Wednesday, February 19, 2014

giving thanks (and honoring the birds, honoring the Mother)

Today it is sunny, a balmy midwest breeze tumbling the decaying remnants of autumn's fling across salt dusted roads and sidewalks.  As I Moose and I take our morning constitutional, I am almost lulled into believing Spring is around the corner.  The robins being particularly chatty this morning and the earth under my hands feels spongy, awake and alive.

This is my practice.  To every day take time to place my hands upon the ground, feeling the energy of Mother Earth pulsating under receptive palms, giving thanks for the gift of my life, my place in this magnificent web of existence.  As I breath in deeply, I realize healing flows in two directions: the surge of energy I receive in turn asks for my loving touch, prayers for health and balance and strength to flow back to our planet as she is in desperate need of our nurturance and care.

I savor this day because I know tomorrow things will boomarang back to Winter.  Snow, slush, biting winds and dark skies.  I welcome it as we need the moisture and I am not quite ready to leave the slow pace and inward focus that Winter fosters within me.  As I walk through my neighborhood, I enjoy the opportunity to see the bounty of birds nests from last year.  Winter's bareness affords me the chance to witness treasures hidden the rest of the year.  

I want to take time to celebrate the many hidden joys in my life right now.  The crowds of finches, juncos, sparrows, and cardinals who congregate daily at my feeders and then gather in the bushes outside my dining room window, seeking shelter from the wind and snow.  The hours of my day are announced by the repeated return of downy woodpecker to the suet feeder. (I hear his chirp chirp and run to the window to receive his greeting.) 

And more recently, I have been blessed by a pair of hawks who may be house hunting, a tree in the neighboring field offering a commanding view of the area and its many rabbit dwellings.  Hawk has been a faithful guide and guardian to me for over a decade now.  I found my first hawk feather at the end of a pivotal yoga training program and hawk continues to shower me with a multitude of gifts and insights along with feathers.  (note: it is illegal in the United States to possess raptor feathers including hawk without proper permits from state and federal agencies and in no way am I advocating or suggesting holding onto these treasures. It is enough to be gifted their presence on my path.)

Hawk seems to have claimed Cowgirl as well and we share in the delight of spying a hawk soaring overhead or perched in a tree or light pole.  Cowgirl has a special affinity with the feathered ones; turkey, hummingbird, owl, eagle, penguin are her companions in soft plush forms and also in Nature.  I recently shared with her that she has many powerful guides and guardians and when she is scared or having a rough time she can call upon them and they will be by her side in support, giving her energy and guidance.  This has resulted in her dragon (Blaze Thunderbolt) helping out on a few spelling tests!  But it also has brought about a subtle but discernible shift in her self confidence and manner in which she carries herself.  

Recognizing and celebrating my connection with Nature and understanding myself as a piece of that whole has brought about my own sense of empowerment and ability.  It is this gift I want to honor daily, returning the favor - gifting back the energy and love so freely given to me - making each day Mother's Day and an opportunity to celebrate and give thanks. 


  1. Blaze Thunderbolt! I am in love!

  2. Those brief moments in between other "weather" are pure treasure. I, too, have been looking to the earth, although it seems frozen, to seek solace in this interminable winter. Falcon is in our neighborhood (I feel we may have called him here with our feeder, providing juicy morsels). Is it really illegal to possess a feather you found on the ground? We may have similar laws in Canada, it just never occurred to me that such a gift should be anything else but.

    1. I just did a quick check and the same holds true in Canada. In fact, there may be laws extending to possessing any "bits of Wildlife" which obviously would be quite a task to police but just a cautionary FYI these things can carry fines and are deemed illegal. On the one hand, I see the point "what's the harm?" in picking up a feather but the idea being the collection/possession of such objects renders them valuable and desirable and then that opens up the can of worms in terms of the lengths others will go to procure feathers and other bits of wildlife. It is the same argument for wearing a fur coat - yes, the harm has already been done and it was grandmothers and I am not buying a new fur coat ... but by wearing it, I am making it fashionable/desirable to others who may not care how they obtain a coat. It feeds a market for these items.

  3. such honouring.....I feel much the same

    they whole legal not legal issue....well we all must live in the level of responsibility that we see fit...I'll give to "Ceasar what is Ceasar's"...and leave it at that ; )

    beautiful post Lis
    love and light

  4. Beautiful sentiments! Every day should be Mother's Day. Even on the coldest day, she provides peace and comfort with sparkly snow on dark green boughs, the sound "chick-a-dee-dee-dee", and so much more. Love hawk, she has been there for me since my younger days. Finally, being farther north has allowed me to see her more often, especially on my route to and from work. Love! xoxo

  5. I found your site when looking to see if there is a day set aside for honoring birds. Instead of that fact for my mind, I found your beautiful message enriching my heart. In the future I shall stop to feel the ground (to be grounded in Earth's energy) with thanks to you.