For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.

So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.

~~Hermann Hesse

wage peace

Wage peace with your breath.

Breathe in firemen and rubble,
breathe out whole buildings and flocks of red wing blackbirds.

Breathe in terrorists
and breathe out sleeping children and freshly mown fields.

Breathe in confusion and breathe out maple trees.

Breathe in the fallen and breathe out lifelong friendships intact.

Wage peace with your listening: hearing sirens, pray loud.

Remember your tools: flower seeds, clothes pins, clean rivers.

Make soup.

Play music, memorize the words for thank you in three languages.

Learn to knit, and make a hat.

Think of chaos as dancing raspberries,
imagine grief
as the outbreath of beauty
or the gesture of fish.

Swim for the other side.

Wage peace.

Never has the world seemed so fresh and precious:

Have a cup of tea and rejoice.

Act as if armistice has already arrived.
Celebrate today.

Judyth Hill, written the day after 9/11

…not sure when/where I found this one, but its been written in my personal grimoire for some time now

The Littlest Druid finds a good in the bad


Something we all need a reminder in…

Originally posted on Adventures and Musings of an Arch Druidess:

Aisling looked around at what was left of the tiny village, everywhere around her the building’s roofs smoked. Household goods were strewn over the landscape. People lay where they had been slain. The marks of the weapons clear to be seen. There was nothing here for a healer to do.

She looked at the other druids around her. Some were in tears, some were in shock, some were angry. Aisling wasn’t sure how she felt, numb?

In the middle of the night a young boy had come yelling into the Druid village about the sea raiders that had come to his village up the coast to the north. The Chief Druid had quickly roused all the people old enough to help and they had come as fast as their ponies would go but it wasn’t in time. It looked like the boy was the last one left from his village.

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I taught myself to live simply

by Anna Akhmatova*

I taught myself to live simply and wisely,
to look at the sky and pray to God,
and to wander long before evening
to tire my superfluous worries.
When the burdocks rustle in the ravine
and the yellow-red rowanberry cluster droops
I compose happy verses
about life’s decay, decay and beauty.
I come back. The fluffy cat
licks my palm, purrs so sweetly
and the fire flares bright
on the saw-mill turret by the lake.
Only the cry of a stork landing on the roof
occasionally breaks the silence.
If you knock on my door
I may not even hear.


*If I were to name the greatest poets in the world, at the top of the list I would put Anna Akhmatova. I first read her poem Requiem (which made me cry) in an anthology of women’s poetry in the 8th grade…my mom was working on her master’s degree, and I would wander the library at the university while she did research.

Anna Akhmatova chose to remain in Russia when many of her contemporaries were leaving, standing witness to the atrocitites of the Soviet regime. Her poetry is a reflection of that time…the good and the bad, the simple and the simply tragic. This poem, is among my favorites of hers. And I think, perfect for this time of the year…

more from The Wisdom of Amenhotep

Do not move the markers on the borders of fields,
Nor shift the position of the measuring-cord.
Do not be greedy for a cubit of land,
Nor encroach on the boundaries of a widow.

Recognize him who does this on earth:
He is an oppressor of the weak,
A foe bent on destroying your being,
The taking of life is in his eye.
His house is an enemy to the town,
His storage bins will be destroyed;
His wealth will be seized from his children’s hands,
His possessions will be given to another.

Beware of destroying the borders of fields.
Lest a terror carry you away . . .
Do not set your heart on wealth,
There is no ignoring Fate and Destiny;
Do not let your heart go straying,
Every man comes to his hour.

Do not strain to seek increase,
What you have, let it suffice you.
If riches come to you by theft,
They will not stay the night with you.
They made themselves wings like geese,
And flew away to the sky.

Do not rejoice in wealth from theft,
Nor complain of being poor.
If the leading archer presses forward,
His company abandons him;
The boat of the greedy is left on the mud,
While the bark of the silent sails with the wind.

Set your goodness before people,
Then you are greeted by all;

from The Wisdom of Amenhotep

Beware of stealing from a miserable man
And of raging against the cripple.
Do not stretch out your hand to touch an old man,
Nor snip at the words of an elder.
Don’t let yourself be involved in a fraudulent business,
Not desire the carrying out of it;
Do not get tired because of being interfered with,
Nor return an answer on your own.

The evildoer, throw him in the canal,
And he will bring back its slime.
The north wind comes down and ends his appointed hour,
It is joined to the tempest;
The thunder is high, the crocodiles are nasty,
O hot-headed man, what are you like?
he cries out, and his voice (reaches) heaven.
O Moon, make his crime manifest!
Row that we may ferry the evil man away,
For we will not act according to his evil nature;
Lift him up, give him your hand,
And leave him the hands of god;
Fill his gut with your own food
That he may be sated and ashamed.

Something else of value in the heart of God
Is to stop and think before speaking.

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Death of a Laptop

So, my blog will unfortunately not be updated with anything substantial for a bit longer as I refuse to peck out blog posts on my Kindle.

Phaedra Sprockett (my laptop) has died a glorious death. She lasted almost 5 years, a decent life for plastic and silicone and metal bits. We had many fun times together, but the children we a bit harsh on her hardware. I managed to replace her screen twice, but this final injustice (the breaking of her charging port) was just too much for her to bounce back from.

I may try to see if I can get the connection resoldered, but I think the damage is more extensive than that. In the mean time, we are still moving 3 states to the south (and I have a job waiting when I get there)…but in other news, the government may shut down and I might not be working for a few days. Not sure how all of that will pay out when it comes to getting a replacement for my computer.

And now, I’m off to the eye doctor (I got something in my eye over the weekend and now its infected). Oh, the drama!


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