|"The actual color of the moon depends on air quality." - NASA|
|Forests smoke from space|
Last night Pete and I had to leave home when our neighbor started burning his garbage, in his fireplace. His practices are not uncommon, not every one who has a fireplace burns their garbage; but, there are no air quality police and this man does what he wants when he wants.
When we first moved here I had contacted with him, telling him about my health condition and the need to be informed if he ever used chemical pesticides or herbicides. "I never use pesticides."
I also talked to him about burning (wood). He told me, "I don't burn fires." Obviously that has changed over the years, and there is no communication between us. There is very little communication with any of our neighbors.
Every one of our neighbors is a land-owner. Private property is their value. But none of them will maintain the common gravel road that is regularly used by all, is rutted from use and depressed with pot holes. That remains a practice Pete has done. He does it because he was trained to mend. He does it because it's important to our old Subaru.
We are the only renters in the neighborhood; we live under-the-wire with a lifestyle that is different than the one land owners abide by. I'm writing about this because it seems to fit with the current conditions of the sky ... in more than one level of the meaning. The orange sky is a night time reminder of the air that is now filled with the charred remains of one of our oldest and tallest Teachers. Trees are burning. Trees are burning because ... Earth's climate is in chaos. It is not changing, it has changed. Not for the first time, life on Turtle Island is in huli upheaval.
Oh, how differently would the view from Skywoman's home of origin be ... if we all began listening and knowing Skywoman, rather than Eve as the First Mother. Robin Wall Kimmerer, a woman who is feeding me stories that consolidate my gains, rather than focus on my losses, writes in Braiding Sweetgrass, "On one side of the world were people whose relationship with the living world was shaped by Skywoman, who created a garden for the well-being of all. On the other side was another woman with a garden and a tree. But for tsting its fruit, she was banished from the garden and the gates clanged shut behind her. That mother of men was made to wander in the wilderness and earn her bread by the sweat of her brow, not by filling her mouth with the sweet juicy fruits that bend the branches low. In order to eat, she was instructed to subdue the wilderness into which she was cast. Same species, same earth, different stories...They tell us who we are (our stories). We are inevitably shaped by them no matter how distant they may be from our consciousness. One story leads to the generous embrace of the living world, the other to banishment...And then they met--the offspring of Skywoman and the children of Eve--and the land around us bears the scars of that meeting, the echoes of our stories. They say that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and I can only imagine the conversation between Eve and Skywoman: "Sister, you got the short end of the stick ..."
When I awoke to the journey as Navigator and Translator, it was the limitation and reality of living with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities that opened my eyes, eyes and heart to precisely what Wall describes: "We are inevitably shaped by (our stories) no matter how distant they may be from our consciousness." Again and again I have acknowledged the deep and sustaining value of living in our car, setting up our nighttime home in her small enclosure, while being at the edge of the Ocean at a place I had known since a tiny girl. The Moon, Grandmother Moon, rose from our Ocean to light our way. She was indeed showing us the way home. From those 2007 engagements my life has been timed by Mahina, the Moon.
My throat, eyes, ears and lungs burn from the air filled with the charred sadness of the Tall Ones. Kimmerer's words in Braiding Sweetgrass continues to counsel me with a picture, and stories that consolidate the gains, and the losses. "If all the world is a commodity, how poor we grow. When all the world is a gift in motion, how wealthy we become." Kimmerer continues to feed me this, "In the old times, our elders say, the trees talked to each other. They'd stand in their own council and craft a plan. But scientists decided long ago that plants were deaf and mute, locked in isolation without communication ... Until quiet recently no one seriously explored the possibility that plants might "speak" to one another. But pollen has been carried reliably on the wind for eons, communicated by males to receptive female[.] There is now compelling evidence that our elders were right--trees are talking to one another. They communicate via pheromones, hormonelike compounds that are wafted on the breeze, laden with meanings...The downwind trees catch the drift, sensing those few molecules of alarm, the whiff of danger...Forewarned is forearmed...The individual benefits, and so does the entire grove. Trees appear to be talking about mutual defense..."Smack in the middle of the Navigating and Translating of life, like Skywoman falling, I have fallen through or off the edge, more than once. I wonder, marveling really, when I wake up after one more challenge to keep breathing. Last night while we sat in our Subaru, looking at the orange fullness of Mahina the Moon, Pete and I both rewound the nights when we were at the Ocean's shore at the Tide Pools of O'ahu's South shore. Navigating, bundled in quilts and nestling as best we could with pillows. We fell, and dreamed. Snoring a bit the dreams were scattered and shrouded, like the Sky.
Elsa P. writes of this time from her astrological sky perspective. "Saturn is direct consolidate your losses and your gains." Many people comment on her post and cite their experiences with the planet of consolidation (Saturn) and mastery in the sign of loss or gain/life and death (Scorpio). The perspective I experiences is large and deep. It's the subtitle to my kuleana as Navigator and Translator.
The sadness, tears and difficulty breathing is no less the experience of Mother Earth as her skin burns from the wildfires in many places across the roundness of her being. What it takes for me to keep breathing is a small mirror of her experience. I make adjustments: bundle myself and my loved one Pete, and turn the key to our Subaru. We navigate away, for a time. We return hours later to the lingering smoke from our neighbor's garbage burn. With Saturn in Scorpio, I recognize my last fling at public expression (teaching in small groups) is a loss that must be let go. That part of my identity (Sun in Scorpio in the 10th House of Public Career) is dead.
Consolidating the gains and the losses I am grateful for this Quonset Hut that has an air filter to aid breathing. We invested in this small space, and the appliance when there were resources (money). Serving others through our example, I write as if my life depended upon it. And, it does. I gift it, as Gathered Magic and take the next breath. Is that what the Trees have told their entire grove when the first Tree sniffed the smell of wildfire? Did they send the gift of gathered magic ... telling the next, and the next ... there will be another time and place for dreaming the world as a gift in motion?
I hope so.