Saturday, October 31, 2009
Re-exploring the Pelican Beach of my childhood with new eyes, Steven and I sat and connected with the energy of Peg and Pete Weaver who built this cabin in 1947 and then retired here in 1976. Pete passed over in Brainerd in 1981 in the cold depths of a January winter and Peg, remained here to finish out the front porch where she wrote on her computer and shared many stories with friends and relations until age 92, in the fall of 2002, Kerry Nate and I moved her into Woodland Assisted Living in Brainerd. Kerry Johnston became a special support person here over the years, and did the finishing work for her on the cabin. Thanks Kerry! Fun to see Steve here taking in the beauty and energy of the area on this fall day!
As we walked around the Pelican Beach and woods, we happened on the old CCC Camp where the washroom and water tower were as featured in Jim Henderson's book. We couldn't help but think of the beauty of the equal signs. Like the logo of HRC and the desire of a lot of us who are two spirited, to have true equality and share the beauty of this life with full recognition and acceptence of all people. Thanks for being a bright light!
Over the past weekend, I was fortuneate to meet a Chinese trained physician that shares values about nature and other connections in life. Xiaosong, has taken up the name of Steven here in the English speaking midwest and it was fun for me to have my brother Jim and Kerry Johnston the property care taker meet him. Here he is walking the beach after we had flushed out two eagles. So grateful for the enthusiasm and interest in all of Creation.! Mitkuye Oyasin
Thursday, October 15, 2009
As part of closing up the cabins for the winter, after hauing in the hoses and putting up the storm windows, we split and stacked oak to keep future fires going. Interesting to think about how wood fuel with be part of the energy balance in a post petroleum based economy. For me, having more of the family furniture and heirlooms safe in St Cloud under the care of Jess and Amy seems "right" for some reason. Thanks Amy and Jesse for co creating a fun and grounding weekend at Pelican Lake.
Nice to know the the eagle is still around to honor the land!
I am grateful for my utilitiy trailer to haul the oak for splitting by the small cabin. Jesse and Amy both split the logs like this one prior to loading up the trailer with shelves and an oak library table I onced envisioned would be part of an environmental learning center here. Interesting that Haeberle, Jenkins and the Shattuck Group, may have had a similar vision early in the 20th Century with a map labeled "Shattuck Camp" for this area, as Shattuck and St James are schools in Faribautl whose mission it has been is to educate boys. Thanks Jess and Amy for the fun comeradarie here in the cool land!
Quite a change in weather for me, having just arrived back from the UK, with mist, and rain and very green conditions with the old ones, the yew tree nation of hundreds if not thousands of years on the green isles. Here back on Turtle Island, AKA N America, we already had a light dusting of snow that can be seen between the leaves here. Jess and Amy, were looking in the big garage, as I was trying to start the saw. I took time to BREATHE into my gut...hara, and decided to go with them to sort what might be useful for Jesse and Amy in their lives in St Cloud. Fun to continue the sorting and letting go of things that no longer serve my journey, and give some to the next generation. Sharing the garage allowed me to share the stories of this land that our family has stewarded since 1967. Now "owned" by Jim and Melanie, the garage, that I had built in 1982 in memory of Paul Henry Weaver, died in January 1982 in Brainerd, I built to honor his love for this beautiful part of the planet and hopefully to serve as an educational center. While sorting through shelves, books, and other tools to support future life, I mentioned to Jess and Amy that I had a dream of creating an environmental teaching center here AND that the years of having an initi, sweat lodge frame here on the land, really was a part of that dream fullfilled and that I am grateful that he could be part of and witness that tradition here on this land and also in South Dakota. I still see the spirits of Peg Weaver and Theresa Blackbear who met and prayed together on this land, and I am moved to create communities of resilence to carry on their teachings in a good way. I look forward to seeing our that manifests during the transition time from petroleum dependence.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
After getting on the storm windows at Melanie and Jim's Pelican Nature Cabin, AKA The Palmer Cabin, Jesse discovered that there is now a linksys router for wifi connection to the cyberworld here at the cabin. Here they are checking things out on line, while I listened to Barack Obama's speech to HRC, the LGBT lobbying group that has done so much to educate Americans on equal rights for ALL Americans. I have had the HRC equal sign on the back of my van for years and am grateful to have a president that asks all Americans to be Christ-like..."to love our neighbors, no exceptions". I wonder if Rev Dobson is focusing on his own family in Colorado Springs, just a thought and will pray for all religious fundementalists, Christian, Moslem who choose not to honor their own lives here on Mother Earth. Thanks Amy and Jess for your kind compassion during this transition. Peace, love joy and beauty.
One of the things I really enjoyed as a kid, was collecting stamps and noticing the art and stories of different nations on thier stamps. One of the casualties of the email era are all the cool stamps and the romance that comes from them, and fine art like the engravures and all. So when I was sorting through "stuff" and thinking about canasta with my sis Jane and her family, here are some cool cards, from the year of my birth...Cool or what. Images of Ben Franklin on the 5, and George Washington on the OS X, oops its not a Mac operating system its the roman numeral for 10 . Also grateful for the art on the older cards.
Along with the dominoes I look forward to some future games with this set. Anyone for hearts? :-)
Friday, October 9, 2009
After we made the climb that is like the tor at Glastonbury, at least 500 feet we came upon these burial mounds. Likely thousands of years old just like the ones along the Minnesota and Mississippi Valleys. Grateful I remembered to bring some tobacco in prayer and respect for the land and those who came before.
This burl pattern in the moist envirnoment of the Ancient Grove shows the grains of reddish brown and the ancient beauty I feel in this old one. I sense a deep strength in this elder much as the elders in a large circle provide the strength and support for a community of humans. I am still breathing into the learnings of having been led to these old ones as part of my pilgrimage to the UK and the land of my ancestors. Grateful for the depth of my family tree. Deep roots and experienced branches provide a lot of lines of sap for nurturing my growing connections to loved ones who walk in our earth mother. I also appreciate more deeply the energy of the eagle on this land, and the times for understanding the spread eagle beauties of life as well. Peace, joy love and beauty on the beauty way of happiness.
I read about Bow Hill on the map and it just hit me, that the yews here are the ones that may have provided their give away to make the bows for the two leggeds and their hunts and wars. This is a beautiful bowl shaped vale and I did not know that burial mounds lay at the top when we walked the trail through the woods to the top. Much like the indigenous people of Turtle Island, the ancestors here created burial mounds in high places so their relatives would have a good resting place. Greatful that this kind of exploration and connecting the dots, continues to allow me to come alive on my earth walk.
This is a close up of few fruits a found at Ely Cathedral when I did a ceremony in dry weather. I am struck by the red juicy arils and now learning about the red innner back I wonder about meditating on the significance of the red in the longevity of these tree relative. Close to the ground and living a long fruitful life! The red and green are so evocative that I had in my dream.
I was surprised to find this tree, considered an invasive weed in Minnesota, as part of this forest and clearing habitat. The buckthorn, hawthorn, blackberries and yews all growing in the same area and actually quite beautiful fruits. By their fruits ye shall know them. Wonder if Linneaus myself thought that. Anyway.
David took this photo of me, comparing the breadth of rootedness here. Many date trees such as this one from 500-2000 years. There is no clear ring structure I am told, so the actual age of each relative here is a mystery. I am so glad I was able to follow my dream to find this place and David was open and had such reliable transportant. BMW with sporty leg room, what a concept. Thansk for the memories.
Twisted dark shapes for me evoked the journey of Alice in Wonderland through the dark forest. Like looking at the shadow-addict in the human being. I almost was ready for the Cheshire cat to beam smile and ask, “Who are you? " And then, where is the worm with the hookah? I now can understand how many men feared to face their shadows and go into the dark woods and how some cultures still try to disconnect from nature and the tree nation, rather than embrace their fears and walk through the forest of feelings. I felt more alive and more connected to the land and my friend David as well journeyed up the hill, through this woods
This was a big branch on the first tree relative we discovered. We also were both struck by the awesome red inner bark, that first looked like someone had painted it. Yet, the red nature shined through on many of the trees. Almost a shimmering flame like quality of the elder trees. The feeling of a deep dark connection to these old ones, makes it easy to imagine the connection of the Hecate Myths to the underworld. When I return, I would like to be with these old ones overnight on a traditional hanblechia to learn more about ancient tree wisdom.
We encountered this first old one and its aura and energy was very serene as we walked through the rain. Both David and I notice the multiple nodules of old burls and then above many curved branches, that I have heard provided the long bows for many an army from many a yew forest in these green isles back in the day. THere are mostly yew planted around churchs and not many woods left like this remnant. David had never heard of this national preservation site.
David and I arrived at the unmanned visitors center with waves of rain coming in off the sea after a 3/4 mile walk in moisture. It is like the chalk hills are being doused with just enough water medicine to keep the thin veneer of life here vibrant. This is like a convergence of life here for me. The leaves freshly fallen in the rain on this plaque are from Hawthorn, the fruits that are a heart tonic. The haws bring a sense of joy to me, despite the rain. Some of the species running wild in North America are seemingly Native here. The nap weed , hosting the marbled white butterfly. Later on I discoverd buckthorn in its natural habitat! The nature trail began to lead us to some of the grandfather and grandmother yew trees, like I saw in my dream. The trail, marked as 3.5 km, goes in and out of the big yew trees and then into the open land leading to Bow Hill and some barrow where solitary haws, yews and yes even the native buckthorn are seen and photographed. David was a good sport to “carry on” here, as the slope on the chalk downs become quite slippery.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
David asked me to photograph his car as we began his journey. He had forgotten to bring his camera and I encouraged him to log on and download any of these photos for his use. This is quite the contrast to say the full parking lot at the National Trust Property of Stourhead we visited earlier on our journey! Thanks for the safe and adventuresome drive, my first in a BMW Z4 and somewhat of a "stretch" for me and my legs stretched just fine! Cheers.
When we read about this site, we noticed that there we few markings on the map and we were warned few signes by the small village near Chichester. Indeed this is the only sign we found by the parking lot, clueing us in that Eureka "we have found it"
I had a dream to visit these old tree relatives and I felt a quiet peace come to me as I breathed into the moist air, and began to envision other generations of people visiting here. Sadly we learned that during WW I some of the soldiers used these old ones for target practice. Again, the tree of life, is seen differently by different eyes. So with a 3/4 mile trip into the start of the Nature walk, here we began our walk into another time.
Earlier on our trip, I had noticed a pub at Stourhead called the Spread Eagle and shared some of my important energetic dreams- fantasies with David. So at the bottom of the hill in Midhurst we turned into the center of the town and then to top in off we found a parking spot in the rain behind this well preserved Inn, called the Spread Eagle Hotel and Spa. Voila" Trusting the process and the clues :-) Here is David next to the old leaded window where we enjoyed a splendid soup and beverage and I a proteinaceous lox like sandwich. In a brochure I read that Nazi leaders like Ribbentrop stayed here as they surveyed the land for their vision of conquest back in the day. Well, thankfully the Brits held them off! Ah yes, different eyes project different things onto a single animal spirit energy. Like reading the Bible, for me communication is a lot about metaphor! Thanks for the energies of the Spead Eagle and the fine nutrition.
When planning this trip I was concerned about my leg room in David's new car. And surprise when I got into it, there is plenty of room for my lower appendages! Voila! I thought of my sister Jane and her journey with her green convertible as David pushed a button to make our vehicle topless for our quick trip around the town of Wokingham Berkshire ( pronouced "bark shire")...must have a lot of canine energy here...Wolf wolf, Bark bark. Really a car that hugs the road even during the rains we experienced in West Sussex. We did put the top back up prior to our highway driving Thanks for the safe driving David and the flexible top energy of your wonderful pony!
Many folks think first of Stonehenge when we think of the henges or stone circles of Britain. When listening to Peter describe energetically how the energies of the stones relate, he mentioned that this is a cut group of stones and energetically is more controlling and less right brained than those at Avebury. (Enough already of the controlling terror driven male God idea I say dear!) For me, driving with David to find the ancient yews that we did find in Kingley Vale was a manifestation of my dream and connection to this land and it has been important to deselect to support myself energetically as well. THanks for the support to follow my dream as a quest to understand the dreams of others. As I saw trusting my process to the Sussex, and found more peace in the uncut stones of that area....More shall me re valed.
Here for our morning circle at breakfast, Peter S from Germany, David Currer, and the Feders from Michigan. We are sharing stories over our full English hearty breakfast here under the warm leadership for Sue Oxley. Thanks for the fun stories and the good energy! Peace and clarity prevail!
Here is Susan who took a look at the book Peter recently published with his woman partner about The Wessex Astrum. Reflections of the hexagon star on the landscape. Very holographic in the new paradigm and paradoxically reflects the earth center traditions that still "carry-on" in my experience is this beautiful land. Peace, love and harmony indeed! Joining Susan here is Royal Feder an MKP friend from Michigan who stayed here with his wife.
After the walk back from the tor I decided to capture the sign here on Bere Lane, named after one of the guys who served at the Abbey. Nice location for this very walkable town. And the proprietor Susan is an educator and indeed a tall person too. Thanks Susan for your presence!
Top of the morning, Top of the tor. Peter commented how calm it was for us here. This map reflects various levels of vision here. Notice the light blue arms coming into the tor from the west. Thats the level of the waters in the olden times. The yellow and the shapes reflect the astrological signs of Glastonbury and then of course there are the energy and ley lines that intersect and balance in the area that are of interest to those who honor the dragon energy of the spirit of this ancient archipeligo, that gives the energy to the land, the living Mother earth and all of us earth centered and living tree connected folks. While I was walking the tor, I invited a man who was local to join us, men and woman as we made the druidic pledge with had over hearts in a circle of hearts. The same guy walked by me at our B and B a while later on Bere Lane as I was photographing our lodging place. As our friend Mr Jung would remind us "notice the synchronicity" and I would add "breathe"!
Here are the two men from Faribault Minnesota, connecting after some years. We made the journey to Glastonbury to join my MKP Elder brothers and their female spouses and to be led by author Peter Knight, whom this author met in Avebury. For me, this provided closure-completion on a variety of levels. THanks David for your kind connection and support on this journey. Well done! as I have learned to say in the local English dialect. We did reflect on the bovine aroma that beckons us back to our childhoods in farm country in rural Southern Minnesota. Yah sure you betcha. David has a lot of family in the UK as his mum is a native and he has cousins still around the area and relatives through his partner, Bryan. More celebrations of the tree of life!
Here is a photo from our Faribault High School yearbook in 1965 with the author and David included. Grateful for the long term connections!
One of the MKP elders, Jim T from Washington State, mentioned he had been led to offer prayer ties at a special tree. I am grateful I had some tobacco and he some yellow clothe as I could add my prayers for balance in new beginings here. The hill contains an entire 3-D labyrinth for those pilgrims led to do that. Just the walk up and down was good enough for me this time!
I still smile with the sense of humor here in Britain. This is the sign I encountered prior to my second prilgrimage to the tor. I neglected to have a dog :-) on a leash here that might add fertilizer to the green landscape and when we reached the top of the tor, much of my focus, nasal and with my feet, was to notice the abundance of bovine excrement we might slip on at any time. Another understanding of the "slippery slope".
For years I have enjoy making connections with place dedicated to peace. Places like Camp Eagle Lake MN, where our MKP Community has done our NWTA weekends for several years, have made the decision to plant these poles often with the languages of the local two leggeds reflected on them. Here is the first I have seen with Latin, English, as Asian Language and the ancient runetic alphabet, I have experienced with my Viking Runetic ancestors, when I cast the runes for learning. THanks for the inspiration again!
At this point, we stopped to listen to the waters and meditate where a flexible yew tree protected the waters. At this point I even learned how to use the recording application on my new I phone, without dropping it into the misty waters! Hows that for balance?
One the way to pilgimage to the tor, Peter shared the peace and balance with the flowing and healing waters of Chalice Well. A place dedicated to balance and silence with the healing waters. Here I noticed the dark yews that are a portal to the well head. I am grateful we had time to stop and reflect and take in the healing waters..Thanks Peter! Here I met a variety of pilgrims including a young blond man from Joberg South Africa near the peace pole. Fun to celebrate the balance of this life!
While Peter was sharing this passion for the balance of the male and female ley lines on our way to the Tor, I was struck by the beauty of the green and red, with the pointed leaves of the holly. Also, I notice the sweet honey like smell of what appears to be blooming ivy along with walls here and at Avebury. The evocative Christian songs of the winter solstice season come to mind with the knowing of the beauty of the coming of the green time in the spring..
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
I flash back to one of my early teachers who talked about folks who are into "pookey-pookey" or "woo-woo". I just breathe and smile! This Shop, during the time of "swine flu" and Hogworts tickled my funny bone. For me a reflection of the layers of history and inner process we can do to get to our center of integrity and balance, and leave the world of projection behind. Ah, thanks for the image of the flying cosmic piglets. Now, on a practical level, is it safe for my immune system to get the H1N1 vaccine?
After our walk with Peter to check out the allignments in the ley line system of balance we were encouraged to spend time here. Clever displays abounded here. Noticing the marketing energy of places like this might have provided with quotes such as "Grandly constructed to entire the dullest minds to prayer" And "For maintenance of the regular life" heading for how the Somerset waters were drained like the fens near Ely to provide more land for farming. Thus explaining how this was one the "Isle of Avalon". This Abbey Church was noted for its length of 177m (580 ft) making it the longest known monastic church in the country. (size queeens?) Bury St Edmunds, at the other end of the St Michaels line, where my Bixby-Riddlesdale ancestors are from was a mere 174 m (570 ft) Wow, I lot of focused energy to bring these stones together. In the spirit of the green man I wonder, to put balance into the world and Creation? How would I know? I find mother earth and father sky in balance whereever I go. Interesting stories here.
Peter led us from the downtown sprire to St Johns Church. Prior to the opening of the church for us to visit the crypt of Joseph of Aremethia he invited us to walk this labyrinth, created by Sig Lonegren an immigrant from Vermont. Sig just appeared after we walking the labyrit and I captured him in a photo. No chance to check in about where he is today energetically. As I approached the labyrinth, I noticed a small dove feather and am grateful for the reflection of inner peace I experienced prior to his arrival. Later, Sue Oxley, our host at the Apple Tree House B and B on Bere Lane, reflected on how Sig's work has been a "gift" for her on her journey as a strong woman. Thanks for the memories Glastonbury and the balance of energy of male and female I witnessed and experienced here.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Peter Knight watches over one of my MKP elder brothers checking out the energy of this stone, as Lakotas would refer to it as a tunka oyate, a stone nation relative. According to Peter this stone, that to me looked like an egg as I rounded the corner to check it out, is called the omphalos of Glastonbury. For other interpretations of those who look at the Goddess and balance of Creation check out www.kathyjones.co.uk/books/glastonburygoddess.html. I like the gingko tree here as well, an ancient line from China one of which I supported my son Jesse planting in St Cloud prior to leaving Minnesota. Ah the green trees of life!
Peter Knight led us to the Lady Chapel, through which he describes the Mary current of the St Michael Line flows. We stood at the altar here in front, where I experienced a level of quiet and peace. According to legend it was here that Joseph of Arimethea was led to found a wood and wattle church in 160 AD, dedicated to Christ and St Peter, the rock as he is referred to in Christian lore. In 601 AD the Isle of Avalon was a monastic island and by 633 AD, according to Peter K (p 81 of his The Wessex Astrum) the Vdstusta Ecclesia had been walled up in order to preserve its sacred and crumbling stonework. A new abbey was built in 1082 and was demolished in 1110 so an even more magnificant ediface could be erected. The Abbey was quite the marketing tool for pilgrimage as the bodies of King Arthur and Queen Guenivere reputedly discovered by the monks were here. Once one of the richest abbeys in England, it was destroyed by Henry VIII's crew in 1539 and these are the remains of that plunder.
On our journey around the lake, this 81 yr old local plant veteran explained that the head of the Stour River is fed by six springs and that the valley is very protective from the storms off the sea, and thus these trees planted from around the world grow especially well. For me, another level of the temporate green soft climate of the southwest of England.
Here I am next to Davids BMW in the Osho Leela Parking Lot. I was wondering how I would fit in this sports car and I was amazed that my legs had ample room. Very smooth handling on the British roads. Felt very secure having David's smooth driving ability and was introduced to his tomtom GPS programmable friend that helped to navigate short routes that I could follow on my map.
David's photo of me walking toward the first Spread Eagle establishment we saw. After our walk around the lake, we stoped back in this complex for ice cream. Cheers!
Here is the lake at Stourhead I remember briefly visiting some 26 years ago with Susan and Nate. This time David Currer and I walked around the lake where many trees were doing very well from habitats around the world.
While "Minding my Gap" I was fortunate to meet another Weaver, Freddy here from the UK. Like other Weavers I have met, many trace their roots to Wales, whereas I am clear that my ancestor Jacob Weber (Weaver) who fought in the 1776 uprising against King George of England for the colony of Pennsylvania was the son of Johann Enoch Weber who emigrated from Baden Wuertemburg Germany in 1751. It is fun to me to meet men from all around the world who participate in our band in a good way.
One of the workshops included an intro by Bill Kauth, right, who introduced Ben and Shawn who described their involvement in Transition Towns in the UK. They encourage us to envision our communities of bicycle distances, where we can live a gift culture of sustainabliity where we need each other. These two men and along with one of the woman presenting in London described some of the communities who have printed their own money. Shawn's website, www.darkoptimism.org. For me, it is hopeful to be with men who have done their inner emotional work to set boundaries that we are creating nurturing communities, not social service agencies. A basic premise, is that energy allows us to do work, and that there are 4 scenarios to energy self sufficiency that are given 1)business as usual, 2) hopenessness and doom 3) a techno- fix - space odyssey and 4) the only sober one, is to create communities that know how to live in balance with less dependence on oil for energy. Thanks men for your vision and Shawn for mirroring in his autographing in my book "Dear Tom, I hope you find the book exciting and inspiring. Keep doing what makes you come alive" xShawn
One of the themes for our WEG is putting the auto and oil addictions of western society into perspective. Carrying on from Satish Kumar's invitation to welcome challenges with love, not fear, here is a dynamic young man, walking to our WEG tent to share his experience strength and hope, encouraging me in autographing my copy of "The Transition Timeline, for a local, resilient future", Green Books, "Dear Tom, I hope you find this book exciting and inspiring. Keep doing what makes you come alive".
Like one of my earlier mentors in the 1980's, to be conscious of what I need to do, to take care of myself, ch0osing to live, which is much more than choosing not to die! This seems to be an important map for building community as we leave the oil and create community as a response to peak oil and global warming challenges based in good science and wise community building. May we support each other in creating sober sane communities in the eco-logical paradigm in the 21st Century!
I rather enjoyed the puckering energy of this fruit as I passed to and from the manor house where we ate and slept to the tent where our WEG events were held. I had often heard of this fruit from the "sloe gin" in the past in some of those in the states who are alcoholically obcessed about hard liquor. According to Wikipaedia "In rural Britain so-called sloe gin is made from them, though this is not a true gin but an infusion of vodka, gin, or neutral spirits with the fruit to produce a liqueur. " I remember it being very sweet and an easy drunk, back in the day. And I do fancy fruits that can pucker a bit! Sour and bitter with the sweet!