Two things here: 1. New understandings of Connection, 2. You can now sign up for my summer school PER WEEKEND or all at once. Read on...
Recently I have been reading The Hidden Life of Trees, by Peter Wohlleben. It turns out that trees communicate with one another through scent carried on the wind, through electricity passed (very slowly) through the root system to other trees, and through the web of fungi connecting the trees of the woods.
"The most astonishing thing about trees is how social they are. The trees in a forest care for each other, sometimes even going so far as to nourish the stump of a felled tree for centuries after it was cut down by feeding it sugars and other nutrients, and so keeping it alive through its roots."
This is all part of a 'true wood.' Because it turns out that trees planted by humans are without these skills or traits. The damage done to the roots of seedlings when they are removed from the nursery and replanted in the woods diminishes the inherent ability to communicate. Similarly, crops and domesticated plants are not connected as in the wild.
"When we step into farm fields, the vegetation becomes very quiet. Thanks to selective breeding, our cultivated plants have, for the most part, lost their ability to communicate above or below ground - you could say they are deaf and dumb."
This reading took me by surprise, but was driven home a few days later when I heard about how the Seneca people of North America were relocated for dam projects in the 1950s. Within two years of being moved, almost all of the Seneca elders had passed away because of losing their connection to the land they knew - the land that they were a fundamental part of.
I thought of myself. Does my modern mobility come at a cost I can't even comprehend? Am I as deaf and dumb as the domesticated plants that can't talk to others via the 'wood wide web'? Am I so disconnected that I don't even realize what connection used to be mine?
I imagine so.
Seasons of food, cycles of the moon, tides, profound rituals of nature and tribe are not at the center of my life or my planning or my decision-making. So now what? How to tune in? How to replant myself? Can I relearn these connections without elders? Can I graft myself into the ways of the natural world like an apple tree branch?
I must say, I am doubtful. This is deep knowing. But I am aware now. And I can lean into what is available to me.
"The reason trees share food and communicate is that they need each other. It takes a forest to create a microclimate suitable for tree growth and sustenance. So it's not surprising that isolated trees have far shorter lives than those living connected together in forests."
I know that I need. I know I wax and wane. Physically and emotionally and spiritually. So I can work to reconnect to my community. To make my abilities as available as possible. To look to find others who are listening to nature, willing to share what they know.
The moon is my calendar is a great tool to start to chart your tasks and energy according to the phase of the moon. I am planning to explore this with my mom starting in June. Join in if you like. Kate Northrup has developed a business strategy to align your projects with natural cycles of visibility, production, harvest, and fertile void. Fascinating to hear the stories of success people have found in these alignments.
Listen for where you feel alone or silent or disconnected. Don't lose heart, but look for how you can reroot. What nurtures you? Reach out. Share out. We are all in need of one another.
With my yoga practice I reconnect to my breath, my body, and all its lineage of evolution from cell to spine to spirit. The chakra system that follows the length of my spine lets me tune in to the energy of the Universe no matter where I am. An inner root system. An ethernet connection to the planets, elements, frequencies that we have cultivated and refined through our 4 billion years becoming earthlings. Keep coming. We can all continue to tune in - to ourselves, to each other - to remember.
Summer School with WANDERLUST is this June and July, Saturdays noon - 3pm at Federal Hill.
We will use the book produced by the amazing team that created the international WANDERLUST festivals. The book has 8 chapters, we will cover one chapter each week. Each week has an asana sequence that I will teach. It also has yoga history, philosophy topics, essays from leading teachers, and journaling prompts to make the topics your own. It is an opportunity to join a community to expand your understanding of yoga and give new meaning to each studio class you take.
NEW PRICING. You can buy all 8 3-hour classes at once for $350 (includes a copy of the book!)
OR, NEWLY AVAILABLE: $60 per weekend if you can only attend a few during the summer. We want you to be able to come whenever, however you can. Come for some, come for all, we can't wait to see you!
June 3, 10, 17, 24 & July 1, 15, 22, 29 noon - 3 at Federal Hill.
My instagram and the event FB page have summaries of each chapter/week posted, so get interested and take a look! Email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org