When I was young, one of my favorite things to do in late summer was to lay on the beach at night in Salvo, NC, back against the sand that was still warm from the sun’s rays, and gaze up at the hundreds and thousands of stars the twinkled and danced above me. My friends and I use to have a friendly competition on how many shooting stars you could spot in an hour, loosing ourselves in the vastness of the deep indigo sky.
After college, I lived for a brief stint in Gardiner, MT located at north entrance of Yellowstone National Park, a small tourist town on the southern edge of Paradise Valley that was reminiscent of many old western movies, complete with wooden shanty storefronts, a long open front porch that connected the structures, and even the occasional four horse parade on holidays. Gardiner was surrounded by 12,000 foot peaks and the elk and bison often wondered out of the park to engage in the social life the town had to offer. The Yellowstone River charged swiftly through town, carrying life and debris out of the park through Tom Miner Basin and into the wide valley just to the north. The natural world shared its waterfalls and steep rocky cliffs, longhorn sheep and yellow-bellied marmots. It shared its geysers, hot springs and mud pots, its green rolling hills covered in alpine wildflowers at the base of a snowy mountain. It shared its sun, wind, snow and big sky. One could get lost in the sheer beauty of Mother Earth’s splendor for hours and days, and often I gave myself permission to do just that.
We’ve established our roots in yet another one of our planet’s awe inspiring natural worlds, the White Mountains of New Hampshire, known for its lush green mosses, chiseled granite boulders, thick hemlock and pine forests, and rugged mountain peaks. I’ve spent many hours enjoying the serenity of this place and embrace its wildness and unpredictable displays of weather and beauty. There’s nothing like sitting on the summit of a White Mountain peak, strong wind blowing so hard that you find yourself quickly rummaging in your backpack for another layer, sun and clouds shifting and dancing above you, casting shadows and rays deep into the surrounding valleys and off the neighboring peaks. I often find myself moved to near tears at this remarkable place we call home, a planet that doesn’t ask for anything in return but shares with us so abundantly every day.
This week, Mother Earth and her Celestial Sister have been fully awake and sharing such beautiful displays of abundance, from the largest solar storm in nearly eleven years, to three days of intense wind shifting energy and welcoming change, to today which marks a solar eclipse, a new supermoon, and the ushering in of spring with the vernal equinox and I don’t know about you, but I can feel the power of these two sisters dancing and creatively expressing themselves to us.
Today I am so grateful for their offerings. Thank you to the trees that provide clean air for me to breathe, shade on a hot day, shelter for animals during a storm. Thank you to the many plants that support me with food and medicinals. Thank you to the soil for your grounding energy, for providing a foundation for my home and an incubation spot for my food. Thank you to the four legged ones who roam the earth sharing your resources and space, demonstrating innocence and authenticity. Thank you to the bees who pollinate our plants. Thank you to the bats who keep mosquitos at bay. Thank you to the rivers for carrying away our mental debris and smoothing out our rough edges. Thank you to the mountains that provide us a new perspective and a place to drink in fresh air. Thank you to the ocean for reminding us how small we are in this world. Thank you to the rocks that provide necessary detours in our path. Thank you to the stars that hold our dreams. Thank you to the moon for manifesting our intentions. And thank you to Mother Earth and her Celestial Sister for holding the space for all of this to happen and a place for us to call home.