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Staying Put

The tree service has come to trim the lane today. Our property has an easement, allowing the neighbors to access their home via a lane that runs along our eastern edge.

The chainsaws blast through the living wood, indiscriminately. The giant mulcher grinds away at bark and leaf and pupae and nest alike. A wave of terror runs through the land, registering firmly in my solar plexus.

I go inside to hide from the sound. I want to leave so I don't have to feel this trembling terror coursing through the Grove. As I still myself and tap into the grid of energy here, I realize that the trees cannot leave.

They have no flight instinct. They cannot dissociate. They are present. Grounded. Fully aware of the threat, and they must stay put.

They feel the rough brutality of the chain against the tender growth of their kin with complete empathy, and no capacity to flee. They stand in perfect integrity, completely centered in themselves, completely connected to the whole of the web of life here, and completely surrendered to what befalls them.

They are teaching me now, always, how to bear loving witness and stay put. How to stay centered. In integrity. Connected to essence. Even as the pruning comes. Even as innocent lives are affected by the machine of human need.

My solar plexus still pulses with grief, powerlessness, the impulse to fight or run, but some deep part of me softens. I surrender to feeling all of this without turning away. I surrender to bearing witness to the realities of what we create in this world, without running or numbing or avoiding.

I need to move, because as a mammal that is how danger leaves my body. I shake and dance and stretch for my own processing of this pain, and for the trees, the cardinals, the owls and squirrels and rabbits. I breathe to accept the realities of this life, and to stay connected to love in spite of them.


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