There is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling. It’s why you were born. And how you become most truly alive.
~ Oprah Winfrey
Ever since I was a small child when my mother took me in hand and we roamed the woods near our house in Michigan, showing me plants, blue robins eggs in the crotch of a tree’s nest, and showed me the good black earth of the woods, I have felt a special relationship with the living things of nature. I have always felt most at home watching the bugs making their homes in the rotten logs, or seeing how moss grows on those logs, or seeing the passing of the seasons as plants make leaves, flowers, fruit and seeds, the processes of life in the world. All aspects of nature have fascinated me. And they have given me great joy. I am empowered by the colors of the leaves in fall, the fields of color in the spring as the wild flowers bloom, by the smells of good earth in the garden, by the call of birds in the morning, and the stars shining down in the night.
What man makes, huge cities, big machines, technology, television, the arts transmitted over media, all impress me. And I am supported by that work so I owe a debt of thanks and survival to all those efforts and the organization of man to make them. But I never forget that without the benefits of nature, of the good earth growing the food, producing the clear air, none of that would matter or even survive for long. It’s the foundation for all we do.
I am grateful for the medicines of the corporations right up to the point where it by-passes my own body’s ability to fight off diseases and stay healthy. I am more grateful for the bounty of the naturally growing plants which provide those things which the body has affinity for and which the body can use to be strong.
Being a spiritual being aware of the limits of a one body system, and knowing that when one body passes, another takes its place, my old memories come back to remind me who I am and what I can do with the natural world. To me it is not only a play ground, but a tremendous teacher, an endless source of fascination and entertainment, of joy, of happiness and of life for myself which goes beyond the one body at a time game we all are playing, and a resource for survival. I have known I am a healer, a bringer of succor, and wellness. That I can talk to the earth like a mother to a child, and get it to bring forth food and beauty. But I can also feel the presence of other spiritual beings who are likewise guiding the hive of bees, the flock of birds, the mound of ants and I feel in harmony with them.
For someone who rarely remembers exactly what happened 4 days ago (I live mostly in the future), being able to recognize and remember an herb or a material for healing, its name, its many uses if I’ve studied it well enough to know those things, and how to help someone (even myself at times) feel better comes naturally to me.
Before my hands became tightened by the arthritis of long use, I had the ‘touch’. I can still do it but without the strength of former times. And I can often perceive into a body and know what is going on with it. I know when in time I have gained those skills. I also know the limits of the reach towards others based not on my own skills but on the awareness or lack of it and the inability of others to be healed or know certain things. People have barriers built of pain and suffering around them which it is difficult to transcend with herbs and touch alone.
It takes a more spiritual approach which I have found. I now understand that people have ladders of awareness and willingness which they must themselves ascend before any real healing can take place, either physically, mentally or spiritually. And that the real healing only takes place with the beings, spiritually, themselves. We use the body to challenge ourselves to gain knowledge about ourselves and others, and to experience the sensations and joys of playing with others to know ourselves. And we live to help others – in that is the greatest joy.
So, my calling is to use the living earth and all its living forms to myself survive and to help others survive well, to pass on as much wisdom as I myself learn to aid in that survival, and to heal the suffering of others as I can. I am happiest when I am under the blue sky, with my hands in the dirt, talking to the little plants or thanking them for their bounty, or when I am teaching others about what I know and sharing the knowledge and wisdom, to see their eyes light up and ‘get it’. That’s my journey.
The wonderful husband I share my life with, who is my life mate and greatest friend, makes that life complete. The little fur people we share our lives with further complete our lives. The many friends who we are connected with are the ones who make life joyful and meaningful. The interchange between all of us is the wonderful dance of life, the game of vitality and learning and of play. If there is an urge to any of this, it is to make things better and have us all play at a higher and higher level, with more beauty, creativity, richness of experience and humor.
When I look at a little plant, I see the spirit in it. I even hear the beingness of it, as alive as any being who can speak. I often hear its needs and particularly I experience its beauty, its orderliness, its purpose, its feeling itself existing, and I respect it. But I know that aliveness isn’t the green stem or the leaf. When I pluck a fruit or leaf, or harvest a plant, dig a root, take the life of it for my own purposes, I feel the life of the little plant move on to the next process of form. That is true for animals who are destined to feed people or other animals. We receive the bounty of energy.
Like the people of native Indian cultures who thank their kill and ask permission to take their bodies for their survival, then respect the being who gave them their forms, I always thank the being who made my steak or chicken leg, and the hen who gave me her egg. Somehow I feel it arrives at the one who made the sacrifice. The admiration and respect of that action seems to remove some of the negative energy of the ‘death’. But if I were to kill an animal for its meat, I would do like the Indians and ask and thank and respect. And I will not practice cruelty or willingly give pain or suffering to an animal while deriving the substances I need to survive physically. It must be a clean thing and quick. That is not possible in our current culture and is one of the things I regret most about our modern civilization. Yet this body of mine requires animal flesh and does not do well with vegetative food only. So, it is with this planet since the beginning of human life here.
My calling is to teach, to put in order and sanity wherever I can, to help my fellows live a better, higher form of life, to have joy and happiness, and to be free while playing that game, dancing that dance. Ultimately, it is the playing of that game with full knowledge of the rules, so the game is played with deep understanding, of respecting others while having one’s own self-determinism, of growing to a knowledge of all sides of the game, of all viewpoints, and having the ability to bring sanity and good harmony all around.
I think about those things when I am transplanting a little seedling, or planning a garden, or helping someone design their own environment for best survival on all levels of life, and when I talk to a friend who has a trouble or who is working to become more able and free. It’s all part of the quilt of life I am sewing. And if I do it right, everyone who I inter-relate with comes away better. For that I receive life force in abundance, and the energy to keep working away at learning, teaching, writing, creating beauty and workable environments, while gaining, myself, increased knowledge and wisdom.
And for it also, I am happy, creative, and able to admire, giving and receiving the joy of living.