how we become

The soup pot bubbles on the stove. A savory aroma of garlic, rosemary and oregano permeate the kitchen. My hands move instinctively, peeling and chopping root vegetables. A rhythmic swish of the knife through the carrots, syncopated by a sweeping whoosh into the pot. In the background a woman’s melodic chant radiate from a speaker. Smoke spirals up from a smoldering juniper bundle. I am preparing for the moon circle. These are the sights, smells and sounds of my meditation ritual before welcoming a group of women into my home. We always begin with food — it makes the most sense to me that we nourish our physical bodies before we feed our metaphysical bodies. Sharing in circle requires vulnerability. Vulnerability demands bravery, so I offer sustenance supportive to the nervous system. Courage on an empty stomach seems defeatist. With full bellies, we spend the first part of circle coming back into our bodies specifically because for most of us, we live disconnected from the body.

Similarly, I prepare the earth to receive seeds. The soft whisper as the prongs of the broad fork enter the soil. The heavy breath and muffled grunts of the one wielding the tool. A dankly sweet smell of healthy soil intermingled with human sweat wafts along the breeze. The wind tickles the leaves of the trees. The cicadas croon. Water splashes in a bucket. Muddied hands sweep across sturdy thighs. These are the sights, sounds and smells of preparing for planting. The confines of my garden is a sacred space wherein I let go of my Self and open to the interactive exchange of creativity. My hands darken from the dirt. My mind disentangles from all thoughts apart from a sonorous yet silent contemplation of the Ones with whom I seek relationship. Namely, every thing that is Being in the garden, from the old mulberry tree, to the mud-caked shovel to the microscopic protozoa. The edges of me blur into ruminant conversation with Nature.

The joyful offering of preparing food also creates a meditative state of love in me. In particular, food I grow from seed. When that is true, I think of the life of that little seed that I planted 6 months ago. I recall the time I took to prepare the soil; the planting, the watering, the tending. I cared for it when pests inevitably arrived, and also allowed for it to work through its own growing challenges. Then to see the flower. To hear and feel the buzzing of bees and butterflies around the flower. To witness the slow formation of fruit. The ripening. And then the harvest. As I chop, I am grateful that I know the memoir of this little radish, the tale of this bright carrot, the parable of this pungent onion. I am inspired by the knowledge that through the addition of heat and time, they will become soup — and enter the body of another human — and support the systems of that body both at once and over time. A body which will find its own courage, strength and wisdom as it’s witnessed by a circle of other bodies. Is this not magic?

What is it to find magic? For me, magic is in connection. In relationship. One on one deep conversations about life, love and the universe pull me like gravity. And when I graciously expand my relational desire beyond the human — I find even more magic. I find that I can become the soil and the seed and the bubbling pot. I am the sweeping sounds, the blunted chops and the roaring fire. I am the tears of my sister, I am her laughter, her silence. When we bear fruits of relationship with the other beings, energies, surrounding sensations, we are in a kind of magic: a flowing, ever adaptive, ever transforming connected consciousness.

Before I become too precious about this concept of magic, allow me to offer you two studies of proximity and how closeness affects the structure of a cell. The first done with chicken eggs –conventional and pasture-raised. The conventionally farmed eggs in this study had unbalanced, disorganized cell structures. They are placed in proximity to pasture-raised eggs which have beautiful, kaleidascope-like structures. By surrounding the conventional eggs with pasture-raised eggs the cell-structure changed. The conventional eggs began to mirror the pasture-raised eggs. All it took was proximity. The second study, done with water — tap water and spring water — reported a similar outcome. The tap water structure (the more irregular of the two) began to look more like that of the spring water when placed in proximity to each other. In other words, when cells of seemingly different environments are proximate, or placed intimately with one another, the cells move toward balance. These two studies (and I’m sure others exist) make me wonder — what cellular changes happen within me when I sit in circle? When I sit in a circle of trees? When I sit in a circle of women? Of children? Of wildflowers? Do I become like them?

Do I become them?
Is this not magic?

I like to believe that it is THE magic. That it is THE definition of Love, of Spirit, of God — Becoming.

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