Roots

Sitting with the mighty Sweet Gum

Sitting with the mighty Sweet Gum

“All things must come to its roots from where it is planted.”
~ Saint Teresa of Avila

“Maybe you are searching among the branches for what only appears in the roots.”  ~ Rumi

go to the roots —
to the roots
where moonlight lives,
where ancestors
breathe
into the dark side of trees.

go to the roots,
to the roots…

it’s not time to flower
it’s not time to leaf —
just stay in the roots,
where dream-time fungal filaments
carry signals across miles of forest floor,
where thousands of microscopic beings
eat death and give birth
without asking why.

down deep in the roots
there are shoots
of memories
anchoring above-ground
trunks and branches
where wind dances
where birds’ wings wave.

let’s go to the roots,
to the decaying
worm-rot of the beginning’s end;

there you can spend
hours noticing
what it takes to nourish
the walking ground,
the talking sound
of life.

*November 17, 2011 (renovation of a poem I wrote last year) — a rule of thumb in the world of the naturalist is that the roots spread out and go as deep as the above-ground portion (limbs and branches) of the tree.  Of course, this reality goes to the heart of most realizations in spiritual traditions — as above, so below…as below, so above…  In order to be a whole person, we have to explore the dark and light of our humanity — in its innocent expression of parts of our whole being.

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