The sun warm, the breeze cool, I prepare the yard in our city neighborhood for winter.
I plant tulip bulbs that have multiplied from an Easter plant alongside the walkway leading up to our front porch. Alongside this walk, the Shasta daisies are dried and stalky. The hostas wilted, appear weary and sprawl towards the earth. I find pockets of space in the ground to dig into the soil, placing the bulbs, covering up with soil and stray leaves and parts of formerly blooming flowers.
I press seed balls that contain seeds for spring and summer blooms randomly into the soil throughout my yard.
This is an act of faith in Divine Order.
I trust that even with the chill of winter, under the frozen ground, life stirs ever so slowly and will emerge in another season, another calendar year, another turn in the spiral.
Smaller water containers sit beside rain barrels that we use to water the dozen raised beds on our corner lot, that populate the front, side and now completely take over the back yard. I take the containers and stack them alongside the shed for the winter. I clear the front porch and picnic table of gardening implements.
I don’t rake leaves until mid to late March before they get moldy. Keeping them in the garden beds is lovely, it offers cover from deep frost and much of the leaves decay, becoming rich soil.
Good dirt is golden for gardeners.
This yard used to house at one point, a swimming pool, a swing set and an entire play-yard,
As my kids got older, we gradually invited a wild presence into the back-yard, first with a small herb garden, adding flower beds along the perimeters of the wood fencing which led to a couple container gardens to raised beds to the spring of 2020, the pandemic, where we now have an entire system of the previously mentioned dozen raised beds. Ivy covers parts of the fencing and metal spray painted bed frames lean against this fencing. Various types of grasses, two butterfly bushes and shrubs add texture to our yard.
There is very little lawn, but a picnic table, grill, fire pit, smoker and paths around the raised beds surrounded by the grasses and shrubs.
We scatter wildflower seeds in late May and see what happens. This year, the curbside area of grass surprised us with colorful wildflowers and a giant sunflower tree that housed (we counted) over 60 sunflower heads.
I walk everyday with my little dog on urban trails by rivers, by railroad tracks. One leg of this trail system has a greenhouse and beautiful, well maintained flower gardens. I teach yoga here mornings and evenings in late spring, summer and early fall. It is delicious to be in Triangle or laying on one’s back as geese, sparrows, and occasionally an adult and juvenile bald eagle fly by announcing their place in the family of Beings.
Some parts of this trail meander through former industrial sites, some still functioning, others abandoned, windows broken, graffiti tags on structures. Through these latter spaces, wildness emerges. Through cracks in concrete appear various plants that we call weeds. Plants that know how to thrive in conditions not designed for them to exist.
I pay close attention to all of these ways of existing.
The number on many speed limit signs.
My current age.
The felt sense, the animal nature of my body drives my curiosity.
This felt sense drives my yearning towards leaning away from the racing thoughts of the mind and the intellectualization/analyzing life in the headspace to the living, breathing, ever ancient, ever new planet Earth, Gaia, that is our home, the place where our ancestors walked, their bones still here, and the space where we get serious about making this a possible habitation for the next seven generations and beyond.
The senses can lead us here to our home in the family of all species created.
There are the smells of earth, rich, and loamy.
We absorb the sounds of nature that strive to be recreated/replicated by drums/woodwinds/strings and more.
There exists waters of life, our oceans and connected watersheds. All humanity is born of woman. All life is born of water.
Amniotic fluid has about 2% salinity. Oceans have 3.0% salinity. We are birthed from a place of connective watershed with water that contains minerals and nutrients that nourish and support our life in the womb.
Water and Women. Interwoven, the lifeblood of existence. This is where I direct my attention and awareness.
Here, I reclaim my wild nature. The part of me that lies below the veneer of politeness, of niceness.
Everything I need to reclaim this, I already have, my voice, my body, my breath.
Sound emits from my voice that veers from humming, to sounds that predate language, vibration from the uuuu sound land deep in the space between the pelvic bowl and the base of the spine to oooohhh in the center of my body to aaaahhhh at the heart and throat and back to the hum sound which I can feel in my jaw, my temple, my cheekbones and at the crown of my head.
Movements that originate from the side body and pelvic bowl offer me the freedom I never knew I needed.
Most of our activities of daily life are in the frontal plane. The fluid nature of my spine reminds me I am of water. My feet make contact with the solid support of earth below. I place my hands and feet on earth as an offering, a prayer that shows my gratitude for this life, this breath.
I find that of fire in my nature as my feet move slowly, my whole body swaying and moving in response inviting movement that extends from my core, heating, glowing, digesting, metabolizing my awareness of my wildness.
My breath, spacious and expansive, fully releases on the exhale, the cycle continuing, expanding and contracting with intention. Even single celled organisms have this pulsation.
Here I exist.
55 years of Age.
Tending to my Wild Spaces.