Earthing the Soul
By Maria Kornacki, CCSS Circle Member
Listen to presence inside poems.
Let them take you where they will.
Follow these private hints,
And never leave the premises
My soul is prompting me to listen, seeking company. Something awaits recognition.
I have learned to listen to my heart. My mind knows well how to hold my attention. My spirit sings with me. But my soul??
Today, the soul is stroking my attention, seeding a new language. Those impeccable words from Rumi are reshaped for me to hear in a different way.
Listen to presence in the soul.
Let it take you where it will.
Follow these private hints
And never leave the premises.
Ah, such an invitation – never leave the premises. I could go for that. The question is: how to step into those elusive premises. For now, I am concealed in a spring garden. A neighbour passes by on her daily walk. She doesn’t notice me. I am soaked in stillness, merged with this hint from the soul.
A sunny flash whisks by and settles on a wooden post by a young pine. An oriole. I have tied the slender trunk of this pine to the post, using strips from a threadbare old pillow case. There’s a fringe of loose thread along the edges of the strips where they’ve been ripped apart. The oriole reaches with her bill for a dangling thread but is unable to release it. She calls out loudly and her mate appears. He hops and and chatters in noisy brilliance but does nothing to help. “Typical”, I whisper with a knowing smile. How come he has no idea what she’s up to? But maybe I’m the one who has no idea.
I go over to the young pine and release some of those dangling threads from the strip edges. I place them in a wee cluster on top of the post. Soon they are gone. I feel inordinately pleased with my contribution to the oriole’s nest building efforts. The innocence of this simple act gives me pause. I want nothing but to sit in the lap of this garden and follow the hints within these folds. The elusive premises seem no further than a step beyond my door. Is this the soul’s prompting? Minutely attentive, I breathe into this presence, task and agenda all shelved with ease.
A breeze lifts the leaves of a chokecherry close by and brushes a lilac bush. Lilac fragrance drifts my way. Lily of the valley, warmed by the sun, serves up its own pungent aroma and I am awash in scent bearing breezes. A host of flowering shrubs and perennial greeneries are full on with their annual parade.
Early mornings, with sunlight angling through the branches of an oak grove, I enjoy watering the tiny seeds I’ve scattered in the garden. Cosmos, nasturtium, dill and parsley, lettuce and beets and kale. Each day I sigh my pleasure as I wait for tiny fists in the ground to thrust up their sweetly newborn stems.
Today I find that shoots of seeded bush bean are just breaking ground. Lettuce, beets, kale, are birthing their tiny leaflets. But tomatoes, lovingly nursed in a sunny window and only just transplanted, have been rudely chopped down, chewed through at the base of the stem. Maybe the cutworm. A first for me, so a total surprise. A friend offers advice which I follow faithfully. It starts with eggs for breakfast. Then I crush the shells and sprinkle the pieces around the stems of newly planted seedlings, begged from another friend. It seems the cutworm doesn’t like those knife-sharp shell edges.
A nesting robin hops through our modest veggie patch, searching for worms, dipping its bill into the exposed dark earth.
In a small woodlot behind me, more surprises. A secret flower, face turned earthwards, is concealed beneath the umbrella shaped leaves of mayapple.
Wild columbine dangles delicate petals on slender stems. Trilliums bloom briefly. High above the woodland floor, foliage is unfurling, feasting on sunlight, expanding the leafy canopy. Swamped by shade, the trilliums slowly fade.
But here comes a wild display of phlox-like flowers, rising beyond the fading trilliums. I’ve noticed this flower as it gathers thickly along roadside ditches. I discover that it has various names; dame’s rocket, vesper flower, damask-violet, dame’s-violet. But my favourite name captures its sweet scented promise with these words: Mother-of-the-evening. Aah! How that name suits the lushly flowered clusters, releasing their evening fragrance.
Earth Mother and her spreading skirts. The blanketed soil a spacious lap, with columbine, mayapple, trillium, and fern quilted into the sweet scented cover. Mother of all days and all evenings, with her secret and private hints, inviting to never leave the premises. Who can ignore this richly textured presence. It takes me where it will.
The robin is back, hopping ahead of one of her young. The adult tilts her head, listening and dipping, poking the soil for a worm. The young one hops along behind. Mother and child, doing what they do on this earthen ground, with innocent certainty.
I join the throng and curl up in this basin of a lap. A whisper of breeze is fanning the ferns and brushing the brow of this earthing soul.
What would it be like to listen to the presence of your soul, venturing onto your own premises, following it’s secret and private hints, to where it takes you?
Song: “Hace Tuto Guagu”
Here is a beautifully restful lullaby from Chile that’s been humming in my head.
Close your eyes, curl up with your soul in that earthen lap, and note how your breathing slows and deepens…