Ten years ago, in a former lifetime, I wrote this short essay. As I re-read it, I'm struck by how old challenges recycle and how familiar themes repeat in my experience of self, nation and globe. The piece feels as relevant to me now as it did then.
Joining the Giants
Spring break, second week of March, I’ve just returned from a short family vacation to Giant’s Ridge, where downhill and cross country skiing gracefully share a small mountain in northern Minnesota.
I’ve been challenged lately. World events weigh heavy. Old personal (and perhaps transpersonal) stories of fear and not-good-enoughness are grabbing my inner headlines, blaring at times. The impulse to scream bloody murder competes with the wish to burrow down in some safe hideaway, where I can retreat from it all. Both impulses, I recognize, originate in younger parts of me.
On our second day out, I found a couple hours for a solitary cross country ski. Conditions were perfect: bright blue sky and cold, crisp air. As sunset neared, I arrived at a spot where the energy was palpable. It felt like a sacred place. The area was densely populated by young poplars, ten-to-twelve-footers. To my immediate left was a tall granite ridge, around which grew a stand of stately Norway pines. These trees were grown ups. They’d been around a while. As a community, they were quietly making their presence felt. I basked in the positive energy of the place and softened to being nurtured by this gathering of elders.
Further ahead, and still on the left, a huge, ancient white pine towered over the landscape – alone. This was clearly a grandparent, perhaps a sole survivor, in robust health. I felt a beckoning. As I drew closer, the beckoning became a message: Join the giants. There was a shift in my belly. My whole body felt the “rightness” of this request.
This was not an appeal to ego. I was not asked to stand above others. I was invited to fellowship with the earth and its creatures, to soul connection, to deep rootedness, to quiet presence. I was invited to stop apologizing for myself, retreating, hiding and playing small. I was invited to let go of drama, outrage and judgment – to stop warring with myself and my nation, with others and other nations.
Perhaps, all of us are called at this time to show up in a big way – strongly, safely, serenely in partnership with the universe. Joining the giants has little to do with physical prowess, brilliant intellect, charismatic personality or positions of power and prestige. It is a connecting to source, a tapping of ancient inner wisdom, a softening to love.
I believe we’re at a crossroads. Our planet needs us – right now – to attend to what’s important, to access our larger selves, to join the giants who have been around for a long time.