God calls me into the loam pit, and I wonder at its name. Here is a place that sounds like home and is full of nutrients to drink up through my roots, to softly connect into with my mycelia. I sink and softly twist into the mud, as though I were truly the tree that I am being called to be, or perhaps a holy hippo, ready to roll and languish in the squelching goodness.
Brown the cool earth, the colour of everything mixed together, all skin colours and barked armour broken down into a melted pot of delicious oneness, so that none can claim difference to lord it over others, nor does anyone feel they do not belong. Here we partake of the crib and the cross, the stillness of forests, the ages of oak and olive, the rotted matter of long gone leaves, we revel in the richness of all that has fallen apart, and prepare for resurrection.
Text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt Photo from Pixabay
Seeming death, only the edges of the circle remain, a circumference of thin bark and wiry wood. Gnarled by twisting winds and anni horribili, it is a miracle standing. But the frailty we see is connected to humble earth and living water by a network of strength weaving through the soil, touching bed rock and finding underground springs. Roots of life, branches long lost in the battle finding renewal here, upside down, running counter to all you hold wise.
Depths you will never see are tapped here and the empty core flows with currents of holy breath. Far from empty, the trunk is simply focussed enough to stand back in a ring of awe, making space for the sacred sap to wend its way. And at the outer edge of the garden, a redoubt of young trees wells up from the strength of roots born of sacrificing the centre.
©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2015
Photograph by Susan Mills, used with permission. This is an olive tree growing in the Garden of Gethsemane, which is dead in the centre, but whose root system is alive and thriving, young trees growing all around from the roots. It speaks volumes to me.
At last I find some calm. A strange peace moves between the trees, like the rustling of being which does not need to announce itself. An undercurrent of claiming rises beside the prostrate trunk. This place, it says, is mine, has always been mine, will always be mine. And the running roots of it take hold of my feet, gently, with blessing, so that I am connected, stilled, known. The acorns patter down from above and the blackberries swell in their ripeness. Here I may breathe.
Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2015