Today I sat on the ground and pulled weeds from my vegetable garden. It doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, but it has been four months since I sat on the earth. After the car accident that injured both feet, I have been limited in my day to day normal activities. It was a hard summer for me to not be able to sprawl out on the grass or sit in the dirt to pull weeds. I’ve had to hobble into the water to swim and hobble out again to get to my car.
I am an earth girl. Weeding is my therapy. Soil makes me happy. Today felt like a breakthrough.
There are so many things we take for granted—sitting on the earth, the people we love, normal activity, energy to do and be. If there was a lesson to be learned from this accident, it is this. Never take simple, beautiful things for granted.
I wish I could express to you how it felt to sit in the dirt with the sun over my left shoulder and a breeze on my face. I could feel fall in the air. I could feel summer leaving us. I felt my spirit rush back into my body in a way that I feared would never return. That is what has been the worst—feeling like a part of my spirit was still sitting with a crashed car on Highway 2 wondering what had just happened. I didn’t die (Thank God), but a part of me was still out there.
The Shamans and medicine people have long recognized that the spirit is not necessarily always with the body that it belongs to. I remember when we were in Pine Ridge in a ceremony intended to call back the spirit of children who had been wounded in life. It was so amazing to sit in the dark and feel and hear all that I felt and heard. And I remember reading this beautiful account of how the Carandera women healers of South America would take a woman who had been raped or abused and bury her in the earth. For several days they would tend her carefully and lovingly while they let the earth pull the hurt out of her body and bring her spirit back.
It was a funny feeling to feel my spirit fly back into my body today while sitting on the earth. I don’t think a human spirit has any age but perhaps is forever young. That spirit that came back to me was a girl who loves (above all) the earth and the sun and the rain and the wind. She definitely is an earth girl. She is the one who writes the stories I love, she is the one who knows exactly how to love or work with a person who is hurting. She is the one who delights in red tomatoes and dark, ripe berries. She is the one who takes me to the water every day to swim. She is the one.
At one point Milt came out to check on me while I was weeding. Again I felt like a little girl with a feat to perform. “Watch this,” I said as I put two palms flat on the ground and hoisted myself up into a standing position again.
Three months ago I tried that and nearly passed out from the blazing pain of trying to get upright again.
I don’t know a lot, but I know that Earth is our mother. She has the power to heal. She is beautiful. And she smells so good.
P.S. The picture is from 2 years ago, but is how I felt today. And please, treasure life and those you love. The time is now.
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