Celebrating the wonders of all things natural!

Archive for October, 2014

Forces of Nature ~ Reeling in the Real

I love Joseph Campbell, influencer of Star Wars’ George Lucas and a student of Carl Jung, he just has this incredible way of putting into words life’s many esoteric mysteries… and I love how the Universe once in a while “shows us the light in the strangest of places when we look at them right”…

As this angstful eclipse energy – and Mercury retrograde too – ramps up emotions so that they’re spinning intensely, keeping our balance while riding these waves of seismic activity is an art.

Campbell (and yoga) help me find that sweet spot, hidden in the barrels of the rolling waves, without being crushed when they crash, by shedding light on and making sense of our emotions to make it easier to understand and reflect on why they are what they are. In his “Reflections on the Art of Living: A Joseph Campbell Companion,” Campbell writes about a certain male fish that has a dark upper body and a light lower body, so that he is camouflaged and safe from danger when looking up or down at it. But… and here’s the good part:

 “When this particular fish is in love, his color shifts so that he’ll be visible. This puts him in danger, you see, and it seems to be symbolic of this love thing. You give up self-protection when this other comes along and you are seized with erotic compulsion.”

Despite the risks, fish do not control their natural instincts so that they can stay invisible and safe. No, without even thinking about it (probably), they change colors and take their chances.

While we humans can often learn some lessons from nature, we still get to decide if we’re going to go with the flow of our instincts or play it safe and resist these forces of nature.

While we never know where love will go, if we don’t try, we’ll never know (someone said; I’m saying it today, and others have said it before, like Smokey Robinson and The Miracles and, of course, the Jerry Garcia Band):

What are you fishing for? And, even more, when you catch it, can you reel it in and keep it real, without killing it?

Seeds of Change

Not too long ago, I wrote about how happy I was that my holy basil plant was thriving. I’d grown it from seed and it was now over a year old. photo 3 (2)

About 2 weeks ago, I spotted a little critter on the plant. photo 1 (3)

It was stark still, holding its body perpendicular to the plant. “It’s getting ready to form a chrysalis,” I thought to myself. Leaving it there to do its thing, I envisioned the “holy butterfly” that was going to emerge.

Little did I know, its “thing” was to eat every single leaf off my basil plant! When I went out the next day, I was horrified! The leaves were gone and so was the caterpillar, off to find more of my plants to munch. Now I know this is nature’s way, but did it have to eat every single leaf?!

I thought my plant would come back, but after a week of looking at the withering stem turning brown and not one new leaf sprouting, I resigned to the fact that it was gone. I pulled the stem out, feeling the roots break… with a heavy heart. I couldn’t toss it aside, so I hopefully set it in another pot of soil, just in case…

In the meantime, I planted more seeds in its place. It got me thinking about the fleeting nature of life, and pretty much all things. We never know how long they’ll be around, and we can count on the fact that everything changes… as I wrote on a friend’s nostalgic post today about his old house being bulldozed to make room for a new home, “Change is the only constant.”

Change is part of the life cycle. Resist it as we may, we can’t stop it. We can only accept what is and appreciate what we have, in the moment.

Change often brings sorrow, bittersweet melancholy feelings about what we can’t “change.”

Such was the case with the big waves about a month ago (in September) that washed away the Cove House at Sycamore Beach in Malibu. Many of us watched, in horror, as the waves crashed up against the Cove House, destroying its foundation and eventually pulling it out to sea… leaving us only with the memories of what used to be, a house where so much fun was had… Now, the beach remains, with only splintered pieces of wood as proof that the house was ever there at all…photo 4

The Grateful Dead captured the feeling so well (as they so often did) in “The Music Never Stopped”:

“No one’s noticed, but the band’s all packed and gone
Was it ever there at all?

But they keep on dancin’
C’mon children, c’mon children, come on, clap your hands…
And the fields are full of dancin’
Full of singin’ and romancin’
The music never stopped…”

And there is the key… to hear the music, if only in your memory, and keep on dancing… through the changes of our times, because, in the words of another musical sage, “the times they are a changing…”

Planting new seeds, we continue to grow.