The Guardian reports Research suggests visits to places with birdlife could be prescribed by doctors to improve mental wellbeing One swallow may not make a summer but seeing or hearing birds does improve mental wellbeing, researchers have found. The study, led by academics from King’s College London, also found that everyday encounters with birds boosted […]Bird and birdsong encounters improve mental health, study finds —
A course of action. If you wish to help the earth, you might do the following: Listen to a tree – or talk to a tree. If there is not tree immediately available, it could be a cloud, a rock, a bird – any aspect of the world of nature. Spend half an hour a day – or five minutes – or whatever time you have.
How will this help the earth? This will work because the basic problem which is destroying the planet we live on – is the alienation of us, as human beings, from the world of nature. Because we focus on our human interests and wishes (and sometimes genuine urgent situations that cannot be avoided), we have become alienated from nature. (When there is a real crisis that requires your attention, then come back to focusing on the tree whenever you are able to.)
In this way we will be getting back in contact with nature – and in our own way building a little bridge to connect with nature. This may be the most effective and most direct way to transform our relationship as human beings with the planet earth. And in so doing, we will be laying the groundwork for the transformation that is required. It will also have a healing effect on us – and on the tree too. And on those around us – like a pebble that lands on the water of a lake and ripples in all directions. Like the butterfly that you may have heard about who changed the course of world history by a single motion of his wings.
© Copyright Sharon St Joan, 2022
To ancient peoples, the world of nature was not made up of inanimate beings – or of beings less than ourselves.
Everything was alive and had a spirit and a presence.
The mountains were gods, the rivers goddesses.
The lakes, the oceans, the trees, the deserts, the forests – everything was living and conscious. Also, all the beings of the sky were alive – the sun, the planets, the moon, all the stars.
Life was present in every aspect of the universe. The sacred rocks were living entities.
All the animals – the fish, the whales, the bears, the lions, foxes, deer, all the birds, also the ants, the bees, the butterflies and all the insects.
We can see this perception still in the older (and wiser) belief systems of the world: Hinduism, Buddhism, Shinto, Taoism, in the world views of Native Americans.
Because ancient peoples saw and understood the spiritual essence of all of nature, there was reverence and respect for nature. Human beings took only what they needed for survival – and nothing more. They were respectful and not greedy. They listened to the voices and to the laws of nature. They were aware of the sacred beings of life. Because of this awareness, they did not destroy the planet earth.
Today, though we consider ourselves, in the modern world, to be much wiser, we are in fact, very ignorant. We see nature through blind eyes, not recognizing the living essence, the majesty, and the awareness of nature and the earth herself.
It is through this blindness and stupidity, that we destroy nature – through greed and oblivion.
No amount of calculating carbon footprints in a futile effort to save ourselves is going to work.
We must focus, not on ourselves, but on the ineffable beauty and life of nature herself.
To put it simply, we must go back to worshipping nature – to feeling a sense of reverence for the earth. We belong to the earth. It is only by returning to that sense of the sacred that we will be able to save the earth – and perhaps ourselves as well.
© Sharon St Joan, 2021
Within the red cliffs
Walk the feet of Shiva
Through the eternities of endless eons
In the sacred smoke of the kiva
Within the perceptive
Of the pygmy owl,
Where green dragons
Sail over the seas and all the caves
Washing up along the coast
Hiding in the dark,
Of whispered words,
Sly eyes smile.
There is the space
Before the startling storms that howl
Before the white-throated swift’s nest
High up in the rock
Gathers up the errant wings – lost almost.
All the hills become
Encircled in weaves
Of patterns within the mist
Of gray stone.
Within the rain ahead
That never cease,
In their treks of flight,
Within the black armies of the castled kingdoms,
Of the cloud.
All is here now,
Of the lone,
Ship cuts across the furrow,
And all falls
Winds let go.
To within the peace
Of cliffs deep red
As the autumn
In the forgotten dimensions
Of forever. Soon
Will the wild paws
Of the forest
Again, with grace
In the clear singing of the dawn
With the moon-
Now turned to gold,
Held in the entrancing feathers of the sun,
While rags of clouds stream
Onward to the dance.
September 10, 2021
© Sharon St Joan, 2021
The truth of Agni;
Fire consumes the illusion.
Trees walk on the black way
To the stars,
Trees who remember,
With the stones,
The earth’s enchanted bones,
The beginning and the ending,
The faces of the stones rise,
Patterned in scars,
Walls of stone, tall,
And the elven folk
Of long ago;
No one believes
In them now
They sang the truth of the stars.
In the ending – skies
And white – oppression.
The smoke of time,
The age of blindness,
Of existential crime,
On the winds of time.
Shiva dancing both time and eternity,
In the stark
Winds that clear the smoke
Soon, the bough
Of the oak
Into the shimmering rain
There, the face of Shiva
In the gold
Trees – twinkling among the leaves,
In a world so old –
That came before —
Yet shines again –
In the ever-glimmering rain,
In the train
In the arc
Of ancient powers.
Written August 7, 2021
© Sharon St Joan
Thank you for being our home. Thank you for your sacred beauty.
May your lands be blessed and released from harm. May your oceans and waters be clean and safe for all the beings who live within them. May your forests grow tall, and your wild lands be green and filled with life. May your rocks, cliffs, and sacred mountains tower in majesty.
May your life and your spirit be healed that you may be strong and well – that your children – the birds, the animals, the plants, and all peoples — may live in peace and wellbeing.
May you be freed from oppression, tyranny, and the hand of death that you may be well once more, as nature intended. May the forces of the harmful shadow dwindle, vanish, and be gone – returned to non-existence. May the phantom demons of hate leave – fallen into the abyss, never to return.
May the beauty of your sacred spirit fly in the wind on the wings of birds, run with the swift feet of the four-legged ones, and swing with the gentle, waving branches of the juniper trees.
May all your life and your sacred spirit be blessed, honored, revered, restored, and whole.
May the sun, the moon, and the stars bless you with their radiant light and their presence.
May you rise again in joy, power, and magic, in this age and in the age that is to come.
© Sharon St Joan, 2021
By Niamh Fodla
It’s the time of Libra, when the empty spaces between souls come alive. When the company of two becomes three: Me, thee and the pulse between us. It’s a time when relationships matter, when friendships form among trees. When human nature is just that – nature. Even our apartment complexes as natural as a bird’s nest. Our longing for truffles on fine china as innocent as a squirrel’s longing for a nut.
It’s an airy time of deep civility, it’s color a soothing blue.
A Video for the heart:
Here’s an easygoing Prayer for the World, with words written by Rabbi Harold Kushner, loved for his comforting theological message that God is never on the side of the bad things that happen to you, but always on the side of your happiness. (My paraphrase!) The music is by Stanley M Hoffman.
A video for the soul:
Featuring breeze and a Libran elegance
A part of kindness consists in loving people more than they deserve.
– Joseph Joubert