Celebrating the miracle of all Life

I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.

George Washington Carver, botanist and former slave

It’s so exciting to watch syncronicity playing out as the universe conspires to put us in exactly the right place at the right time to meet specific people or experience certain events, happenings or insights.

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The oasis of peace and abundance that is Three Creeks

I thought I was heading for Three Creeks, south of the settlement of Big Pine on Highway 395, primarily to take a short break and learn whatever I could from vision quest guides Gigi Coyle and her partner Win Phelps.

To their initial consternation I appear two days earlier than expected at their oasis in the desert and then Gigi beams: “This is meant to be and is syncronicity at work.”

Both urgently need to be away a few days on separate assignments and my offer to look after their property is a Godsend. Mostly I need to keep the land watered, although the enormity of the task only dawns on me later.

Every hour between 7am and 6pm I reposition a series of hoses attached with sprinklers and in the process of this seemingly endless cycle I fully connect with the Earth again, feeling it beneath my feet, supporting and nurturing me. I’m part of the interconnectivity of all things and in harmony with the rhythmns of nature, recognising that we humans are but a strand in the web of life. Contrary to what most of us believe we’re definitely not the smartest kids on the block.

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A gopher snake which helps maintain balance in the rodent population at Three Creeks

I thrill to the idea that the trees, flowers, animals, birds and insects are my kith and kin, brothers and sisters all. What a gift to be part of such an interesting and extended family!

Just hours after I lament the fact that the only snake I’ve seen in two months of walking in California is a disfigured roadkill, a big gopher snake slithers into my life and then is content to lie within striking range while peacefully soaking up the sun. I’m reminded that snake and its shedding of skin is an ancient native American Indian symbol of rebirth and having a veil lifted from before our eyes. Will these few days be transformative for me?

I thrill to the spectacle of tiny humming birds, marvelling at the miracle of a creature that can flap its wings 80 times a second and feature a heart and internal organs like mine, except in perfect miniature. This astonishing little bird sounds like an engine revving hard and yet it’s lightning-swift movements are infinitely more versatile and effortless than those of any man-made machine.

Huge frogs plop noisily into the pond that is home to the biggest tadpoles I’ve ever seen and nearby I establish a friendly rapport with a robin incubating her eggs in a leafy archway I duck under to reposition one of my hoses. She no longer flies off in a panic and is now happy to watch my progress.

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One of the bristlecone pines that are the oldest trees on Earth

Birds love this lush, green oasis and I regularly hear the tapping and boring of flickers, which must be close relatives of the woodpecker. Looking up to see how their nest-building is progressing, I thrill to the discovery of a wild bee hive high in an old tree. Throughout the northern hemisphere there is a great dying out of the bees, their populations decimated by presticides and habitat loss as human populations expand relentlessly like a malignant cancer. But here’s a thriving bee population that’s necessary to pollinate a multitude of flowers and fruit trees.

Early one evening I have my first ever sighting of an endangered bobcat, delighting in its silent stealth. Sadly it dines on one of a pair of wild rabbits I’ve grown fond of, although I know that’s part of the normal cycle of life.

GeoffPilgrimage127In the evening bats flit over the pond and I realise that big eyes and good eyesight complement their amazing sonar navigation system, their normally fluttery flight seamlessly changing to an elegant glide as they delicately lift an insect off the surface of the water. Without them we’d be overrun with mosquitoes.

Coming from the predominantly parched continent of Africa I feel guilty initially at showering so much water around me, remembering how I used to stand in a bucket in Cape Town while having a quick shower, then using that water to flush the toilet. But all this watering is sustaining a celebration of abundance and diversity.

I think of the magic of Findhorn and the garden that was created in a bleak wind-swept dunescape a half century ago. The founders began growing vegetables and fruit and created a greenhouse for spirituality that’s world-famous today for growing people.

I feel that’s happening to me here too as I water thousands of plants including my favourites: three tiny bristlecone pine seedlings in individual pots.

Geoff DalglishA few miles away is the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest of the oldest living trees on Earth, some dated to around 4,600 years ago. And just over the snow-capped Sierras that form a backdrop for Three Creeks are the Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks where the planet’s biggest trees are to be found. I’ve still to get to these but have already worshipped in the redwood and bristlecone cathedrals of nature, feeling a greater power than I’ve ever known in any human construction, be it a beautiful church, cathedral, mosque or temple.

I pray that this trio of finger-sized plants will one day stand proud over a magnificent landscape that has included another hundred or more generations of humans, but whether our species of naked apes survives is entirely up to us. It’s a simple matter of choice and whether we continue a relentless pursuit of money and materialism, or honour all life and live as if there is a tomorrow.

Geoff Dalglish

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