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Land as a Spiritual Path

April 26, 2017

 I grew up on 24 acres outside of Wimer in southern Oregon. This magical land included our south facing homesite, the tiny fertile valley of East Evans Creek and the northern slopes of a mountain where we shade camped in summer. In the spring the oaks shot forth little green hands and the piney woods were flush with native dogwood. These creamy teachers have been my constant companion through many moves--north to Grants Pass, Cottage Grove, Forest Grove, Portland and the painful, beautiful, permutation of unstable home. Because of this I learned to embrace my rootedness in the land, to call myself not just by the ancient words of my ancestors: pagan--of the countryside--or heathen--of the heath--but landan. Of the land. I don't own the place where I live. I have learned the hard way that ownership is temporary. But the lesson of my transience sings in the trees, in the sacred plants, in the earth, the stones, the bones, and so everywhere the Land is home.
Dogwood keeps another secret--how to bloom. What appears as her large white petals are not the flower. Her flowers are tiny, multitudes, at the center. The pollinators know.
This glorious bunch today brought me ease, magic, amid an exhaustive storm of caregiving and worry. I love the plant teachers so much: they remind me to step out of my head and into being.
And so it is.
Where do you find home? What plants have held you, walked with you through your living? What spirits does your land hold?

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