Time Being: Mud Season as Opportunity
In the northern hemisphere, as winter melts into spring, nature reminds us that change is inevitable and constant. Yet growth is optional. Are you ready?
Here in rural New England on the East Coast of the United States, as winter melts into spring, nature reminds us that change is inevitable and constant. This time of year can be very challenging emotionally and physically for many people. Like most wild animals, I often feel impatient, tired of being confined, and hungry for new growth at the end of winter. No matter how ready I may be for “things to be different,” accepting change can be difficult and nourishment scarce to find.
There is excitement as the rivers thaw, the ground gets squishy, and I begin to smell the earth again. Sap begins to flow in the maple trees. There’s a sense of lifting in the space under my heart. Then it all freezes up again, hard, crunchy or slippery underfoot. The unevenness forces me to slow down and more actively sense the ground underneath me as I seek to maintain balance between freeze and flow.
For me, mud season is an opportunity to invite change in for a cup of tea. It reminds me that yes, change is inevitable, yet growth is optional. There is sweetness in the sap once it begins to flow.
• Are you ready to embrace the messiness of what is in this time of transition?
• What forgotten bulbs of truth are pushing their way to the surface in your life?
• Are you as curious as I am about where this remarkable time of personal, cultural and planetary transformation is taking us?
In this season between seasons, I am invoking the powerful universal wisdom of water, and its never-ending ability to change states, to guide me. The snow and ice become slush: water in its gel state. Then more there’s more activation and it melts further and begins to move more rapidly as liquid. And then water evaporates moving even more quickly as vapor, to travel great distances before condensing back into liquid as spring rains.
We are water. Our bodies take form in water. At birth, we journey out of the water onto land where we contain an inner ocean in every cell. Water is what sustains all life on earth. We cannot separate our bodies from the bodies of water on this planet. Humans even scour the universe for other signs of life in other places - evidence of water - to point us towards new places and spaces we can explore.
Embodying these elemental truths, and living like water, is at the center of my professional and personal practices. To help people understand the interconnections between the health of the planet’s water bodies and the health of human bodies and communities has never been more urgent a mission.
To embody and explore this interconnectivity, I invited Raine Brown, a devoted participant in my Continuum classes, to collaborate with me on a new performance piece. She brought me a new poem that started forming in a recent class, Time Being, and I instantly saw myself performing a site-specific dance piece set on the ice in the middle of the Cold River near Raine’s house. Luckily winter returned the week we filmed to slow the melt of the river and I found the just right peninsula of ice to work with. Here is Raine’s poem and the filmed performance piece:
I slip beneath the river of time
to the place it is before it was born
I settle in the soft silt of this nesting place
Time lies beside me teaching me its ways nowhere to go
I stretch the length of the riverbed time coaching me in the language of infinity a blade of river grass an eon a passing eel a century
The current flows over me the current flows through me
I lengthen in time out of time with time
Time calls me to play we chase and tumble in rapids leap and drop over waterfall grow wide and divide continents
trickle thin and know a forest floor
We swirl and swirl and swirl spreading slowing laughing
Drop down again below settle in the soft space me in time time in me flowing free everywhere be
Again, to help people understand the interconnections between the health of the planet’s water bodies and the health of human bodies and communities has never been more urgent a mission. Will you join me? Drink more water! Become a protector of a body of water near you! Take a Continuum class and learn how moving like water can help heal your body and the water bodies of the planet.