Back to Nature (Published on TBNWeekly.com - April 20, 2005)
Return to the earth ... innocence
An old pier fell in ruins near the waters
edge. Gaping holes had become overgrown with cattails and purple loosestrife.
|Photo by Rick Tremmel
|Around the prayer circle
thistle blossomed begging the attention of little bees and
Despite its aged appearance and obvious need for repair, the pier seemed
comfortable with its wild surroundings, as if it had found its own natural place to
At the end of the pier an anhinga spread her wings to dry in the sun while perched
upon a rickety railing. An alligator mom floated nearby guarding her twins. It was
obvious that no human had set foot here in a long while.
The morning breeze was cool, fresh and delicately scented with orange blossom
perfume. A layer of dew clung to every surface. He confessed to himself that
hed not known what to expect when hed packed his belongings into the
Jeep yesterday morning. His simple goal was to return to the peaceful land of the
Hed set out on Highway 301 amid throngs of commuters jockeying for position
on their way to work and headed toward the sunrise. He needed to be grounded by the
Mother. His body and mind ached to lay in her arms and feel her breathe against his
cheek. He needed to be a child again, innocent, allow his spirit to be free and he
needed to cry with the ancients. He felt isolated as if on a prairie with no
landmarks and no direction home. He felt lost. He felt drained. He felt his spirit
A dilapidated barn leaned to the south in resistance to the northern winds. The
gapped opening strung with a network of dew diamonds upon spider webs that looked
like an organdy veil sparkling in sunlight. Inside was home to a variety of
critters that watched his movements with idle curiosity; a family of mice, a gray,
dabbed nest of swallows almost hidden upon an eave and a soft, brown rabbit
nibbling upon fresh greens. He found an old rake that had been propped against an
inner wall. He wiped off the cobwebs and gave it a good shake.
Between the barn and the lake a prayer circle had been placed. It was overgrown
with bright purple thistle and stinging nettle, giving the impression it had been
abandoned. He walked the circle with sage and prayers and then with gloved hands he
began to pull at the weeds to clear the land.
The first of the gray stones of the circle revealed itself from its dormancy, as
the pile of weeds and old burnt timber began to grow. He lifted a small round board
painted with the symbol of the four directions. Hidden there was a yellow and red
package of tobacco and four small prayer ties, dusty but otherwise untouched
a fire remembered
prayers honored. A small pile of kindling had been neatly
arranged in preparation for the next fire.
He sprinkled sage upon the kindling, dusted off the remaining stones, spread a
blanket upon the cool, dark earth, struck a match and lit the fire, opened the
tobacco and offered a prayer. Around the prayer circle thistle blossomed begging
the attention of little bees and butterflies. Beyond that circle grew another
circle of wild things that had found their place here, nightshade, lobelia, oxalis,
butterfly weed, cranes bill and sky flower, a mixture of colors and textures
that led down to the lake.
Alone he stoked the fire. Alone he walked the circle. Alone he offered his prayers
until he felt he wasnt alone anymore. His sweat upon the earth, his breath
upon the fire, the smoke upon his clothing, the breeze upon his cheek, his feet
upon the earth, the dust stirred upon his breath, his tears upon the ground, the
dew upon his face, the fires warmth upon his heart, his songs upon the winds,
his eyes upon the lake, the birds upon the trees, his hands upon drum, his
heartbeat rhythmic with the crackling fire.
The melody of the moment brought with it questions for his heart: What is real?
Who can you believe? Where do we begin or end? At his feet he picked up the
hardened shell of a pecan and thought, like the pecan it must drop back to the
earth so it can grow into an abundant, protective tree.
We need direction, solace, to renew our spirits, to be nurtured by the Mother. We
need to put distance between us and negativity and protect ourselves from those
forces. It is necessary to tend the fire and shelter the fire from the storms.
While rains become lakes and dew become showers, tears become streams and streams
become clouds. All things need to be gently returned to the earth, innocence, back
Karen can be reached at MyMuddyPawsStudio@gmail.com.