Mumblings and Musings – August Edition
Greetings and Welcome to my Mumblings and Musings!!!
I hope that your life is bubbling with joy and meaningful connections with others!
If you’ve been following my musings over the years, I’m grateful for your presence in my life. If this is the first time you’re joining me: Welcome Aboard! I’m glad to share this time with you. I hope that you enjoy my newsletters. My “Mumblings and Musings” are just that . . . my periodic mumblings and musings about life on Summerhill Ranch here in the Central Coast of California and about life in general. It’s also how I let you know about my upcoming courses and my newly released books. I also like to use this as a forum to recommend fabulous products that I encounter in my travels that I think you might enjoy.
The smoke has finally cleared but over the last couple of months, it has felt like California was on fire. Even though we were about half-an-hour drive from one of the big fires—and in no real danger—on a couple of nights the house filled with so much smoke that we were sure that the fire was surging toward our home. One night, I slept with a wet washcloth over my nose and hung wet towels over the birdcages so we wouldn’t be inhaling so much smoke.
The fire-fighting planes are stationed at a small airport not far from us, so every day we watched these valiant planes fly over the ranch on the way to the fires. As they fly over, they must look down at me and think, There’s that crazy lady again, because I hold my arms to the skies and send them blessings and prayers. I hold those pilots in holy reverence; to me they are heroes.
A few years ago, our neighbor’s land caught fire. After we raced to report the fire, we anxiously watched from our vantage point of the tall hill on our land, as the flames leaped from the underbrush and flared up to the tops of trees. It was terrifying to watch, especially as our home was the closest to the fire. When the fire-fighting planes arrived, we literally jumped up and down and whooped with relief. What skill, confidence (and luck) these pilots possess. We watched as one plane after another flew blind into the smoke and then released fire retardant. Sometimes they flew only a few feet above the ground.
I’ve been thinking about fire because of what I recently witnessed in Mexico. (I have just returned to the United States today, so my memories are still fresh with me.) During my time in that wonderful country, I had the opportunity to hike in a mountainous area that was completely devastated by fire only last October. Evidently the fire was so high that it jumped ravines and small canyons. At the base of one of the mountains, I saw some of the destroyed homes, and they looked as though they had been melted and scorched from the inside out. Even the glass from the windows was melted into oddly shaped forms. And these homes were made of tile, brick and adobe.
The thing that was amazing, however, was how quickly the mountains and the land had regenerated. Everything was so green and vibrant. And even though the trunks of the big oak trees were charred black, there were large canopies of new growth overhead. Everywhere that smaller trees had burned to the earth, there was new growth, some of it was over 5 feet tall. (How does a tree grow five feet high in nine months?) The regeneration was so profound that if I didn’t know about the fire, I would have thought that it had occurred 10 or 15 years in the past, rather than last October.
AUSCHWITZ AND GREEN FROGS
Seeing how rapidly the land had renewed itself, made me think of a remarkable experience a friend had a few years ago. My friend, Jaap, grew up in Amsterdam and during the Nazi regime his mother had been taken to Auschwitz where she was eventually gassed. The horror of this lived with him for his entire life…until, as a grown man in his 60’s, he visited Auschwitz to pay homage to his beloved mother. The visit transformed him. He told me that the thing that touched him to his core was seeing—in that place of utter desolation and destruction—a kind of regeneration that had occurred there. He saw beautiful grasses growing along the small channels of water (where the dead had once been piled). As he looked at the water, he could see soft, billowy clouds reflected on the surface that was only broken by the small green frogs that gleefully leaped into the water at his approach. He said that he gained a hope for the world there. He realized that healing and regeneration is always possible, no mater what has happened.
HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
There are times when I bemoan what is happening to our planet’s environment because of the shortsighted myopia of our modern life. There are times when I wish native people’s wisdom and respect for the land prevailed; it seems sometimes that the future for our children is bleak. However, seeing the scattering of wildflowers and the profound rejuvenation of the land in Mexico—and remembering what Jaap had told me about Auschwitz— gives me hope for the future. I know that no matter what internal “fires” we have weathered in our lives, we have the ability to heal and thrive. Our spirit and our life can always regenerate. I believe that no matter what challenges we face both personally and globally, that renewal is always possible. Indeed, hope springs eternal.
Thank you for listening to my musings.
With immense LOVE and JOY!!,