as if the Universe was saying PAY ATTENTION.
To what? Obviously to the hole in the ground that caused the fall. But what else?

I literally crashed face first. One hand landed in gravel and the other on grass. My chin BOUNCED. Ouch.

So I am lying on the ground assessing the damage to my body and I think PAY ATTENTION. DON'T Panic. I have no towel but my trusty bandana is handy in my pocket,
I think that is close enough.

What could the message possibly be? Hours later. It comes to me that I FELL again and it hurts. So I want to avoid that. What lesson might I learn from this falling incident.

My hands were really hurting. My attention is on my hands. Are they behaving properly?
Am I leaning on them? Am I using them well? AH. Follow that thought.

Think about it. Where your heart is, there also lies your treasure... or some such...

Who am I serving with my hands?
Am I using them to their best potential?
What might I do differently?

AH. My hands crashed into the ground. Real attention getter.

Touch the earth. YES. This resonates well with me. I almost imagine hawks keening above me in circles.

YES. I need to get back to the LAND. RETURN to the LAND and do more with it.
And that fuels my spirit in ways nothing else can.

Hand labor. Hand weeding. Digging. Mowing. Planting. All of the farm tasks that demand attention.

I listen. I hear the call to spend more time at the FARM and DO things with my hands and the earth. TOUCH EARTH and touch spirit.

In my mind, I hear the song, touch the earth with gentleness, touch the earth with love, touch her with your future by the way you live today.
God has given us the power to create the world anew, so let us touch the earth together, me and you.

Yes. Pay attention. Touch my heart. Touch Earth.

How about you?
Are your hands serving your life spirit with congruence?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

What Matters Most?

peace place

A couple of friends of mine were discussing the ups and downs of their adult lives. Both seemed agitated.
No conclusions were reached. No suggestions were offered.

How often do we engage in conversations of similar circles? Each of us following our own circuitous logic and only half listening to the circle of content pouring forth from the other person.

Neither of us actually has a clear picture of the topic or problem, and surely, neither offers suggestions. Jokes are sometimes passed along or witty comments and a sense of congeniality seems to happen. But I wonder how often these conversations are meaningful.

How often do we each speak of whatever it is that matters most to us?

How often do we encounter a friend or colleague who has actually considered the question?

Listening can be hard work. But aren't we each worth the effort?

If not, why not?

Think of a time when you have listened to someone you know and actually HEARD was said in a way that could make a difference in your life or that person's life.

How often does that happen? What can you do to engage in less superfluous chatter?

Learning to listen takes time.
Listen to someone today.
Actually talk WITH someone tmorrow.

Peace to you my friends.