2018 Fall | Earth-Love Newsletter
A friend from Northern California, who values both her Native American and European heritages, shared this story.
There were no signs in the vicinity noting this extraordinary natural phenomenon. Later, in the gift shop, I located a 1907 photo of a Klamath Chief, standing in full regalia, facing the same direction as this profile carved by nature. The photo had been taken very close to this creation of nature. His headdress was similar to the shape and size of the regalia on the nature-carved rock.
I have returned many times since to photograph and honor this amazing formation.
I have spoken with a few people from the various tribes of the area and none were familiar with the nature carving. We have since visited together to quietly pray, sing and honor the spirit of this site.
A Rock by Walker Creek
Small white flowers flourish on your face, sheltered
by your monumental arms. A vine clambers along your
crevasses. On your leeward side, stained ocher, orange,
white and green create a sandstone sculpture blending
with the ‘scape.
White clouds twist and unfurl past a pale crescent
moon. Ever unwinding coastal curls hover above a lone,
dark silhouette skimming the greened oak and coyote
bush clad hills.
A confluence of silences. Leaves-of-three bud in the
breeze. Rifts and splits birth your offspring scattered on
the slopes. Golden poppies and rosemary adorn your
soft, grass hair.
Stephanie Noble from the San Francisco Bay Area, shares this dream experience.
I’m with a group of women friends. We find ourselves outside of an abandoned museum in an old European-style city. The museum is built in the shape of a giant ship. As we enter into the great-room, the museum uproots itself from the earth and floats up and above the city sky-scape.
Recognizing we can’t leave, we elect to explore the many rooms. After enjoying some small glass cases with artifacts and items of magical power, we come upon one cavernous chamber where a great tree of concrete stands tall and forgotten. Winding flat pathways curve around the edges of the circular room, intersecting up and down around the trunk. We recognize it as a representation of the tree of life. While we knew there was a path upwards, the only one that appears to us is the one leading down into the basement of the forgotten structure. As we walk, I take in the detail carved into the tree. Someone had once painstakingly carved out lines to appear like bark. Further above us, branches reach out into an unknown empty canopy filled with leaves of stone. I feel a sadness enter my heart – the tree is not the living, glowing version of the tree of life I had always pictured. It’s only a symbol of the magic that has long been forgotten in the world.
As we enter the basement, we walk into a much smaller and cozier circular room with wooden floors and red tapestries on the wall. In this room, my mother and my friend’s daughter appear from behind us. Instinctively, we somehow know this is the time to perform a particular ritual, whereby we honor our maternal lineage and offer thanks and blessings to the generations past, and generations to come. We exchange ritual wine, laughter, and tears, as mothers and daughters embrace. As we complete the ritual, the ship again ‘docks’ onto the earth. We leave, holding one another by the shoulders, feeling a new sense of sisterhood. As we walk back into the world, we notice that, while seemingly all is the same, the storylines of our lives have shifted. Positive outcomes arrive where there had seemingly been none before. The work we did in the temple space of the museum ship has made a marked difference in our everyday lives. We awoke, witnessed, and engaged in the rituals of sacred earth magic within that forgotten space – and in doing so we have been gifted with the ability to bring magic back into our mundane lives.
It has taken me a long time to recognize my inherent gifts and connection to the Earth’s magic. I have hidden, fought, and run from the truth because it appeared so surreal, so impossible, my mind could not grasp the concept. But through the message of this dream, I have come closer to accepting myself. I have come to accept the reality of magic, as being part of the very reality of Earth itself. And the Earth, in turn, seeks our remembrance. It holds onto the vestiges of those forgotten times, mere symbols of once living worlds that contained such beauty and sacred ritual, now relegated to stories, myths, and folktales.
If we, with open heart and curious mind, seek to find Earth’s magic, we can be certain the Earth will welcome us with shimmering light and proud splendor, ready to take us on the journey of a lifetime.
The winds of change have come for me
They swirled and howled across the sea
They gathered tendrils on the shore
To gift me grains not seen before
Their soft bright seeds took tender root
And gathered lightly underfoot
So with each step I placed – anew
Spark struck, my veins drank deep –
This newsletter is entering its third year, thanks to your participation! I rarely know what each month’s going to bring. It works because you are willing to share your experiences of loving our Earth. I find that the extraordinary often lies in the most ordinary. You can see all past issues at this link.
This month, a sculptor, Almuth Tebbenhoff, shares her experience and perceptions of water through a piece she created that is currently on exhibit outside The Salisbury Museum, England. I’ve included a brief description and history of the location as it gives the context for her piece, and beautifully amplifies the meanings of both the water and the stone of which it is made.
Almuth Tebbenhoff describes the inspiration for her work as “The natural environment first, and then the context, and finally my own concerns…nature inspires awe and that awe underlies everything.”
“Anello Flow was a long time in the making. For years I had been mesmerised by the patterns water makes, whether as a wave or a babbling brook, or even gushing out of a tap or down a plughole. I once flew over the sea in a plane and, looking down, saw the whole bay of Genoa rippled in a regular pattern. Ever since then I had the suspicion that water, like everything else in nature, is perpetually heading towards symmetry. We see the dynamism of the interferences that prevent this perfection, with little windows of stillness from time to time. So when the idea for the water circle, or the circle of water, came to me, I headed to rivers and streams looking for patterns in the flowing water. For split seconds I’d see such patterns, but all the agents acting upon the water, such as gravity, stones, and wind would break them up again. Still it meant something to me, I felt I had understood something profound.”
Anello Flow is inspired by the location and deep history of the Salisbury area. Water has shaped the chalk landscape of Wessex and informed the position of the modern city. Nearly 800 years ago Salisbury Cathedral moved from its hilltop location at Old Sarum to the valley below to dominate the confluence of five rivers – the Avon, Nadder, Wylye, Bourne and Ebble. The Cathedral’s shallow foundations sit on a bed of river gravel saturated with water; it is often claimed the cathedral ‘floats’ and that’s why it still stands. It seems appropriate that Anello Flow sits alongside this floating stone edifice.
The sculpture also reaches into the museum’s collections. Prehistoric axeheads found in Wiltshire were made from stone found in Cornwall, north Wales, the Lake District and even jade from the north Italian Alps. The axes were parts of ‘distant places’—it is even possible the more distant and difficult the stone source was to reach, the more valued the item became. This could be represented on a grand scale with the bluestones at Stonehenge, having been quarried and transported from west Wales over 4,500 years ago.
Anello Flow is part of this continuum, stone from a distant place shaped by Almuth into a graceful form that is inspired by the very substance that underpins the history of the Wessex landscape.
Director, The Salisbury Museum
You can see more of Almuth’s amazing works in steel, stone, bronze and clay at http://www.tebbenhoff.org/art/
In My Blood
swollen, bubbling streams
water whorls patterned
like much mended
can we, too,
be the rain
from dark clouds
where or how