the language of dirt

Several years ago in the dusty gold light of summer, I sat in a little cottage above the sea, far from the land I'd dwelt in most of my life, and I felt bereft of sacred conversation as I was now bereft of forest and mountain. So I read Marija Gimbutas' books and dreamed of women's holy history. I read Abrahamic histories too, that language of desert and drought. Finally, words tangled so thoroughly in my mind that I had to let go of thinking, and just let the world sing on through. (Books are informative, but so are seed pods and sea glass and all the strange little things that come in on the tide.)



 
After I put away essays and theories, I tried instead to learn the language of water - my new neighbourhood tongue. But I never developed a sympathy for it, so now I draw on memory and faraway whisper for the wild language I do under-stand, that of dark trees and earthbreast, wind shadow, sparrow, slater. And I find that I can once more read Marija Gimbutas with clarity. For although in this old southern land I can't imagine a loam-hearted Goddess-Earth without her Lover ... a crane without white skies to fly in ... a hill without ardent rain to unclothe it ... I can translate into my native language the Old Story of need and nourishment that Marija shared from the goddess civilisations of ancient Europe.




Really, the world sings in a trillion tongues, enough for everyone to find their own way into conversation and understanding.

Imagine if we took children out of classrooms every afternoon and had them discover their body's language, the one which brings them into intimate relationship with dirt and leaf and sunrise ... if we taught them how to sing plants up and the moon down ... we'd have more hope for this world than any politician could offer us no matter how clever their oration.



Thank you to everyone who has already signed up for my new email letter. You have warmed and encouraged me. The first will be sent out this coming Saturday, which is sooner than I planned but it is Samhain this weekend and I like the idea of starting on the old New Year. (For those of you in the north, it will be Beltane of course.) So if you want to read the first letter, do subscribe soon.

2 comments:

  1. "Imagine if we took children out of classrooms every afternoon and had them discover their body's language, the one which brings them into intimate relationship with dirt and leaf and sunrise ... if we taught them how to sing plants up and the moon down ... we'd have more hope for this world than any politician could offer us no matter how clever their oration"

    it is the truth---and beautifully said.

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  2. Here in Sweden, all pre-schoolers are out in nature learning about dirt and leaves for a large part of every day... Unfortunately, that good habit gets lost once the first year or two of school is over. I agree - everyone should reconnect with the soil and with nature.

    Lovely shots.

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