If the eye of the heart is open, in each atom there will be one hundred secrets. ~ Attar
We’ve had a lovely holiday this year, slow, together, and merry…a welcome sabbath. It began in deep frost and snowstorms, but mellowed, offering warmer days to snowshoe in companionship with the 4-leggeds.
We hiked up the road to Aztalan State Park, a geography that to me always feels suffused with the spirits of the ancient people who inhabited this region. Snow-shoeing around the perimeter and then entering the vast spaces where the Woodland people and Mississippians lived brings me to stillness and contemplation.
The views are stunning and the quiet allows my imagination to see these ancient people planting, harvesting, gathering together for rituals…over there, two friends stand together, sharing their stories and village gossip, watching their children run and play. Individuals, families, a society, all the dreams and acts played out upon this stage so long ago seem to be present here still.
The essence of places, how they become saturated with the joys and sorrows that have been lived within their confines, have always attracted me. I’ve entered churches, homes, museums, hospitals, and battlegrounds where I’ve felt powerful energies washing over and through me. Specific emotions are often attached and sometimes jumbled. It doesn’t have to be an “obvious” place of personal or historical importance; I’ve been stopped in my tracks walking a forest path or an otherwise nondescript city block. Something happened here; what is it? Past and present both unfolding and overlapping: something or many things happened here, the energy of it/them is still moving here and now.
It’s taken a lifetime to master the effects of sensing and entering this residual energy: to name it, recognize its power, and stand peacefully within it, holding my place with humility, awareness, appreciation, and an understanding of how to maintain the integrity of my own energy while honoring the stories lived out here, perhaps unfolding still.
It seems to me that where our lives are lived and experienced vividly, and where intense, or just authentic emotions are named and shared, we are more likely to imprint the space with “memories” of these feelings. Perhaps that’s why so many modern office buildings and shopping malls fail to make an impression altogether; the people moving through these spaces are often numb, hurried, and out of touch with their hearts and spirits. More driven than present.
Take more time; cover less ground, wrote Thomas Merton, and over and over, I chant his words and notice my breath, and look again at the world around me, sensing the energy that’s passed, or that lingers and shares the space with me. How does one live fully? Wholly? How do I bless the world around me? How do I alter the energy here or amend it? How can I heal it? Where have I damaged it, and can it be mended and made right?
Hallowed spaces continue to bless us; those places still in need of healing deserve our blessing in turn. And the places where we live and move and have our own being need gentle vigilance regarding the energy we’re creating right now.
We weave our being into the earth and lives with which we share space every day. Or not. Our choices and actions, the degree to which we participate in our lives and connect to others, the devotion we give to conscious awareness of our world and its balance, the gifts and gratitude we offer openly, and the ways we shut down, avoid, deny, and disconnect–these create an energetic legacy. Whether our name is recalled or not, our energy affects what others feel now and will feel in the future.
I wish you a new year of grace and gentle peace; of wisdom and merry-making; of holy surprises and opportunities to share your gifts; of living from a joyful center; of good health and plentiful art; of laughter and holy tears and all the rounded offerings of being human; of the deep knowing that you are held by Love; of finding yourself in places sacred, and made more so by your presence; of creating energy that feeds your spirit and those spirits you love and those spirits yet to come.
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10 thoughts on “Energetic Legacies”
Your blessing for the New Year is very beautiful, as are your comments about the energy that moves through people and affect those around them. I enjoyed your photos very much as well. The start of a new year is an opportunity to define our direction, and to mark a new chapter. And I am moved by the way you have done so in this post. My best wishes to you and yours. And I join you in the hope that many of us will experience the new year in a personal way, meeting with all of nature around us, and integrating with it all as we begin the new chapter. Happy New Year, Kitty
Happy New Year to you, too, Shimon; thank you for your insights and the many kindnesses shared with me this past year. Blessings on our new chapters. 🙂 May the road be smooth and the integration lovely. Gentle peace.
I loved this and could relate completely to what you said. I am always aware of energy around me and come across strong energies in the most unexpected places. And yes, we must be mindful of what energy we leave for those who come after us to sense and care for our wild natural places and allow their harmony to be.
What a beautiful place to hike to……I felt like I was walking with the four of you, my kind of fun for sure. The snowy piccies are a treat for the eyes and the senses. A beautiful, happy, healthy New Year to you and yours Kitty.You are a special gift to your readers.xxx
Thank you, Dina; I’m so happy we met and have been able to recognize each other as kindred spirits…You would love the park, I’m sure. I knew you’d understand what I was saying about energy; it’s difficult to describe to people who have not experienced it (although I think we all have gifts we’re “trained” to ignore rather than master and share…because they don’t fit the scientific views of what it is to be a successful, presentable human), so I usually don’t try. I’m happy to be able to be with and work with energy, though before I understood it well, I certainly allowed it to affect and change me more than I should have…live and learn.
A blessed New Year to you and yours, Dina: bitterly cold here, so an excellent opportunity to try out new cocoa recipes and watch my English mysteries. 🙂 You are gift as well, and I am grateful.
Ah, yes.kindred spirits we are for sure. Now here is the thing…often I fail with words and struggle to express things like energy that you put into words for me, but that matters not a jot, for someone, that I’ve never met, who can say so beautifully what I know for a fact is real is unbelievable to me ….how often do you think that happens in my day to day life?…..shine on girl! And you are so right about what we are born with, most grow up in a material world and forget their instincts, my sister is exactly the same as me….but then we both grew up running wild in the mountains with parents who were free thinkers…..you do me so much good….a breath of fresh air you are!xxx
Thank you, yes; the internet’s wonder and ability to gift us with connection is amazing and worth celebrating. As a species, we do love to dwell on the negative, it seems; I love the spirit in your writing because it doesn’t deny or refute this, but pushes it aside to present the blessing inherent in a given situation. It’s a perspective that offers hope and joy. A grand reminder and helpful nudge…hooray for you.
What you say about place, energy and spirit resonates. Hard stuff to write about! I noticed a comment you made on Shimon’s blog and followed you here…glad I did! Hope you’re having a good new year so far.
Thank you; how kind of you to take the time to visit and then to share such a gentle and considerate comment…our new year has begun with both joy and challenge…tender reminders of the mysteries, grace, and intertwined griefs that are braided into the full experience and miracle of being human…They have pulled me into a need to be attentive and present in ways that, for now, preclude much photography and writing, but eventually, I’ll return to these activities, knowing I must, to feed and sustain my spirit.
I missed your usual post….and hope all is well…..now…..or getting better. Love always and hugs.xxx
Thank you, Dina…a great and unexpected (in its suddenness) loss has come to our family and we’re helping each other heal…your kindness and goodness matters so very much in this world: thank you, again.