Being Here Now

2013-10-21 09.12.34

Dear Miracles,

February pads closer to March and I am amazed at the changes I witness. The grasses, trees, flowers and shrubs taking on a verdant green after a particularly wet month and a very dry 2011. Birds and squirrels coming out to sniff the air, test the weather, and contemplate building and re-building their spring & summer hideaways. The hawk that sits in my backyard tree stoically while mockingbirds screech at it, and the owl that mysteriously hoots at me but has yet to reveal itself. The biggest changes are in my little one–my miracle boy who will celebrate year number one on March 1st.

I remember when I was a kid that living in South Central Texas confused the heck out of me. I would look at the calendars and posters of seasons and think: that’s not what fall looks like, there must be something wrong with this place! Now that I am older, and, ahem, wiser I know that seasons rarely accord with the posters and generic calendars. In San Antonio February is our wet month, caught somewhere between winter & spring and usually sprinkled with a few days that foretell what summer will be like.

For those who attempt to live closer to natural cycles and local habitats it is important to notice what your seasons look like, what they taste like and feel like. Perhaps you have a season of butterflies (late September/early October here in SA when the monarchs migrate to Mexico), the season of trees running with sexy sap (happening right now!), Pecan nuts falling down season-(late August through the end of October and sometimes into November depending on warmth) the season of dry winds across the grass-(middle of July).

I have also been noticing my specific place more, so that I see the way the sunlight falls in my backyard which is pretty important when you are planning a vegetable patch, and how right before the exit off the major highway that leads to my house there is a family of vultures, two of whom are always sitting on the street lamps-in fact I am thinking of my neighborhood more and more as Buzzard’s Crossing!

This noticing has the effect of grounding me more firmly in the present moment, indicating to me what steps need to be taken in my ritual work & even allowing me to provide clearer divination. As a full time mom and sacred artist I do get exhausted-but going outside and sitting with my trees and the creatures that live in & around them restores me and more often than not lays down a clear direction for me to follow. There are so many ways to keep track of seasons, cycles, and pulse of the land, whether living in the city or the country and I have been more aware of rhythms & cycles living in the city than I was the last few years I lived out in the country for sure. Keeping a journal, investing in some field guides, or even taking a class on flora & fauna identification are all great places to start. Personally, I am a big fan of cooking & preparing local foods that have been grown and harvested from farms around my city. Last year in the middle of a terrible drought we had some fairly small and ugly looking peaches & pears-but they were the sweetest tasting the land had produced in several seasons.

All of these changes and developments have the whiff of alchemy, that arcane science and philosophy that was interested in transforming the basic into the rarefied & precious, the immanent into the transcendent. One of my favorite divine paradoxes is how immersion in the deep cycles and wells of knowing in the natural world can root us more firmly in our selves and at the same time inspire us to look beyond ourselves.

And so it is with love that I ask you all…

What are you looking towards today?

10 responses to “Being Here Now

  1. Beautiful post Bri!!!

    I live in Boston MA and love the flow of the seasons. They are usually so distinct and create such a wonderful space for planting new seeds in the spring, basking in the lazy expansiveness of summer, harvesting and enjoying the abundance of fall, and then snuggling in for a long winters rest.

    BUT- this year has been confusing! We never had winter. The weather has been very mild and warm like springtime. There has been no snow to speak of. I really miss the snuggled in feeling that comes with snow storms and freezing whether!

    I’ve been very busy incubating ideas and planting new seeds in my life and business. I’ve had the strong desire to create!!!
    Today I’m looking forward to bringing all my creations to life.

    Maybe I’ll rest in the summer time under a big shady tree?


  2. This is oh-so-timely for me. I’ve been living in the future moment for a week or so now, anticipating a milestone in a big project. I love the reminder to be. here. now. I find this is easier when I’m practicing yoga regularly — the intense focus (at first) on my breath slips easily into better awareness of the present moment, even off the mat. Lovely reminder — thank you!

  3. I love this too…. wow.

    I’ve also been living more in the future lately (worried about something which may or may not come to pass).

    This is so ironic, because I keep thinking more and more lately about needing to get out into nature (for me, specifically, it’s the trees… and I desperately miss the fabulous trees from up north. Weeping Willows are my absolute favorite… but also Japanese Maples…). I keep finding myself putting it off here, though, because Florida doesn’t really feel like home to me, and the nature here doesn’t feel like nature at all…

    That sounds crazy, I know… but that’s how it feels.

    I’m happy to sit on the back porch with the fans on and just notice the sounds of the trees, and the birds, and watching the dragonflies and lizards doing their thing (hoping a lizard doesn’t catch & eat a dragonfly before my eyes!). Other than that, I cannot seem to get into it!

    I guess, as long as I’m present in those moments, that’s really the point. And maybe I need to just learn to appreciate the unique brand of Florida nature for what it is…

    I can say for sure that it’s super important to me to be able to be super present and learn (ever more clearly) to listen & feel deeply.

  4. Claire on said:

    We moved toa new house nearly two years ago and I still find I’m tuning in to the house and the garden. I lived in my old house my whole life and was confined to one room for so many years that I felt like the house was an extension of myself.

    I love being able to sit looking out of our patio doors and see the garden and the wildlife. At the moment there’s two blackbirds duking it out over a harrassed looking female and just this minute I’ve seen the first blue tits returning for the spring. Thank you for making me open my eyes and taking it all in again.

  5. Can I just say, I love Buzzard’s Crossing? That’s like, Harry Potter-esque. Delightfully whimsical.

    One of the many, many awesome things about bringing Rain (our Shiba Inu) home is that I’ve been spending a lot more time walking around. (I’ve also been biking more in the last few weeks, now that the weather is nicer.) We just don’t see the world the same from inside a car as we do on foot or on a bike – everything is so much closer and more vivid. There are people in the neighborhood that I wouldn’t recognize if they walked up and said hi, but I know what their gardens and yards look like! I know where the cleavers grow (Rain likes to eat them, silly dog) and how different the trees out front look depending on what the sky looks like and where the sidewalk ends. It’s nice to have that kind of awareness.

  6. Miss Bri on said:

    Hey Leah!
    I was just in Boston in January :-) Now for my Southwestern Texan blood it seemed pretty chilly BUT my friends that I was visiting assured me it had been quite mild. I love the idea of bringing all of your creations to life-that is so appropriate given the coming spring when so many plants and animals will be birthing and re-birthing.
    Blessings to you too!

  7. Miss Bri on said:

    Hey Jessica–its so true about yoga, I have recently picked up my practice again-in large part thanks to you and your blog-and that was definitely part of the inspiration behind this post!

  8. Miss Bri on said:

    Hey Angel,
    I totally hear what you are saying here-I have lived in 3 very different regions over the past 10 years and I definitely connected to some of them more than others. I think that you are absolutely right-just sitting-whether truly taken with the landscape and surroundings or not-is the first step!

  9. Miss Bri on said:

    I have several friends in the UK and spring there always sounds fantastic and reminds me of the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins! I hope you have a beautiful season :-)

  10. Miss Bri on said:

    Hey Michelle,
    Teehee–I had not thought of Harry Potter but you are right! Its so tru about walking-I don’t drive and we live in a pedestrian neighborhood (a feat in San Antonio) so I walk around a lot-I have found it makes me more patient but it also is one of my favorite ways to connect with the natural world all around me!