Friday, November 13, 2009

The Sacred Energy of Wild Places

There is an energy at the core of Life, a sacred energy felt most apparently and keenly in those places we may refer to as "wild." For some of us, that place may truly be in a remote wilderness area. More likely it will be a place that is just a bit out of the way. But it seems to me that the place, whether near or far from the beaten track, will be a place that is as yet unexploited and unspoiled by the touch of man.

My husband and I discovered such a place about two weeks ago. One of our mini-excursions into the Maine countryside brought us unexpectedly to a wooded marshland. It was just a tad off of a main road that was not quite a highway, but a two-lane road well-traveled by local traffic.

We made a right turn on a street whose name I can't remember. What I do remember is that it was indeed, a "proper" town street-sign in white and green with a name bestowed on this road. But it was not in any sense your typical suburban or even country road.

I was stricken with my first view of the marsh. Forest encroached on all sides, rising above the area on gentle hills. The trees still retained some of their autumn splendor but were at least partly given over to the stark winter nakedness that makes their skeletons so much more gestural and poignant than their leafy summer counterparts.

I got out of the car and scanned the near distance. Woods, woods, and more woods, with a wetland in the middle that coalesced into a quiet stream that wound its way through the thicket.

At the side of the road, cattails abounded, rich in their brown fur and contrasting the more sparse occurrence of milkweed pod. Some of the pods were open to the skyward flurry of their gossamer white fuzz, while others remained closed and pregnant with the seed loads of future plants.

A huge beaver lodge graced the middle of the watery pool on the right side of the road, commanding the eye's attention, as would a mansion on the vast grounds of a manicured estate.

But this was no manicured estate. Although fairly close to the town of Norway in southwest Maine, it had all the trappings of a true wilderness. Bird calls of all ilks met my ears, like beacons of a distant time in the annals of Creation. The milkweed seeds, picked up by an intermittent breeze, sailed into the blue dome that reflected on the water below. Everywhere there was life. Thorns, red winter berries, the milkweed, swaths of emerald moss and the texture of the slightly churned water. Sweet pungent air, sparkling with sunlight. The auburn of spent foliage rimming the swamp.

I could almost hear our dear Mother Earth inviting me in her mysterious tongues to partake. She wanted me to embrace her, smell her, feel her caress, hear her song. She wanted to delight me. She wanted to pay homage to herself for her dignity, sustained in the face of ages of exploitation and consumption, by her own stubborn Being.

Years ago, I wrote a young adult novel (one of four, actually) about a teenage girl who has to leave the lowland plain between Brazil and Peru, to climb deep into the Andes. She had to undertake this journey because her tribe was dying out, and their only chance was for her to try to retrieve the ancient medical secrets of the Incas, from whom she had descended. The Boutiquin, the ancient medicine chest of the forest floor was dying out and only she, Liana, with the tenacity of the vine for which she was named, could make her way into the highland to fetch the ancient wisdom.

Along the way, repeatedly, she bent her head to the Earth and heard the Hum of Being.

In my writing, the "Hum of Being" was a contrivance to enhance the plot, an embellishment in my manuscript to bring home the feminist and earth stewardship themes of my book.

But last week, in that patch of wild made of forest and river and swamp, filled with sunshine and seeds and berries and birdsong, I heard the Hum of Being for myself. Have you ever heard it? What is your experience with finding yourself surrounded by the magic of a sacred place? For me, it is the among the very best and most inspiring of life experiences.

All photos and text copyright Lynda Lehmann. All rights reserved.

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  1. Oh, my Lynda. These are beautiful images and your words ring with truth and the awe for the inspiration of nature that I share.
    I get most inspiration from red rock country in the West, but sometimes it is simply "place," and the energy that abounds there.
    I just jumped over after posting on my blog and I'm heading back to edit it with a pointer to your post and photos.

  2. Hello Lynda~ your words are so beautiful and i so envy that picture of the beaver dam. i understand completely about finding that place which resonates deep within. i have a special place such as this back home (where i'm from). i miss it tremendously. thanks for sharing such beauty with us. have a great weekend.

  3. Excellent post. There are lots of beautiful pics on this blog. I was looking for such beautiful pics, and I am glad that I finally came here!

    Colon Cleanse |
    Colon Cleanse

  4. Gorgeous images and a great reminder that Fall is the season to go deep within.

  5. "I stood alone in the ancient Australian Rainforest, surround by brilliant intelligence and power. I knew I stood on sacred ground. Emanateing from this rich primative place was peace so healing it brought tears to eyes too long dry. Infiniately tender compassion reached out and undid every possible wrong ever thrust upon my soul.

    Humbled I sank to my knees on the forest floor and cried great handfuls of tears. Rocks, trees and plants vibrated with energy and held me while I wept. Life coursed througth every cell, vein and structure. Soft tentacles of light stretched out from giant trees and gently caressed my face. The forest knew how to LOVE... and it was loving ME."
    ~ Copyright: Robin Easton (Excerpt: Naked in Eden)

    Dearest Lynda, This whole post brought tears to my eyes and is particularly poignant for me. Before I read your words I wandered down through the stunning photos. Just beautiful. And as I looked at each one I thought this looks soooo familiar; I feel I have been here a hundred times. How amazing. I can't believe it. Then I was reading where you said, near Norway in southwest Maine. I grew up in Norway, Maine and have probably been to this exact spot. It is so so lovely it made me homesick. There's a beauty there in the wild that speaks to all things good and genlte and timeless, that speaks so deeply to the soul that it is never forgotten. Ever.

    You words melt my heart and reach me at the core of my soul. They are beautiful and reflect someone who is so passionately, so desperately in love with Nature that they can hardly stand it, hardly contain it. They can't. Niether can I dear Lynda. Your words leave me KNOWING who I am.

    Thank you dear dear soul friend. I am so grateful that YOU are. Much love, Robin

  6. ROBIN!

    This is uncanny!!!! I believe I told you in a previous note that I had been that day at a beautiful place, and that in taking in the beauty there, I thought of YOU!!! Do you remember the note in which I mentioned to you, my seeing the beautiful milkweed pod that I had not seen since childhood???

    WOW, I am a bit "freaked out" to discover that all the time when I wondered where in Maine you were from, it was Norway!!!

    I know many nature loving people but it was you I thought of on that day. An amazing coincidence.

    The words from your book are MAGNIFICENT. And I totally relate. I feel those vibrations, and that healing energy and compassion that radiate from the core of life.

    Oh my goodness, what can I say to this connection I feel to you, and the connection we both feel to the natural places?

  7. KATHY, I'll be over soon to visit. Thanks for the mention!!

    I too, love the red rock. As a matter of fact, the first time I saw Sedona, the tears literally streamed down my face. I wanted to fall to my knees in joy and gratitude, for the sunlight on the far trees and red cliffs above, but my family would have had a terrific laugh!

  8. MICHELLE - Tell me more about your "special place"!!! I'd love for you to share it with me...

  9. ACNE - Thanks for your visit and I'm glad you enjoyed the photos... :)

  10. CONDA - I think going deep within is the secret to finding not only beauty and solace, but our personal creativity and spiritual growth. It just CAN'T come from the outside.

    Our need to be always entertained prevents us from going within, don't you think?

    Have a great week, Conda!

  11. beautiful Lynda!!!
    your joy in nature emanates throughout..
    serendipitous moments abound ...
    so much that it's infectious ..
    I love the cattails and beaver's dam...

    my moment last week?
    pride and joy to see my son home (after 5 months of living away) and talking and laughing with his sister (like old times but in some ways.. richer)

  12. I agree, which is why most of my free time is spent in nature. Only there do I feel truly whole & at peace. Thanks for sharing your experience. It brings back many happy memories of many wonderful places I have found.

  13. KIM - I remember awhile back that you mentioned Alex was leaving but I didn't realize he'd been gone all these months. I'm happy for your joyous reunion!

    See, they are growing up! But we're not getting any older, are we? ;)

  14. LANA - I feel the same way, that being in nature makes me feel whole and at peace. We share that in common. We're both fortunate to be in areas where we can immerse ourselves in nature when we have the time to do so.

  15. Oh Lynda this is such a inspirational post. I didn't know that you wrote novels too. This is so cool, to be the Hum of Being yourself. I wish I could share that experience, the places I been everyone else been before me. May be one day.... Your images are surreal Lynda. Anna :)

  16. hi mate this is interesting article will make sure I check your posts more often! Really interesting articles.If anybody has an interesting articles you can share with me.Any way Ill be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.thanks for sharing good info.regards, I think you should try acai berry atleast once

  17. Thank you for showing wonderful scenery.

    From the Far East.


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