Birthday

Fell asleep on my birthday eve with one word running through my head:  “humility humility humility”. Perhaps it is the effect of being in the woods and living in a funny freezing little home in the country for a year. Perhaps it is the knowledge of how little I know about how the decades that are coming will unfold and how much of one’s life rests on being OK with uncertainty. Perhaps it is the waves of gratitude as I feel bowled over by the extremity of the beauty of the earth.

The Autumn is an explosion of dense vegetable material. Colour everywhere: mahogany and azures and ever-longing greens.

This year has taught me something of humility in communication. Laying down quick judgement and bold statement for curiosity in listening to others: to really hear how it is for them. Listening itself is always taking part in midwifing a meaning that is struggling to be born. And also I’m learning to lay down the attempt to say everything with words. Some things are known and some feelings grow clear across time. It is often – most often! – much more important to go outside rather than to say it all. To go outside and tread softly in the tender woods and get with deeper time.

It’s not words themselves that are the problem, but the limited way we use them. They say in Sanskrit they have 96 words for love – I don’t know if that is true – but I’m glad wiser cultures kept expanding their vocabularies creatively. Let’s keep on finding ways to speak the subtle. Let’s keep remembering how to create language together. And what we can’t say, we can live.

This year I feel so moved by people. I feel grateful for the social movements emerging, taking to the streets and to the banks of the rivers: coming together for the waters and for human rights and the future of the earth. I feel thanks for the songs around fires, the dances and deep conversations, grateful for the honesty and courage. May we weave a network that keeps on sharing knowledge so that our action is informed. I am so grateful for this life, for my daughter and for relationship – in all its forms – and all the unexpected wild creatures. The llamas with their friendly nobility. The horses I hear galloping across the fields at night. The wood pigeons who sit together on telephone wires like deities watching over the forgetful dance of the human world, calling to us with their warbled cry to remember that our hearts are bright green new shoots.

Gotta live for this beauty and stand up for it. 36 and alive & kicking. I know little but love more and more.

The stars are intense tonight. Go outside.

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