Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Middle-World Practice

it's never too late to start again. today, i went for a long walk by myself in my neighborhood. i noticed the old towering redwoods, liquid amber, maple, pepper trees, gingko, birch, willow, acacia...and the blooming shrubs and bushes - hydraengeas, roses, lemons, clematis, yarrow, willow, salvia, lavender and more. i looked up and praised the horse-tails and the blue sky. the warm sun bathe me. the streets were quiet. the wild blackberry bushes are pregnant. the neighbors' vegetable gardens are a delightful assortment of artichokes, sweet peas, tomatoes, basil, herbs.

i have lived in this neighborhood for 29 years. but i wasn't paying attention. walking around the neighborhood was just for my fitness. oh sure, i've noticed how it has changed over the years -- more houses, more development, more grocery stores, more people and cars, more of everything. except Land that hasn't been developed.

recently, i made a conscious decision to cultivate my relationship with this piece of land. it is a conscious decision because prior to this, my idea of land, as in homeland, has been located elsewhere where my body isn't. it makes sense that that my love of home-land, must include the earth beneath my feet.

and perhaps that is the point of developing this practice: the earth beneath my feet is literally my homeland.

as i was walking i thought of how i've spent the last three decades growing my intellect. read hundreds of books. learned academic jargon. wrote and published a lot of words. participated in online listserves. everything has been about words.

what about the language older than words? what has been my connection to this language? how do i reclaim it and befriend it?

i feel the answer closing in on me.