I remember the moment, at a Women Moving the Edge gathering in 2008, where the truth percolated through to me (for the first time in my adult life) that magic is real. It felt as if every cell in my body suddenly became fairy dust. Fizzing and tingling and luminous. Obviously, this was not a ‘discovery’ but a ‘re-membering’. Not a remembering of something I have known, but a re-membering into what I had forgotten I belonged to. That first time, the experience was fleeting. It didn’t long survive re-entry under the stifling blanket of social consensus, where the very word ‘magic’ is seen askance. I squirreled the knowledge away in my safe inner sanctum, like a sacred virus contained in a slow-release capsule.
So what is it that I belong to, that I had forgotten? The short answer is ‘Life’. The longer answer discerns some strands or dimensions – specifically ‘space’ and ‘time’ – that we tend to look at as physical properties of the universe, but which I am now discovering as entities with their own presence, intelligence and willingness to engage with me as I allow myself intentionally to be woven into the fabric of the kosmos.
In recent years, I have been discovering kinship with different ‘segments’ of nature’s population. From one day to the next, for example, I started to notice birds. Each time I look out the window or step out of doors, my eyes are instantly drawn to birds. I have an all-at-once knowing of where the birds are in my immediate vicinity, and it is as if my boundaries snap out to embrace everything that is between those birds and the surface of my skin.
The greatest impact to date, though, has come from the trees. I’ve always loved trees, but I know the exact moment that ‘trees’ became psychoactive beings in my world. I happened to be at a wedding at Chaudfontaine, and a huge and ancient plane tree literally summoned me to come beneath its shade and stand against its trunk. You see me, so I call you to me. It is time for you to learn from the trees. The gates of my heart flew open and the membrane of my skin dissolved into music. A few hours later, a massive cyclone blew through Belgium.
Its path took it right through Ransberg, where it uprooted one of the two walnut trees on the land I am stewarding. I learned of the devastation the next morning, seeing photos Ria posted on the Dorpsstraat blog. Just seeing that tree in a photo was enough to bring a flood of sensation and information washing into me. Since that time, I have come to know trees as knowledge bearers. It is as if ‘tree’ is a globe-embracing dimension of being and knowing that fills the space above and below the ground. Since the other grand old walnut tree on our land fell, silently and gracefully in the night of 21 December 2012, I have known the truth that every tree that ever stood on earth yet stands and shares its being and its knowing through the ether. This ‘tree dimensional space’ is permeable, intensely alive and aware, intimately interwoven with every aspect of the natural ecosystem both physically and in the subtle realms. It is full of story, sensation and light – and seamlessly compatible with the human sphere, provided the human psyche intentionally invokes contact.
I have given the trees blanket permission to permeate me, permanently, and now I am tree sister. When I walk outside I feel how their fabulous coherence heals and cleanses my own aura, unknotting all the pockets of dense attachment and stress, bringing me to wholeness and rest. When my father died suddenly last new year’s eve, within 15 minutes of learning of his death, with the shock of it coursing through my body, my feet took me out into the street. Instantly, all the trees in the neighbourhood were leaning in to me, sweeping through me, swiftly, surely, firmly, settling my trembling nerves, restoring my coherence, connecting me to the place that knew the truth of my father’s soul-vacated body.
Just as the dimension of space is alive and aware, so, apparently, is the dimension of time. I have been struck a lot lately by the way timing is showing up as an active protagonist these days. Right Timing appears like an angelic force, omnipresent as I learn the rules of this delightful new game. Where in the past I might have been tempted to force things, now I just accept them: aah OK, it’s not the right time. This creates a different stance in life – I’m no longer succumbing to the ingrained human habit of thinking about what I want to do or achieve in life (or even just ‘today’). Instead I feel much more like wild nature – like a leopard in the long grass. All I have to do is be a leopard in the long grass and dinner will show up. What I need to thrive is given to me – it’s not that I have to go and kill something: dinner simply shows up and is absorbed – the meaning is different: the lower life form is somehow absorbed into the more complex one.
Just having Timing showing up as a protagonist in the cosmic unfolding brings everything into a completely different place… Instead of thinking, I am listening. Not only with my ears, but with my whole being. All my judgements and expectations become like the buzzing things that inhabit the sun-drenched heat of the plain, as the leopard sits in the long grass, perfectly still, alert and alive. Even the prosaic and down-to-earth context of the work place becomes just another stretch of long grass for me to leopard in…
Learning this new game feels a little like stepping out of the map and into the territory. Through the back of the wardrobe into the world where space and time, nature and past-present-future are living presences that interact with me. Instead of an unconsciously held map created by my mind, I am empty mind and presence in the landscape, alert and listening to see what shows up, suspending judgement and waiting to see what wild nature, as helen, responds to. What leopards do when dinner shows up. What’s the natural thing that happens? What is my natural mode of expression in the territory, when I step away from my conditioning?