Permanence of Place

by Anya Arthen

Crisp is the air
breathtaking,
the colors of fall.
Birds in flight high above the treetops.
These are not the geese.
Small wings beat
flutter, flutter, soar
they disappear out of view.

The sun starts to play on the color speckled leaves. It is taking its time to cross over the horizon and then the rooftops of the neighboring homes.
We are a spiral winding. 

Permanence of place.
There is something special about stepping outside and sitting with the same trees, the same blades of grass, the same earth, Every Day. 
I’ve known this conceptually.
In fact I’ve been encouraged to build these connections by various teachers of my spiritual path.
Logically, conceptually, I understood. 
But, I did not truly feel it, until the slowing down of the world brought on by a pandemic forced me to find respite in place.
So I would venture out, grateful for the privilege of the slice of nature that surrounds me. I would sit observing, breathing, being, with the trees, the grasses, birds and rodents, rocks and soil, with dew, frost, rain, and sky.
And today I sit here once more, feeling a deep sense of connection, reverence, and awe.

Photo by Anya Arthen

There is a familiarity between me and this place. One that could only be created by being together with intention – with breath, awareness and gratitude. 

Permanence of place.
In the ever changing world of an ever changing life my soul holds the imprints of the wilderness I have had the pleasure to embrace. 

Thick brambled woods, heron standing in a swampy, mucky pond. Fields of wild cornflowers, bell flowers, daisies, so tall I could get lost in them. Innocence. 

Next came the ocean, the vastest body of water I have ever encountered.
From the shores I played on you could see an unreachable island, a smooth, rounded, out-jutting — perhaps the back of an ancient creature dreaming.
The full moon would rise out of the ocean so large you could almost touch her, sending her reflection on gentle waves out to shore.

The ocean was my growing up, it was playfulness and lust, it was pleasure and laughter.
Though I didn’t know it in these words at that time, the ocean was a place of release. It is where I would turn, to transform deep anger or sadness. Walking up and down the shores along the path where salty water barely touched the sand, ever shifting with the coming and going tide. 

And now I am back in fields and forests and with trees, working together to build permanence of place.
Place, where I — where we — can live with intention.
Place, where one day I hope to see the tree branches shake with the laughter of children.
Place.
Permanence of place.
As permanent as anything in this world can ever be.
A place to root my being to.
A place to spiral through time with.

You can find more of Anya’s writing on EarthSpirit Voices by clicking her name below. You can learn more about her work as a naturopath at Earthen Medicine.

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