In late April of 2019, we celebrated a ten-year milestone dedicated to forest stewardship. Under the direction of the New Mexico Forestry Division and the Forest Heath Initiative we have been actively engaged in a program to care for our 34-acre property located on the western slopes of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range in north central New Mexico. Approximately 20 acres of our land is heavily forested.
Has winter reigned too long? As we write this on March 23rd snow continues to fall in the mountains of Northern New Mexico, despite the Spring Equinox heralding the arrival of spring.
New snow blankets much of the US including places where snow typically does not fall such as Southern California. We were not spared this major event, as a slow-moving storm from west to east, provided us with two feet of fresh snow, high winds, and drifts in excess of three feet. This on top of the many layers of snow we have received throughout the season is in extreme contrast to our recent time in Mexico and needless to say, we are ready for the return of Spring. Although we are blanketed in white, there is an interior sense of the coming of spring.
In the last few weeks we’ve had many conversations with people about how challenging 2018 was and how a perceptible shift is in the air. February 5th heralds the Chinese New Year, the arrival of the Earth pig, the twelfth sign in the Chinese zodiac. It is a symbol of wealth and good fortune especially since the pig attracts success in all aspects of life. Pig embodies the archetype of lover of life – exploring, traveling, and finding joy and beauty in the moment. Pig also invites generosity of spirit and kindness and reminds us of the critical importance of caring for others and oneself. Finding time to relax, enjoy life and be present for family, friends and the broader community. Earth Pig years are the perfect opportunity to accomplish the transformation of our dreams into reality as it is a time of exceptional opportunity.
It is still and quiet here at the Mothership providing ample time for quite reflection and genuine wonder at the abundant gifts from nature. As some of you may have seen from Ellen’s Facebook posts we have been blessed with an abundant snow fall. As we write this on New Year’s Day 2019, the snow is falling at about two inches per hour, with more than two feet on the ground and no end in sight. We are taking frequent breaks to shovel but can’t help feeling the powerful influences of Sedna.
As the solstice approaches there is an opportunity to find our own still point to reach deep within and to find celebration, ceremony and ritual to feed our hearts, the depths of our soul, and access the beautiful light contained within us all. At this creative junction between the darkest day of the year and a return to the light may it provide a powerful gateway for the shifts we wish to see in ourselves and in the world.
“A life without love is of no account. Don’t ask yourself what kind of love you should seek, spiritual or material, divine or mundane, Eastern or Western. Divisions only lead to more divisions. Love has no labels, no definitions. It is what it is, pure and simple. Love is the water of life. And a lover is a soul of fire! The universe turns differently when fire loves water.” — Rumi
Harvesting what life offers seems to be the theme unfolding as I write this post for the October newsletter. There is so much darkness and despair in the world, so very many unforeseen circumstances that we face each day, lest not forget the numerous blessings that surround us. Through community, compassion, action, sound and music there are so many ways to accomplish things in meaningful ways. We certainly experienced this on our recent trip to the Arctic. This was a trip that we researched heavily, saved and planned for since we went to Antarctica in 2005. It did not unfold as expected, it was not even close. But we did get to experience climate change in a most dramatic form and we were blessed to see much amazing wildlife, even the shy and elusive Narwhal. One of our expedition leaders, who has been travelling in the Arctic for more than thirty years has only seen Narwhal once before. Our visit to Inuit communities, and conversations with our Inuit expedition member Leslie also provided us with first-hand knowledge of Inuit myths as well as more dramatic numbers regarding the high suicide rates in the Canadian arctic, particularly among young people. We also saw many films that were new to us, including Qapirangajug an Inuit film that raises awareness about climate change through the stories of Inuit elders and local knowledge holders directly affected by it. http://www.isuma.tv/inuit-knowledge-and-climate-change/movie
I find myself challenged by tense as I write this month’s blog post. I am writing before we depart for the Arctic about things which have not yet happened, but which you will read when we are already mid trip. As I reflect on the word tense, the form a verb takes to describe what is true when words are spoken or written; there are three primary tenses, past tense reflects words that were true at the time they were written or spoken; present tense things that were true before the words were written or spoken; future tense things that will be true after they are written or spoken.
Returning Art and Spirit to Medicine is a deeply held mission of the Acutonics Institute. Engagement in expressions of creativity ignites the spirit and promotes integrative and innovative new directions in health care, while encouraging a health-care system that is rooted in promoting harmony between body and spirit psyche and soul. This is truly the work that this month’s profiled newly certified Acutonics Practitioner Patrice Repar is engaged in every day. Creator of the Arts-in-Medicine: Healing and Humanities program at the University of New Mexico, Patrice has a deep understanding of the extraordinary power of creative expression and human connections to empower transformative change.