The sky has been extra beautiful lately. I think it’s because of the autumn cold, it makes everything clear and bright. I can see so many stars in the canvas over my house, especially now that the leaves have fallen, and I can gaze through the once covered branches.
In my wholeness, I am many.
I used to think I was one, but then I realized how fragmented I really am. I am the sum of my stories, each separate, complete on their own, yet somehow all blending into me. I used to think I was one, but instead I am a multitude. I am alchemy.
In my search for peace, I sought to remove the slivers of tales that still pierce my inner core. Only to find they have embedded in my dreams, with no hint of beginning or end, forever to reside in the velvet beauty of me. I am forced to live with the damage they have wrought, to allow my flesh to heal over sharpened tips. Like a rose, fragrant and divine, I am a gift, protected by my thorns.
In the light of day, I search the open sky, peering through the branches, I see nothing but bits of clouds floating by. The universe is filled with a multitude of stars, fragments of holy fire, all coming together to create the wholeness of celestial delight. Constellations and planets, dancing through infinity, each separate, complete on their own, yet somehow blending into one.
A form of chemistry and speculative philosophy practiced in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and concerned principally with discovering methods for transmuting baser metals into gold and with finding a universal solvent and an elixir of life.
any magical power or process of transmuting a common substance, usually of little value, into a substance of great value.
any seemingly magical process of transforming or combining elements into something new
In Alchemistic Peace,
May we Dance,
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I just returned from staying in Vermont for the past several days, and the lovely family I was visiting lives on a large expanse of land: it was serenely spacious and quite beautiful.
All around us was the beauty of mother nature: trees, mountains, ponds, greenery as far as the eye could see, the eternal vastness of sky, and a wash of wildflowers in every direction.
Each night we would dine on the cozy porch, comfortable on well loved couches overlooking a pond filled with an entire village of singing frogs and swaying lily pads.
a frog jumps in
Haiku by Matsuo Basho, literal translation by Robert Hass
Along with listening to the loud chorus of ribbits and peeps, one of my favorite experiences was the tradition we shared before our evening meal. One by one we would take a moment to express something we were grateful for: be it the glorious weather we were having, the beauty of the trees, or the sweet happiness of creating endearing new friendships.
Around and about there is another pond, this one quite big, with a wooden dock to sit at, reflect, and place one’s feet in the chilly water.
There were tadpoles, and many salamanders swimming and exploring in the dappled sunlight.
A fuzzy caterpillar came to greet me…….
I was generously given the use of a small cabin built upon a hill nestled among the trees.
Once we were ready to settle in for the night, I would carefully make my way up a slightly steep, meandering path towards the cabin. My only light was the headlamp I carried in my hand, and the flashing of fireflies, whom you may also know as lightning bugs, flickering between branches and long grass.
As I wended to the cabin one cloudless night, I saw the brightest shooting star streak across the sky and I wanted to lie in the grassy field to gaze at them for hours.
Another time soon I will return to do just that.
It was very magical to be outside like this, long after the sun had gone to rest, where the darkness was deep, untouched by civilization.
I could have stayed in the house, but I was happy to have a chance to enjoy the intimacy of being immersed in nature, and so I chose to live at night without electricity, plumbing, and running water.
Basically, there was one bed, two side-tables, a long counter which held a camping stove, a makeshift sink, and a tray of brightly colored Calendula flowers that were slowly drying.
In one corner a large screen was placed over two chairs, creating a natural rack for drying more plants; the one below is Motherwort.
In another corner hung a fragrant bunch of Lavender, which made me smile just to be near it.
Some of the the windows were glass, but many were only screen, with an entire wall of them perfectly placed in front of the bed. There was very little between me and the great outdoors.
Once inside I would turn off my meager light and with only myself to confide, deep in the stillness of the forest cathedral, every one of my senses came to life in a way that was both invigorating and free.
The croaks from my froggy companions continued to serenade me as I stood there in the sanctuary of my solitude, surrounded by tree guardians on all sides, while the song of two owls called to each other to celebrate my arrival.
I stood there at the window for a few moments just to soak up every exquisite moment of peace. After, I crawled into bed under my heavy pile of blankets, and kept my eyes open for as long as I could, looking out into the shiny, flickering darkness.
I slept well each night and woke gently with the first rays of light. When I was ready to re-enter the world, I slowly made my way down the hill, my bare feet cold and wet from the morning dew as I walked through the grass and back out among the wildflowers.
I absolutely love Tom Petty, and am so grateful I was able to see him in concert before he sadly left us. I will always carry his music in my heart.
Wildflowers by Tom Petty
You belong among the wildflowers You belong in a boat out at sea Sail away, kill off the hours You belong somewhere you feel free
Run away, find you a lover Go away somewhere all bright and new I have seen no other Who compares with you
You belong among the wildflowers You belong in a boat out at sea You belong with your love on your arm You belong somewhere you feel free
Run away, go find a lover Run away, let your heart be your guide You deserve the deepest of cover You belong in that home by and by
You belong among the wildflowers You belong somewhere close to me Far away from your trouble and worries You belong somewhere you feel free You belong somewhere you feel free
In Beauty & Peace, Raven
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