Tag: Nature’s Teachings

Rainbow Shaman Trout

Rainbow Shaman Trout

A tunnel of green reflected off the water’s surface as I stood in awe of the beauty: rocks, water, trees. Green. Intense green that shows evidence of life, of living.

As of yesterday, it’s wet wading for me…nothing separating me from liquid bliss. The wader pants are stowed, awaiting cooler temps in autumn. When I gently stepped into the 60 degree water, I felt the chill but soon appreciated the connection of skin to clear mountain creek.

I’ve always thought this particular place is magic. So many times I’ve dropped into an altered state of deep stillness as I communed with the energies of the creek and forest and mountains. Today, I met a trout that was one of the magical beings that reside here…or so it seemed.

I’d been standing about an hour in a favorite pool and finally found a fly the trout liked. I had several strikes within a few minutes and then BAM! A beautiful rainbow trout dove for the bottom. I watched her dive and rub her mouth on the rocks, attempting to shed the tiny, barbless hook. I reached out with the net and kept her in the water. I looked away for a moment to tuck the fly rod under my arm so I could attend to the hook removal. She obviously had other plans.

When I turned back, the fly was left, hooked in the net, and the fish was gone. Gone!

I checked the net and it was fine. The fish was too big to fit through the soft, silicone mesh. I must have tipped the edge under the surface, but honestly, in that moment it seemed as if the trout was a shape-shifting shaman trout.

The shimmering emerald water captured my attention as I paused and pondered the missing fish. I smiled as I wondered if I had slipped into an alternate reality of faeries and gnomes and magical fish. 

Clouds covered the sun and after an hour of standing in chilly water, I needed to warm up. Since I was over two miles up the trail, I decided to head back down in case the storms started early. I stopped at a few places and then decided to hike up the rapids above a favorite deep hole. I didn’t catch anything there, but it’s one of my favorite places. When I get above the little rapid, I feel enclosed by massive rocks, deep water, and green…luminescent green. 

We all need a special place in Nature where we feel the magic. Where’s yours?

These butterflies find their magic in a pile of horse poop….you never know where magic will be found.

Divine Madness

Divine Madness

Filled with beauty, I didn’t think I could receive any more. Yet a short distance up the trail, more cascading pools of crystal-clear, cold water greeted me. I stopped to gaze into the bubbling, churning whitewater as it leaped over moss-covered boulders. WOW, I exclaimed out loud. WOW!

A few weeks ago, the same area created the need to open myself more—to expand—to be able to take in the outrageous beauty. Like then, I stood there today laughing hysterically, tears forming in my eyes, and felt drunk on beauty, inebriated on the pure energy of this sacred place. I felt my body staggering as if under the influence of some potent cocktail; instead, my body, mind and spirit—my entire being—was in flow and balance with Nature, with all life. Completely at One.

The first part of the trail does not affect me like this. It is beautiful and wonderful there, but energetically it’s not as pure. It’s two miles up the trail when the real shift occurs. Fewer humans venture past that place so Nature is less tinkered with, abused or interfered with the farther up the trail one goes. 

There are places that I call Fairy Lands after about three miles. Tiny, white flowers carpeted the forest floor today as random boulders sat stoically among massive trees. The wind tossed the tops of trees and further up the ridge, a sort of roaring, rushing sound of wind through tree limbs created a stereo effect with the music of the creek.

The rare humans one meets up there are different than those that venture only a mile or so in and then turn back, having seen enough of Nature. Those that go further and commit to experiencing Nature are changed by visiting this special place.

I was surprised today when I had such a strong reaction. I expected the awe was used up when I visited it the first time. I thought it would be pleasant and beautiful; however, I did not guess that I would go through the same feelings I did before—discomfort that I couldn’t open big enough to take it in. Yet, as I listened carefully to inner guidance, I heard: Open your heart, breathe in what you see. When I practiced that guidance, a huge shift happened within and I experienced the inebriation of Oneness, of beauty, of the pristine energies of Nature that pushed me into a state of Divine Madness.

Taking It In

Taking It In

The beauty was absolute. I found myself struggling to take it in: gray boulders; clear, cold, rushing water; soft, green moss; trees standing naked in their late-winter/early spring anticipation; intense, crystal-clear, blue sky. 

I breathed and opened my heart. It was it challenging to create a space large enough, within myself, to receive such profound and amazing beauty.

I sat and allowed my mind to still. As I scanned my body, I discovered something akin to pain as I attempted to take in such bountiful beauty. In stretching on the inside, and releasing whatever blocks kept me from receiving, I moved deeper into communion, into Oneness.

So many times we expect our growth must arise from dark, difficult times. But what if inner growth can happen just as powerfully from experiencing good things, beautiful things. 

For many years I’ve asked Spirit, What can I do to make a difference?, I received the same two words: GO OUTSIDE. I challenged the answer, doubting the significance of how that could make a difference, yet it hasn’t wavered. I follow that direction more often as I have discovered that Nature draws me into deep communion with all life and helps me be grounded and present. If distractions keep me from the friendship with Nature, I get out of balance quickly.

Today, as I melted into Oneness, I felt intense grief arise for every moment I’m not in deep communion with Nature. I was in my natural state of being…in wonder and awareness of Oneness. I wasn’t separate from the water, rocks, trees, sky…until my mind took me out of that harmony and I felt that deep longing for home.

It reminded me of a story a teacher once told. He said he walked along the sea and saw millions of fish swimming, crying out in desperate need,  Water, water, water, water!!! Sometimes we mourn separateness while the only thing separating us are our thoughts. It’s here, in front of us, within us, all the time. Can we recognize it? Can we feel it? Can we take it in?

********************

To dive deeper into Nature and the path it offers to wholeness, I invite you to pre-order my new book, Book of Nature. I opened myself for Nature to speak through my photographs and words as It guides us into deeper relationship with Spirit, ourselves, and all life. If you pre-order you’ll get free shipping and a matted 5 x 7 photograph from the book. Send money to a friend ($18 each) to my PayPal email: simonelipscomb@me.com.

My two editors….
calling my children home

calling my children home

After a very rough few days, I decided to walk along the river and then up the closed parkway. Focusing on breathing in, breathing out I was able to come into presence with my self, the water, trees, rocks and sky. By the time I reached the parkway, I was settled down enough to get clear on what I wanted to know.

As I walked up the deserted parkway, I said out loud, “What do you want?” I repeated it as I walked, reflecting on my life’s path but asking the mountains, the Earth. Thinking about drawing early retirement funds does that I suppose. I’ve always put my soul path, my heart’s path, before financial security, so large questions loom as I contemplate the rest of my life. And the work I want to accomplish, the legacy I want to leave behind.

“What do you want?” What do you want of me?” “Why am I here?” (The little here as in geographical and the big here as in alive on the planet right now). “I’ve followed a soul path, a path of heart and given all I know to give of myself….what do you want?” Yesterday, I had reached a breaking point.

I poured a deep desire to know, so that I may serve, into the questions. I got to a beautiful overlook, the mountains standing strong and tall in the distance. I asked again, “WHAT DO YOU WANT OF ME? WHY AM I HERE?”

Then I shut up and stood there gazing into the mist, the leaf-bare mountains staring back at me. Finally, I heard as clear as someone standing next to me, “I’m calling my children home.

I burst into tears as recognition flooded my awareness. I said, “Yes, I know. I’m here. I’m listening.

Tears continued to slide down my face as I walked. I wiped a tear with my finger and gave it to the Earth. Every cell of my body, every breath, belongs to Earth. 

No other answers came but it’s enough to know I was called Home. I await further guidance.

This rock looked like a skull to me. What would it ‘say’ if it could speak?
The Creative Process

The Creative Process

This is a story about the creation of a book. It’s about my new one, Book of Nature. But it’s more than that. It’s about listening and following the path of the Soul. Curl up with a cup of tea, get comfortable and listen to this story on the creative process. I hope you enjoy.