NANCY G. SHAPIRO

FINDING CALM IN THE MIDST OF CHANGE

Right Where You Need to Be

March 25, 2019

 

 

 

let go of your hold

to your former selves

allow the river to carry you

this new trust

is the undercurrent

holding up your bones

float

- AKU_MATU* -

 

Since last month's blog we've traveled a big circle from Colorado to Arizona to California and back again, heading for the southern deserts to escape cold weather and meet up with friends. Soaking up the warmth for a few days, two days of big rain and the sight of the Tucson valley ringed by snow-topped mountains surprised our heat-seeking bodies. With the return of the sun the deserts erupted into brilliant spring blooms cascading down hillsides and blanketing valley floors.

 

The photograph above was taken in Joshua Tree National Monument. The weather was windy and sunny, the park crowded on the weekend. Yet it took only five minutes walking to find the quiet place where I wanted to sit among the Joshua trees and tiny yellow and purple flowers. Afloat on the desert floor, the dried husk of a Joshua flower at my knees, the rain-happy shrubs, and the gravelly path leading out into the desert with the branched silhouettes of trees and mountains beckoning for miles. 

 

Inhabiting this spot on this day at this moment, I was right where I needed to be. No longer wandering in my turbulent thoughts, I had stumbled upon calm, instantly tethered to the earth and my own grounding. An undefined trust holding up my bones.

 

 

* Quote by Iñupiaq rap artist Allison Akootchook Warden (AKU_MATU) as seen at the Palm Springs Art Museum exhibit "Unsettled"

 

 

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Calming Practice: Allow New Growth

 

Out of the fallen trunk of a Joshua tree, three new branches have grown.

One with its pointed bayonet-like leaves, one with a tightly closed flower bud,

and one in the first stages of flowering.

 

Find a quiet place. Close your eyes, and take a few calming breaths.

Envision letting an aspect of yourself fall away...feel it peel off of you, 

the sound of its thud against the earth or floor.

 

Allow a new flowering to bloom in your mind's eye.

Feel its push to emerge, the smell of its fresh beginning.

 

Float for awhile in the beauty and grace of such cyclical magic.

Feel its embrace. Embrace it back.

 

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