In the spring I wrote an essay titled “Living in the Dying Time” when I realized that there were hardly any honey bees showing up anywhere I was used to seeing them. It explored and felt into what is asked of us as sensitive, present beings in this time, and what it can be to live a life-affirming and magically nourishing life when the world as we know it is going through such an extraordinary death process.
I have held this contemplation close to my heart and centered in my awareness all summer.
Where I now live two uncharacteristically severe heatwaves burned most of the land and killed off huge amounts of animals. From that moment many of the trees and plants had brown or yellow leaves and the dawn chorus went silent in huge swaths of the forest. The conifers here are already under extreme duress from bark beetles, their glossy green needles often now a sickly red brown. As a tree woman, it is deeply distressing to feel the land in this state, starved for water, burned, straining under the pressure of the insect invasion, and set up for serious hardship in the years to come.
I am still wondering what this asks of me.
So much of what is happening now became inevitable before I was born. So much of it has become dire in the course of my life. So much of it could have been tended in a way that would transform the course, but it wasn’t, and here we are.
What do we do now?
Now we sit with what is while we continue to move towards what could be, no matter how far-fetched the possibility may sometimes seem to be.
We become initiated by it.
You know, if you listen to me in any capacity, that initiation is the guiding principle of my life. And you know that I perceive now as an extraordinary initiation.
What exactly does that mean?
To me that means that we have been severed from the known and brought into stark and concentrated relationship with the forces of creation themselves. The convergence of crises that define our time - from the social to the environmental to the financial - have brought us, as a collective, into entirely new territory. Territory we haven’t been in before. Territory that is pregnant to bursting with gravity, medicine, and possibility.
The possibility here is that what is deeper in us - the essence of our Souls - will emerge through the pressures of the time as responsive and responsible to the terrain of the moment. We are living in an invitation to deepen in such a way that we embody our greater magnificence and our greater possibilities as participant creators, witnesses, midwives, death tenders, and stewards of an emergent transformation of life with Earth.
Is this making sense? I am sleep deprived and stretched between a staggering grief and a rapturous faith; I know what is crowning in this time, I feel it in the whole of my bones and blood, I feel the immanence of its birth. I feel, too, the pain in the land, the people, the Soul of the world.
They are braided together, this agony and this rapture, and to root into the middle of their courtship, breathing and listening, singing and praying, dancing the story and deepening into a stillness as complete as stone, is to realize our own essential nature as creation itself experiencing itself in its quest through the wilderness of Being.
That is initiation.
And in that space, it’s not that we “know what to do” or “how to” whatever, it’s that we are able to hear the true voices of creation that are calling our names and respond from the deepest and most true places within ourselves.
We embody the wisdom of who and what we truly are and participate in full heart, with passion as the fire and Soul as the guide, not knowing where the path may lead but trusting the journey because we are aligned with life itself.
This is the standard I hold for myself. This is the invitation I hear and feel in the moment.
I offer it to you as a gift; if it feeds you well, I give thanks.
Blessed we are.