Mother, are you ok?
In November 2016, in Wellington, New Zealand, we were shaken by a significant earthquake I think just before midnight on the 14th. It shook me awake. The first thought that popped into my head was, “Mother Earth, are you ok?”
The next day and the many days following, perhaps for a few weeks, I found myself in the evenings sitting cross-legged on my rug, palms together, singing a song for our Mother. I would sing it over and over, mesmerised by the sounds as they washed over me, completely hooking me. I was compelled to sing. I really had no choice. It was like She wanted me to, even more, like She needed me to. We were communing.
In the 1970s there was a genocide in Cambodia. That land is soaked in blood. One evening with my friend, we meditated on the seashore in Kep, a seaside town in Cambodia. I told her I would go deep into the earth in my meditation, and she decided to go high in the sky in her meditation. We’d share afterward how we felt. I went deep and I felt the trauma of the land holding so much torment and death and blood.
Then we developed a workshop immersion for participants to explore how they can heal Earth and how Earth heals us. We called it Healing Earth. We took great care of our Cambodian participants. We wanted to avoid them going too deep into the trauma of their land and struggling to come out again.
calling for Mother
Our mutual communication, She and I, began many hours before the earthquake struck. All of that day - it was a Sunday - I had an urge to sit in meditation. A particular meditation that calls to Mother Earth, to call on Her for compassion and protection, for Her comfort. I’d only once been called to practice this meditation before and that was after the death of my mother and her mother only a couple of weeks apart and I felt I had lost my matrilineal compass. Understandably, to me, I now felt a resistance to practicing this meditation again and wondered why I had such a strong pull to do so at the same time. Eventually I did the meditation. Hours later She rumbled and quaked, and so I had to ask Her in Her rumbling, “Mother, are you ok?” Because we were communing.
talking to plants
I began talking to my houseplants a few weeks ago. The first time I had a chat with one of my plants it made me cry. I felt so tender towards her. She, and my other plant I chat with, have grown a multitude of new shoots in these past weeks and I do wonder if it’s an expression of feeling loved. Maybe I should ask her.
We wanted to take Healing Earth to China. I had been to China a couple of times before. I had seen the black faces of Chinese coal workers after a day in the coal mines, their town covered in soot, a mirror of their faces. I had been to a valley that was shaped like a turtle, the locals would say, and was good feng shui. Tiny Animist temples dotted the way through the valley and womb-shaped tombs carved into the walls of the valley were plentiful. I found it profound to think that upon death is a return to the womb of Mother Earth. I asked why the womb-shape and its meaning to them and they couldn’t say why. I wondered if they had forgotten the why.
In the end, we didn’t go to China with Healing Earth. Our schedules couldn’t line up. We tried Bali but no-one signed up. Maybe it was too confrontational in Bali, you know, the land for Balinese so scarce now.
I ask my plants if they need water and they say yes or no. I use a kinesiology technique to ‘hear’ the answer. I don’t know the language of plants, yet, or of stones. But I know someone who does. So I'll keep listening.
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