As the season changes towards First Fruits, how do you balance extreme realities?
— the inert face of parched earth with the juiciness of ripe stone fruits and berries?
(If you are in the Northern Hemisphere, read on, because extremes can also be felt in the transition from winter to spring).
Living with extremes
How do you balance extreme dryness and extreme floods; deprivation and abundance; despair and hope?
Or your fear of nature’s fierceness with your love of nature’s peacefulness?
How can you balance your despair at what is happening to our planet with a belief in the restorative power of nature and even of humanity?
Standing like a tree
In yoga, there’s a posture called the tree pose. In this pose you stand on one leg while bending the other and drawing the foot into your inner thigh. The challenge of this pose is to maintain balance.
According to my yoga teacher, the secret is to begin by strengthing the standing leg and its connection to the earth. That leg needs to remain grounded and steady to hold the pose. Then even on just one leg, you can raise your arms and place your palms together over your head, and enter into the serenity and stability of a tree.
Two seasonal realities
At First Fruits in Atoreaora New Zealand we hold two realities: Te Waru, the season of deprivation in the seasonal cycle of Te Ao Maori, and the fulfilment of the first harvest — Lugnasad — in the seasonal cycle of European agriculture.
Have you felt the fierce dryness of Te Waru as Australia burns? Even if you have been shutting out the realities of climate change, the smoke enveloping Aotearoa over the summer has carried its warnings.
What can be done?
You can maintain balance, not by shutting off distressing realities but by learning to hold them, along with the realities that sustain you.
Both are needed.
May you stand like a green, healthy tree, rooted to the earth.
May you find balance between fear for the earth and love for the earth.
May the earth itself show you what to do, and what is your part.
Out of balance, may right action flow.
Only when our feet learn once again how to walk in a sacred manner, and our hearts hear the real music of creation, can we bring the world back into balance.
PS Would you like to learn more about the sacred way and how to bring your connection with the earth into balance?
My Sacred Earth course will take you there. For the first time I’ll be teaching the practice of ‘tree breathing’ to heal your separation from nature and restore the oneness that you need to sustain you and bring you into balance and steadiness.
Act now before registrations close on Feb 3!