This altar is titled Swimming Toward the Source. I created it last week for my 50th birthday. It features maple seeds, wisteria pods, catkins from black walnut and other trees, camellia petals, ornamental oregano flowers, acorns, rhododendron flowers, irises, spruce twigs, ranunculus, sunflower petals, and a bunch of purple and blue flowers! Oh yeah and some big green leaves that grow on a vine on the side of my house.
It was inspired by a video my friend Tesa sent me about zen-doodling. I decided to give it a try, but rather than using pens and paper to do it with natural materials! As you can see I created this indoors. I used a giant pizza pan and laid all the dried parts in the evening. The next day, on my birthday, I added in all the fresh flowers. Mostly from my yard, but also from a bouquet gifted to me by Deb! (Thank you Deb!)
My partner gave it the title, as he saw all those maple seeds and yellow petals looking like they were swimming toward the center of the design.
To live well at this time - as a compassionate and caring human - seems to require a certain kind of resilience. Radical Resilience. I mean radical in the sense of Foundational. Far-reaching. Deeply Rooted. To navigate the shifting sands, the striking polarities, the horrific tragedies, and the changing climate, we must care for ourselves ever more generously. I recently wrote in a post about how much strength I gather from old trees - with deep and wide roots, solid trunks, and branches that can sway in the storms.
I remember learning some years ago that the giant redwoods have relatively shallow roots, but they are strong and solid because their roots branch out wide and intertwine with the roots of other nearby trees. In a way, we could say that they get their strength and resilience from community support.
So do we. Thank you for being part of my community - may we support each other in developing the radical resilience needed our mutual thriving.