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Raised by the wind

I was raised by the wind, or that’s how it has felt.

She announced her presence one night in 2012. I was in an old weaver’s cottage (converted to function as a retreat center), on a hill in Yorkshire, England. In my sleeping bag, on the floor, above the rafters, the roof, and outside the wind blew and blew.

I was mulling over a situation, well a problem actually, we were having as a facilitation team running a weekend course. Lying there, thinking about our tricky dynamic, I heard the wind say “It is what it is, it is what it is. Let it flow, don’t try to control it, let it go … It is what it is.”

The next day, I did, and it was what it was. Not good or bad, it just was and I took a giant step in learning boundaries, self-responsibility, acceptance and compassion.

Old/Young Mother Wind

Shortly after, I drew several portraits of Old/Young Mother Wind, as I came to call her. She is as old as the ages, while at the same time a newborn wind today with all of her life in front of her. She is old and young. She has transformative power too that we all know. She is a light breeze and a cleansing storm and a tornado. She is amazing.

After this initial experience, I worked on my relationship with the wind through a morning ritual of noticing her in the movement of the trees and landscape around me when I walked the dog. I talked to her, told her my problems, my celebrations and daily nothings. She listened, sometimes she merely reflected back what I was telling her, other times she offered advice or insight. Whatever she had to say, she also applauded and encouraged my efforts. She was a loving force.

I remember those morning conversations really helping me through a difficult decision I had to make. And once that bridge had been crossed, I visited less with Mother Wind, but I also always knew she was there faithful, loving, blowing.

Gratitude

The years have gone by and Mother Wind and I have continued to cross paths, talking regularly. Then one day I will drop my end of the conversation and I go onto auto-pilot or distract myself with nonsense.

But since the pandemic Mother Wind and I have been in daily contact since I decided the best response these old/new terrifying times is to deepened my nature connection practice and live more consistently from a place of gratitude.

It’s been a great re-encounter and I wonder how I could ever lose this practice. She’s always there and me too. Of course we should greet and connect, chat. Check-in with each other. The regularity has also opened up deeper conversations, some of them have been dark. But as they say, every cloud has a silver lining, and Old/Young Mother Wind is unfailing.

Beneath the trees

As I child I found great peace and joy under trees. There was a mulberry tree in the front yard that produced fat, purple berries, a swing in a tall leafy tree in the backyard, a sandbox under another tree, and apple, pear and cherry trees planted here and there.

Under these trees I have happy, simple kid memories, but I also escaped childhood’s hardships there. Old/Young Mother Wind has told me she saw me there under the trees, crying sometimes, and no matter when, often feeling greatly wronged and misunderstood, or invisible.

I grew up in one of those families where the basic human needs of food, clothing, shelter, health care were provided for, but love and affection felt scarce.

Criticisms, put-downs, reprimands, and bossy directives, “Do this, don’t do that” blew me one way or another.

And while my parents rarely blocked or undermined my initiatives, like taking part in sports or extracurricular activities, they didn’t take much notice and inquire, praise or encourage.

Conversations with Mother Wind

Conversations with Mother Wind over the last two years has helped me to understand how the atmosphere I grew up in had made me independent and determined but it also left me with insecurities and with coping strategies, which have over the years evolved into self-limiting beliefs and other nonsense.

Mother Wind has also accompanied me through the work of bringing the past pain to mind and turning towards it, staying with it, processing and healing it. It has been a mind-blowing and soul-elevating experience.

Mother Wind says that when we make the commitment to stay and work with our pain – do grief work – we are treating our wounds as shrines, and we have the power to heal merely by visiting them and lingering there.

The work of healing the past means bringing to mind the pain, and rather than turn away from it, to stay with the pain. Painful memories once acknowledged and processed eventually will shift and become less painful.

It is hard work, and Mother Wind recognizes that becoming and staying healthy takes discipline, work and patience. It is a life journey, and she will always be there for me.

What nurtures you?

What about you? What nurtures, nourishes and strengthens you?

In particular, what aspect of mother earth do you connect with? Does it have a name, what is your relationship? I would love to know more.

Thanks for reading.

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