Water is life.
It flows… freely or with structure.
It rushes loudly or trickles softly.
Filling the world with its music.
Carrying away all of our thoughts and cares.
Reminding us that nothing stays the same.
Its constant rush is grounding
There’s security in the rush of the water.
While in the Flowing Hollow, I felt the pull of the water. The sound of its song, calling for a beat. <3 Drumming with the water helps release things we are having a hard time letting go. Grounding us in the present moment. Enjoy <3
The Flowing Hollow is a beautiful magickal place at Burns Valley Herbals and Retreat.
Water flows from the spring out of the mountain, into a little creek.
Stones border the creeks edge, creating a path through this magickal water world.
There is more to the Flowing Hollow than water, there is an abundance of life from the earth, and a breeze from the wind. The stone circle brings the warmth of fire to all who gather around. There is also so much spirit, you can feel it.
I am so blessed to be able to spend time down in the Flowing Hollow and am excited to share its magick with others!
The sound of water flowing always brings me back to center. Helping me to let go of all my thoughts and feelings in the moment. Showing me how quickly things change, and how no matter what… life still goes on.
Sitting in the woods at Burns Valley Herbals and Retreat has really given me a deeper realization of how important being in nature is for our being. The sounds of the earth fill my mind and heart, allowing me to be present in each breath. From birds flying overhead, to cows in the valley and peepers in the pond… the sounds of spring help wash away the cold winter.
Spending time in the woods with gratitude for each moment. Being able to see how the brown dead leaves make way for new green growth on the side of the mountain. Water rushing over the mossy rocks. Every now and then finding a back up of leaves and branches that need clearing. Just like our lives… every now and then, seeing how there is a build up of emotion or attachment to things that no longer serve our highest good.
I have been drawn to jump right into the water to clear away what is holding it back from flowing freely. Using this analogy as a reminder to keep my own energy flowing freely. Every now and then, jumping in the water to release, and to celebrate what we’ve let go of and what we have to look forward to.
Moving debris, and rearranging rocks to create a bank where we want to the water to flow. Such is life. Water is life.
The leaves are great examples of how each of us is different and on a different journey.
Each leaf is unique as it grows and thrives connected to the tree, but that’s not all that makes a leaf unique. Once the leaf has completed the cycle of growth, it begins its journey back down to the ground.
Watching a leaf fall from a tree, at the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Forum, I realized how each leaf is different in the way they fall as well.
Each leaf has its own way of returning to the roots. Each person has their own path that allows them to come back to realizing who they are and their place on this earth.
When we experience this connection to earth, we become its stewarts and will to protect and preserve this beautiful planet.
The 14th annual Chesapeake Bay Watershed Forum was full of passion, inspiration and excellence, reminding us why we do what we do to take care of the water and the land.
Mamie A. Parker was the keynote speaker at the forum, and she was so inspiring. She spoke about how we as advocates, educators and stewarts of the watershed, can overcome obstacles to keep going and to keep growing. One of the big takeaways was eliminating the 4 C’s from our thoughts and speech: complaining, criticizing, comparing, and competing. When we do those 4 things, we really separate ourselves from one another and therefore can not grow and succeed.
We have to do it together, as a team; If you want to go fast, go alone… if you want to go far, go together.
Our first step towards helping the Bay is collaboration.
“Individually we are one drop, but together we are an ocean.” -Sylvia Earle
One of the sessions I attended at the forum was called Spiritual Voices in Nature. We walked through the woods with four faith leaders. Each leading the way back to nature through their own individual ceremony. It was an amazing experience to be in nature, listening to one another share our connection to the earth and spirit; something that I wish to be involved in more this year.
My second year at the forum taught me many new things! Live staking is when you cut branches from trees and stake them in the ground which triggers hormones to make the branch root and bud!
I learned about the importance of all aspects of our community working together for the good of the earth! The port of Baltimore works closely with the community to help handle the dredge material in an environmentally beneficial way for the whole community, through the creation of Masonville Cove. Located in South Baltimore, Masonville Cove is the nation’s first Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership, and home to a state-of-the-art green building nature center and beautiful waterfront public trails.
The forum also had many wonderful interactive art activities. One of which is called the Climate Ribbon Project! The Climate Ribbon is an arts ritual to grieve what each of us stands to lose if we do not take care of our earth, and affirm our solidarity as we unite.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to represent BCPS and Ridgely at the Watershed Forum, and to learn new things to share with others!
It still feels like yesterday… driving to North Dakota with my co-pilot Holly. If you missed my first post about our trip you can check it out here … Road Trip Recap Part 1
So I wrote a little about what it was like being there but not in depth.
On Thursday, November 23th, 2017 … Holly and I woke up early after an energetic evening of communing with our elder about the lineage of the Ojibwe people, my people. We woke up, made our coffee and headed down rte 3 towards Cannon Ball North Dakota.
Energies were all over that day, we felt excited, nervous, hopeful… on a mission.
Energies were showing themselves through syncs this entire trip, however day felt different. We were heading to the energy center of a ripple that will affect what is drawn to us next. Like a drop of water into an empty basin…each person there, each person aware is another drop in the same spot… filling up the basin and creating momentum through a powerful ripple.
We stopped at the geographical center point of North America, in Rugby North Dakota. Some people say its not exact, to me that’s not the point… because points are all subjective anyway. The obelisk and flags are interesting, as is the bell tower sculpture the next building over. I’m always curious of the details of monuments.
Continuing our travels south, we learn more about each of our history…Holly’s Quaker lineage and my Ojibwe linage… we learn about the doctrine of discovery. This was one of the most eye opening things to learn that I was never taught growing up. The fact that this is not taught as apart of our history to know, is very telling.
Driving while listening to this was life changing. Nature talking to us…showing us ourselves. Connecting to the harmony of the earth while being uprooted from our previous perceptions of our reality. We slow drove down this road and saw an abandoned house surrounded by these energetic trees. So we stopped, and got out to explore. The geese circled above our heads as we walked around. The house was a beautiful reminder of how time passes and material things fade, but mother earth… she remains through it all.
When we finally arrived at Sacred Stone camp it was as if I had been here before. I felt at home, peaceful and in loving arms. I experienced the magnitude that gratitude has on the human spirit. Everyone working together for one cause, our mother Earth… love… brotherhood. We dropped off our donations to the medic clinic, and they were received in pure love and gratitude.
I stopped into the new school tent, and met a beautiful woman who told me all about how they just moved the school into these car ports and were reinforcing them and insulating them with hay and blankets so that the students could learn in a space that was warm and comfortable for them.
I noticed the students had a lot of books, and there were many visuals on the walls. The students create a mural on canvas, posters to share new knowledge and artwork to express themselves. Seeing what I do everyday, being done in a place with less resources and support, really experiencing it first hand was powerful.
Thanksgiving is a day known in our history for the relationship between the light skinned settlers and the native people of the Americas. Historically, the story goes there was peace with all who sat and ate together. People all over celebrate this day of thanks… this day of giving. Instead of focusing on the irony that the police ate their thanksgiving dinner on top of the Standing Rock Sioux tribes ancestors burial ground and ignored the peaceful pleas to respect their ancestors and move off the hill, I remained in gratitude for all I have, knowing that even the toughest and smallest things deserve my love and appreciation.
Grateful to experience the love and brotherhood of thousands of people. Grateful for my friend Holly, for my auntie and giwaa, for my partner and kids, for my mother and father… for my coworkers, my friends and acquaintances, for my job, for the system that my job is apart of, for the world I live in … for better or worse… because there is no such thing as worse… there is only experiences and my perception of those experiences.
Gratitude is the key to realizing who we are… gratitude opens your mind… to be grateful for something starts a chain reaction of appreciation for life its self, ups and downs, for without one there would not be the other.
So after visiting Sacred Stone camp we decided to travel to the large front lines camp, Oceti Sakowin. Driving up to the camp was surreal… seeing all of the people setting up camp, to stand in solidarity for our earth, our water.
It was fantastic seeing how we come together and express ourselves through art… there were so many beautiful banners, and amazing installations showing unity through art!
After exploring the grounds, we found out there was a water action happening at Turtle Island, the burial grounds of the Standing Rock Sioux’s ancestors. This was the hill that the police set up their post to watch over the water protectors. So Holly and I walked to the front line with hundreds of other people of all different nations, to stand for peace, love and respect.
When we arrived it was ominous to see the police standing on top of the hill looking down on us. It was like right out of a George Orwell story to see drones flying over and around us. It was beautiful to hear hundreds of people chanting words of intention for peace and love… for the protection of our water, and our mother earth.
We participated in a Lakota water ceremony with hundreds of people from all over… praying to our grandmothers and blessing the water with cedar. Infusing love and blessings into the water and land, and each others hearts.
Talk about a fantastic day of thanks… experiencing the true meaning of thanksgiving… gratitude… appreciation on every level. Our drive back was reflective, and our experience brought out new insight on our perspectives and how we can be more grateful for all things and in all things we experience, and how we can show unconditional love.
Everyday we should reflect on what can we do to be more appreciative and compassionate in our lives …
All that is happening in this world right now is to open our eyes to the middle way.
Its all about balance.
The fear induced by the Trump presidency, the Love shown by the water protectors at Standing Rock, and the sovereignty of self which is being recognized by all the people of this beautiful world.
Balance: an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.
Even distribution of weight, of power….To remain upright and steady… to me this has many meanings. Upright in our ways of living together and loving one another through brotherhood… Steady in our quest to know ourselves.
This happens when each of us takes responsibility for our part in this play.
Knowing our part starts by first knowing ourselves, who we are and what we will.
Only then can we come together in brotherhood allowing each to be as we are, effectively communicating ourselves to each other so that we can live in harmony.
Trump isn’t bad, Hillary isn’t bad… the current governmental system isn’t bad. Look at all the beautiful things we have from its structure. Yes there are things that are not so beautiful but it is our perspective of these things and the imbalance of power that holds us back.
So I question then… Why is there an imbalance of power and where does it come from? And I know the answers are always within… so I question… what can we do to take back our power… our self sovereignty?
We must first know our selves… we must know who we are, which will lead us to knowing our own power… before we can truly know what it means to be self sovereign.
Oil isn’t bad, power isn’t bad… don’t you see all the amazing things we have from this technology and structure? Are you truly grateful for all the things you use everyday that are made from oil and all the things you have because people know their power? How then can we say oil and power are bad?
What is bad is the lack of balance and the inability to effectively communicate who we are and what we will. This keeps us from being able to live harmoniously… and by “we and us” I mean all of human race. If we all knew who we were, and took back our power, we could easily celebrate each others differences and learn and grow from one another… we would no longer live in fear of each other because we would see how amazing we are, and know that we could find the solution to any problem if we worked together.
Harmony starts within ourselves first… we must be harmonious with who we are and where we’ve come from. Our self is the only person we have the ability to instantly change… if EACH of us takes responsibility for ourselves, our minds, words and actions, then and only then will we flow.
We began our journey eating lunch with our dear friend Niki at Grain + Verse outside of Harrisburg. They have delicious food and an awesome atmosphere. Perfect lunch before we journey west.
Our car is names Arrow… Shooting us on our journey to North Dakota. We made great time so far! 9 hours to get to Ekhart Indianna, through beautiful clouds and gusts of wind…. Into snowy sky’s that only lasted for a few hours.
We made our first major stop at the Blue Heron Service Plaza! Yes… Blue heron and no we didn’t go looking for it. I love how the universe tells us we are on the right path.
Around 12 we started getting tired so we decided to stop off and get a hotel. We drove to the next exit and it said Elkhart… Wow. If you’ve read other posts you know the Elk has been apart of the journey since the beginning. My drum and rattle are made of Elk. Again the universe said yes you’re on the right path… Take a break.
We are up now, it’s 8am, eating breakfast and preparing to head out. We are going to stop at the Indian Mounds Historic Site on the way up to Turtle Mountain Reservation.
Last night at Standing Rock front lines, water protectors were sprayed with water canons, concussion grenades, and tear gas.
The Fox22 news on Elkhart reported on it saying it was a riot. Wow. But they also mentioned that there were people collecting donations to take to the water protectors.
Sending lots of love and light to everyone at Standing Rock, and all over the world.
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