Stop, Drop & Live
Yesterday’s sunrise reminded me – yet again – we are not meant to suffer. We are meant to live. Blazing, grateful, joyous, paying attention, harmonizing with each other and the day, just LIVE.
(This, by the way, is a message I’ve been receiving from my ancestral kin for some time now. In an all-night ancestral journey on November 1st of this year, sitting fireside in the kiva with a dear sister, from sunset to sunrise, I was having a gentle conversation with an ancient aunt who turned to me at one point and said, “sweetheart, you’re fucked. Just live.” I appreciate this level of clarity; a thing our ancestors are quite good at, if we listen. If I’m not mistaken, it was at this point in the journey that she and a few other ancestors decided the smartest thing I could do at this point was to get up, go inside and make that potato leek soup I’d been thinking of making, with the potatoes from the last harvest.)
Yesterday was the Winter Solstice. The longest night and shortest day of the year. The year when the day hangs in a beautifully quiet balance between this and that, a threshold of wonder. It won’t get any darker (though it certainly might feel like it does, for all sorts of reasons). And as the shortest day emerged out from underneath the mantel of a full-moon night, the sun blazed up over the horizon as a gift of brilliant pink, orange and turquoise. The Swainson’s Black Morph hawk that has claimed the first field was already awake, earlier than usual, hunting for the rabbits who only show their precious fluffy cottontails at sunrise these days.
The littlest wolf, the elkhound and I found ourselves out there in the fields at 7:15 am because to stay indoors seemed be an assault to our souls I was certain none of us would recover from. And yet again the message was clear; beauty is a way of being. There is being-ness all around us. So many things simply being themselves and in this they are, each and every one of them, beautiful and well. Humans in western culture are rarely doing this, and as a result, so few of us genuinely well. But everyone else around us – those intrepid non-humans whom we have not scared or killed off – are doing a marvelous job being themselves. And in doing so, in being themselves, they are living well. And it is beautiful.
If the invitation, which might even be a mandate at this point, is to simply live beautifully (and perhaps to live beautifully simple), we have endless role modeling for how this might look. If we stop long enough to drop to our knees and take notice of what is happening all around us. We might drop to our knees at first because we can no longer stand, because we feel like we want to give up. And once we’re down there, we might notice there is so much happening that is eminently right, that is simply, beautifully living, that we realize we’ve gone about this living business all wrong. Remarkably wrong. Exceptionally, miraculously, brilliantly in-nearly-all-ways wrong.
And yet, the sun did this, this morning, on the first day of Winter. It greeted us, over here to the North of town, with this beautiful display of living, in its endless dance with the cottonwoods, the field grasses and the flat irons adorned with a dusting of newly fallen snow, a gentle “hello” from Winter just arrived.
We are so marvelously cared for. Despite the absurd and dangerous stories man has concocted to the contrary. We are part of a beautiful thing that is so beautifully, simply living, living simply. It is all around us. We are, at once its stewards and its beneficiaries.
May the simple invitation to Live Beautifully find its way to your doorstep. May you hear it ring your bell. May you be in residence to invite it in.