Tag: humanity

Heal the Planet, Heal Ourselves?

Heal the Planet, Heal Ourselves?

A beautiful documentary film, With One Voice, created a flurry of excitement as I grabbed paper and pen to take notes. It had some powerful reminders for us: 1) The condition of the world mirrors human consciousness; 2) Peace in the world will occur when we realize we all belong to each other; 3) Hate destroys.

The overwhelming thought I had after watching twice is this: Our destruction of nature is a direct result of our disconnect from our hearts–the spiritual nature of life– and the Earth–that from which our bodies are formed. To heal the planet we must heal ourselves…or is it to heal ourselves we must heal the planet? Or perhaps they are one and the same.

Below are some quotes presented by various persons interviewed in the film and photographs that hopefully illustrate their ideas.

You can tell someone about a rose but they won't really 'get it.' Give them a rose and they can smell it, feel the soft petals...and connect with it fully.
You can tell someone about a rose but they won’t really ‘get it.’ Give them a rose and they can smell it, feel the soft petals…and connect with it fully.
Stand in front of a very tall tree. Listen to the deep, deafening silence held within the tree. Wonder: why can't I be like that? Stand still and listen. Grow upward and downward. (Malidoma Patrice Some)
Stand in front of a very tall tree. Listen to the deep, deafening silence held within the tree. Wonder: why can’t I be like that? Stand still and listen. Grow upward and downward. (Malidoma Patrice Some)
Love only works by giving. It cannot be stored or banked. Love is an infinite ocean.
Love only works by giving. It cannot be stored or banked. Love is an infinite ocean.
See the gift of love everywhere. Convert frustration into compassion. Convert hatred into love. Turn all discourse to love. When you hate someone, send them a love poem. Transform hate into love. (Malidoma Patrice Some)
See the gift of love everywhere. Convert frustration into compassion. Convert hatred into love. Turn all discourse to love. When you hate someone, send them a love poem. Transform hate into love. (Malidoma Patrice Some)
When we realize the innerconnectedness of all life, hatred and all forms of aggression with cease. Peace in the world will occur when we realize we belong to each other.
When we realize the innerconnectedness of all life, hatred and all forms of aggression with cease. Peace in the world will occur when we realize we belong to each other.
Compassion is love made visible.
Compassion is love made visible.
We are coming home to a place we have never left. Our own inner peace brings peace to the world.
We are coming home to a place we have never left.
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Again…Compassion is love made visible.
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Wisdom says I am nothing. Love says I am everything. Between the two my life moves.
And just once more....Compassion is love made visible.
And just once more….Compassion is love made visible.
My Life as a Pelican

My Life as a Pelican

Ready for lift off!
Ready for lift off!

The past two days have been a crash course in how to be a pelican. I’ve learned how to preen using the oil gland at my tail to waterproof my feathers. I’ve noticed that I must pay careful attention to oiling and smoothing my many long feathers.

Popping my bill can be used as an aggressive kind of communication, to let others know I’m unhappy with their behavior and as a demonstration of contentment just before settling in for a little nap.

Down the hatch...head first please!
Down the hatch…head first please!

Fish have to be swallowed head first. If a fish is too big to eat I’ll show my displeasure by stepping on the head of said fish as I plop across the pier deck. If a fish gets stuck in my pouch I stretch my neck down and then up and shake my head. And I might have to do this while running from greedy pelicans who want to steal my treasured handout.

Sunning after dining
Sunning after dining

Nothing is more relaxing and pleasurable than snoozing in the sun, on a chilly, windy day, after my belly is full.

Check out my awesome diving eyelid...
Check out my awesome diving eyelid…

I have more than one set of eyelids and its fun to freak humans out by closing my diving eyelid.

Shit is not particularly offensive to me, especially pelican poop-shit but I really don’t like human shit like plastic and garbage, monofilament line and fish hooks carelessly left on the pier and beach.

Grooming
Grooming

As a pelican initiate, the past two days have taught me that some humans are kind and gentle, while others are aggressive and mean-spirited to my kind and get upset when we congregate in places where they feed us. Imagine that….angry at our poopy mess when they feed us the left-overs from their fish-cleaning. That seems crazy but unfortunately fits human unpredictability. Illogical beings, these humans.

My life as a pelican....
My life as a pelican….

Over the past two days in pelican training I mostly learned to be present, in the moment. What happened before is irrelevant, what happens tomorrow not worth the worry…but now. NOW! This is the moment where joy and peace exists.

Communion

Communion

Curious about the SUP board, the juvenile says hello.
Curious about the SUP board, the juvenile says hello.

It is no secret to anyone who knows me that my best friends are finned or flippered, feathered or furred. My heart is touched by an encounter with wild dolphins or a gentle nuzzle of a manatee in ways that surpass any human connection. Maybe that’s why men I’ve shared my life with have moved on…never content to come second after my love of wild animals. Connection with all creatures wild is my Communion, a way to rise above the mundane and connect deeper, more fully with beings more evolved than humans. (Personal bias).

Today I received an early-morning call from a friend and she tearfully expressed her love of the woods surrounding her home was about to be logged, destroyed so the landowner could purchase a vehicle for his son. How can you put a price like that on a sacred woodland? When will humans learn that the planet is not a commodity to be pillaged, a land to rape for spoils but rather a sacred cathedral?

The mentality of profit at any cost is not a luxury we can afford any longer.

Joanna Macy’s teachings come to mind. She explains the necessary evolution from a life-taking society to a life-sustaining society. We are in a time of moving from a profit-at-any-cost world to a life-sustaining world. We are in the middle of the dissolution of the old way and are awakening to the reality of the mess we’re in economically, socially, environmentally. And within the mess, within the reality of how we have treated the planet and each other, we find positive change occurring. Many, many people are choosing to act from a place of responsibility, a place of compassion and love. We are waking up to the idea that it is possible to live in balance with respect for all life.

simonelipscomb (5)Wildlife reminds me of the connection we have to the whole. The manatees scarred by propellers remind me that humans still have a huge impact on fragile species, that we have done great harm to our planet. And when I see volunteers paddling their kayaks, overseeing interactions with these gentle beings and acting as protectors, hope is refueled.

While snorkeling recently, a juvenile manatee came to me and demanded my attention. My goal is passive observation, in or out of the water, but while filming them, one insisted on connecting face-to-face and drew me out from behind the camera. He swam in front of me, stopped and I felt his gentle spirit guiding me to remove the camera from between us and commune, one wild heart to another. I gently placed my hand aside his face and channeled as much love as I could to him and his kind. And I listened in silence to him.

In those moments we were one with each other. There was no me, no him. In that neutral stillness was birthed understanding. Deep, profound understanding.

simonelipscomb (4)As we parted, sobs wracked my body and soul for the trust demonstrated by a species so abused and wounded by humans. The future of this planet is in our hands. That is both frightening and empowering. What will we do to create a better world?  Will we do anything?

It can start with daily communion with the natural world. Let it show us our next step each day.

He checked out my dry suit, my fins, my snorkel, my camera...always learning more about humans, these little ones.
He checked out my dry suit, my fins, my snorkel, my camera…always learning more about humans, these little ones.
The Wisdom is Within

The Wisdom is Within

Lilly in her glory.
Lilly in her glory.




A dear friend of mine gifted me with an Amarilla kit for Christmas. When I opened the box to dig out the pieces…the container, growing medium and bulb….pale yellow shoots greeted me. It was ready to grow. Without roots planted, without water or sunlight…this bulb was ready. It knew exactly what to do.

I felt the excitement of the bulb as I surrounded its dry roots with moist soil. I packed it and placed it on my back porch to enjoy warm winter temps and filtered sunlight. And less than a month later, it has exploded with color and blossoms that appear to sing with joy.

During the past month I have sent snapshots created on my phone to Eydie to let her know how Lilly is progressing in her growth. But this morning, Lilly wanted to be photographed.

Isn't she lovely? Isn't she wonderful?
Isn’t she lovely? Isn’t she wonderful?

So I pulled out my big Nikon and micro lens, set up the tripod and gave Lilly my undivided attention. Due to recent cold weather she bloomed inside, beside an antique plate of my grandmothers and a watercolor done by a former mountain neighbor. She sits atop an antique table my grandmother treasured.

This morning’s meditation brought a message from a native grandmother. She reminded me to contemplate the Triple Goddess archetype…Maiden–where I was wounded. Mother–where I lived out the wounds and worked hard to heal them. Wise Woman–where I live a more whole expression of all that I am and work  now to help the Earth and Her children heal.

With the grandmothers
With the grandmothers

Lilly has three blossoms that fully opened…just this morning. Coincidence? Perfect timing? I’m beginning to understand that everything somehow miraculously works in perfect timing and the wisdom we need to guide us in our life is within us all along. Life is a journey of discovering, uncovering that wisdom and daring to tread the path that unfolds before us.

The Gap

The Gap

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There’s a place within each of us where all is quiet and still. Where thoughts cease and worries are set aside and there is silence. Photographing nature brings me to The Gap more than anything else I do. And today I was lucky enough to find myself in this neutral place of stillness twice.

First, while kneeling on the beach photographing the waves all thoughts ceased and whatever I am was at one with the water, the sand, the air. What an exquisite experience.

simonephoto (28)Then while sitting on a concrete piling, crossed legs bracing my elbows to support my telephoto lens….it happened again. Completely lost in the moment, empty and yet full because of the complete oneness with the moment.

My path for this year is a journey into full immersion of the beauty of planet Earth. And to share what I experience with others. Today I celebrate the oneness of all life and the understanding that we truly are one with it.

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