There are countless stories of earth-caring. This is the story of ‘holding hope all along’ ... the story behind our ecological tale, Earth-Skye’s and mine ... and yours if you want. We are happy to share:
I remember the morning in 1976. It seems like I could hear the gulls down by the water, but that is unlikely as we lived nearly over the hill, quite a ways from the bay. The kids were playing with their dad. I had an assignment ~ today I don’t even remember the parameters of that course, but whatever was posed by my ed professor at the newly formed Huxley Environmental College (a part of what was then Western Washington University), sparked a question in me. A question I asked to the heavens: How do I explain interrelatedness to children?
Then, that morning in ‘76, as if I could just go out and get an answer, I kissed my family good bye ~ see you soon ~ and set out afoot, following a creek that ran through our end of town, in the direction of its headwaters. Absolutely certain of fulfillment. “Little did I know ...” (yes, quoting Zach Helm, from my favorite “Stranger than Fiction”)
I remember the sunbeams suddenly zinging over Mt. Chuckanut though the morning was still chill. I can suck in the smells right now as if underfoot, mucky creek bottom. I can hear debris, crinkles loosening with the warmth, out of reach in the reeds. I can see ~ I relate to as if yesterday morn ~ a red-winged blackbird bobbing a cattail, before it flew off, puff in its beak. Or, maybe I am fancifying the fluff.
I do know it wasn’t long, not more than a mile of trudging, before a story started radiating ~ I feel it in my body again at each recall ~ like it was coming straight out from beneath my breastbone. A story of a girl setting out herself, in my head.
What! Dang! I had a lot bigger bladder back then. I wanted to stay out hours, poking into the quieter draws of a city’s nature, not often I took time, myself. But the story started coming. I took off for home.
I recognize this garret part as illusion. With two little ones at home, I hardly spent time in the still upstairs. But I did actually have a room in the third floor, very much a garrety space, with just one table, low, and a chair to match. And one small window, dusty.
The kids and their dad had already headed out for some fun of their own. I gathered fresh paper, a pencil. Why, this time, did I feel a need to write on white, laid in landscape, rather than on my usual dear yellow legal tablet. I did. And against all promptings (and later screamings) to begin with any less-antiquated line, the story started writing itself, and that line stuck.
“Once there was a young girl.” This girl wasn’t me. But I was in her somehow, and I needed to let her out. “Whatever she wore, she wore it in green.” Okay, that part was me then. And the pages poured.
For years, as I tentatively approached publishers, I was ahead of the wave, then a could-be ‘Hope for the World’ on a bright crest. But the words weren’t ready. Back then the Earth in the manuscript wailed. I don’t know how I knew. Even though I did try and try to get Hope published, I knew some of it wasn’t right. Not then. I also languished in wanting a particular native-type painter to make a long dark-haired girl come to life. But that artist wouldn’t, though he did periodically fan my desire.
May I tell you how overjoyed I am. Though that prominent artist would have been a project plum, he also would pigmented, rather like cemented, Earth-Skye into a particular ethnicity or race. And what I came to see, through the years, is that Earth-Sister-of-the-Skye is blond-haired, red-haired, kinky red-haired, Afro, all types of hair with the full spectrum of skin tones, dark-eyed, albinoed, blue-eyed and green. No one depiction would have done her justice. But that’s an aside.
Before I knew it, twenty-some then thirty years later, it seemed like everyone now/then already “got” interrelatedness. The web of life, for one, was old old old. I knew though, that the book was more about the surrounding four findings of hope, and about some other allusive aspect, something that I couldn’t quite put my finger on, but the very thing that had been there from its inception. So I carried on.
Always always the book called me, stay with it
what is there?
I had been changing over the years. Most people do. And as I continued to change, I edited the text. I cannot tell you how many revisions. Countless. Yet there are many passages, so many phrases still ringing right on, worded exactly as they came to me in that first draft.
Deeper though, I had to go deeper, and remove the anger from the Earth, Water and Air. I had to own it. And deal with it. The anger and doubt and fear for our world.
Then too, I had to understand at a cellular level almost, by coming at this concept intellectually, then feeling my way through it experientially, until finally everything lined up. The book had come to me as a talisman. That I had known all along. A something, a real solid focus, which I could gift to the world I so love. And in that focus, a focus with lightness and laughter and spirit, people could change. Heck. I had changed. And the world itself is changing, as one then another holds hope.
I have been involved in a spiritual practice inspired by Abraham-Hicks, one in which I understand ~ I have seen manifested time and again in my life ~ just how Law of Attraction works. For that I am ever grateful to Esther and Jerry Hicks. Plus, I finally “got” the words to explain how that talisman business works: exactly as it came to me, at the intersection of Law of Attraction and Love of the Earth.
I’m going to take a slight side track here, to give you an example of how Law of Attraction has shown itself at work in my life. This example was unexpected; now I set my intentions to ‘deliberately’ draw fulfillment to me. (Only it’s called “allowing.” :-) Just months ago, I was eager to find an illustrator for the cover of my middle elementary fiction which honors religious diversity: This Day. The internet makes research and communication from remote areas like mine so easy. I went on a look-see for an artist, locally, then in wider and wider circles, out through Oregon where I might be able to meet up to go over sketches, on to Washington and California, where I could contrive additional trips to my kids. I didn’t see anyone whose work matched the simple shoe drawings I had in my head. Still, I sent out email queries about my project. No one answered though. So I let “the problem” hang in the ethers with a ‘gee, I don’t know how I’m going to find an artist, but I bet I’ll figure out something.’ I did not worry it. I just had the want out there. And I trusted ~ you might say I knew ~ that the answer would come. I didn’t even think about it for a while because I was busy enough with final editing of This Day.
Then ... drum roll, please ... out of the blue HA! I received an email from Kiev. Yes, from Kiev, Ukraine. The email was ... sweet, but halting. The sender an artist whose first language was Russian. She asked, clear enough for me to understand, if I had any projects lined up with need of an illustrator. You might have to know me well to know I’m shaking my head still ~ laugh with me if you want; at first I actually closed the email. “I don’t speak Russian. I don’t even know a word of Russian. This couldn’t work!” And I took a walk. And on my walk, or a day or two later on a walk I came to ‘well heavens I can’t let that dear artist Elena wonder and wonder why I hadn’t answered. I’d better write her to at least thank her for getting in touch with me, and to turn her down, gently.’
At first, I did not see Law of Attraction at work. Which just seems so silly to me now. But I didn’t. Understand, I hadn’t left even an itty bitty trail of crumbs out there in cyberspace. I had not advertised for an artist. I’d not posted my project on any sites. I wasn’t even signed up with Linkedin at that point (heehee). I didn’t know about message boards and I wasn’t at the speed of twitter. But none of my resistance mattered. I had been so clear in my vibration that now was the time to get This Day out, and nothing, no doubts, no distance was going to override my desire to have a fun and easy collaboration with an artist. I knew it would happen. On a vibrational level, the deal was actually done as soon as I clarified how I wanted shoes on that cover. Even though I’d never collaborated with an artist before. And Law of Attraction brought me the best possible artist with whom I could have that fun, and our spiritual journey of weeks, weaving in and out of translate google to arrive at a print-ready cover. Perfect in every detail! Elena Raspopova was a godsend. And she came to me, 5726+/- miles, merely by my ‘putting out there to the universe’ this is what I want next.
Please, enjoy, remember with me, when just enough set their intention on hope for our world. Oh ho won’t we whoop it up then!
Let me add, Law of Attraction sorts out the details too, down to the most surprising to me. I didn’t just get an illustrator, I got a person ~ for collaborating on the image of a book about openness to all faiths ~ of a faith that ‘happened to be’ my personal last ‘hold-out’ of religions. And together, with our faltering communication since we don’t even speak each others’ languages, we worked through our differences (I had to walk my talk, eh) and agreed, with long-distance embracing over and again, to respect our differences. I had been delivered the artist who could help me stretch the most.
In the process, I also acquired a dear new friend who sends the silliest icons in her emails. I love the surprise of her row of accordion players laughing it up when we reach some goal.
I also got gifted the illustrator who ... where did the otters come from? Well, they popped into my head one day when my pup and I were out on another walk. And when I proposed to Elena, would she want to also draw otters for Hope ... oh, I can’t quote her exactly, but her delight just swooped around the curve of our earth, with an ‘oh, let’s put the otters in your stream!’ So, “together again” (yes, Kermie’s voice there), I would send requests to Elena, ‘can you make one leaning this way, swimming that, head underwater or out, and back would come the next otter, perfect every time. I continue to marvel at how well we communicated, outside of the normal need for language. Elena also helped me realize, with care, with checking and double -checking my translation, I can commune with anyone in the world, from right here on the out-of-the-way Oregon coast (North America). That was another of my wants, filled before I even asked it, because I know Hope for our World has always been headed for round the entire earth.
Back to getting this pregnancy done, this baby out! :-) Even though I knew some of what the book would not look like (discarding the idea of the north american native-type painting from years ago) still, I didn’t know what the book “should” look like. Okay, insert longer drum roll, please. ... I did know, though, intimately, how each page would feel. I had been living, breathing each page for years. So, I honored my willingness. I allowed it to grown.
I looked for an artist, anew, someone who could follow the stream of Earth-Skye’s search and come upon each finding of hope with a childlike awe. We tried. A couple of serious attempts. But the stream was inside me, impossible for someone else to bring forth in a way that would match the text, page by page. I was asking too much.
My willingness though had grown, bulging, ready to burst. One day, against all what would have been strong past inner doubtings, but in an eerie day of inner calm, I drove the hour to Art Connection up the coast, in Coos Bay. If you live anywhere near the southern Oregon coast, go to Art Connection. There, I told dear Holly (yes, I told her; I was afraid I would shatter my resolve if I asked) that I needed some time to just let the supplies speak to me. Could she simply show me the choices in paints and paper and brushes. Holly did. Then she let me be, coming round only every so often to see if I had any questions. I looked. I listened. I listened only to the paint, not to those old voices in my head, those which would have said, ‘my older brother’s the artist, not me.’ I was in a trance. I was enraptured by the growing knowing that I was actually going to paint the stream that would flow through and depict the feelings of Hope for our World. I had no thought of doubt. I was buoyed above all of what ‘should’ have stopped me. Heavens! I had never before painted in my life!
I did experience a flashback, while I placed one, then another of the tubes of water colors into my basket, a Christmas when I had wanted to draw the tree, one needle at a time. The season came and went before I’d gotten two boughs. Skip to many years later, I charcoaled a covey of quail, my mom’s amazement forever embedded in my brain. But otherwise, that tiniest crack of eagerness had been only lying in wait ... for this.
Had Holly been of a different ilk, had she told me about classes in how to paint, or had she wanted to ease me ahead of time with how many years people invest as beginners ... I might have left the store that day empty-handed. As it was, because she suspended judgment, I came home with everything I needed, my stomach aflutter, better even than thoughts of approaching lover. Still, it took me a couple more days to ready a workspace in this my temporary home.
I got sixteen feet of table tops set up, for the drying pages. I needed to be able to see them, in full flow.
The kitchen counter would work for the painting itself. The sun shone in to one side of me. Once I started, I was amazed at what an active process painting is. I would take deep breaths, steady my arm, then sometimes actually hop up to the paper to daub, or swish by the page in a sidestroke. This is fun!
Still, 37, or thereabouts, paintings are a big deal. They don’t all come out at once! (And the holding faith through the nights inbetween, the having balls again next morning to even think I could do it. Well, you can imagine, I imagine. Plus I was religious about matching up the stream from page to page, since that was the aborting factor in my other artists’ earlier attempts. I loved lining up height and fiddling to refind a color, and ever ever a noting and nodding to what was going on in the text. So, after many days, it would be nice if I remembered, but I don’t how many, the stream came pouring out of me just as the words had years and years before. All along it’d been in me, to let it flow. Sometimes, for most pages actually, what’s on the page is what came out of my brush the very first time. The inception, on the dedication page ~ one take. I was adamant (with myself) that there’d be little to no photoshopping in the final images. The last one ~ you may note ~ I left messy because they are. I love that I didn’t clean up, that child in us is messy. And so is life and the synchronous connections that are made all the time. Sometimes we even miss the best of what we attract because we thought/held to something else with such a grip. I am so relieved to let flow.
The belief I had that there was something of value in hope for our world (yes of course I’m aware of and call up the double entendre, tongue-sufficiently-in-cheek) never left me, through all those years and years of tending to the tale. I bother to write all this out because I like the story ~ heehee (even though to relive it so soon after birth has been exhausting) ~ because I see a parallel op for ALL. This small story of how the book hope for our world came about, the microcosmic ... what is that word like DNA ... (heh heh DNA) ... a hologram is it? What can be picked up and replicated into infinitude. There are truths, laws in action, for change, within this story. As the liver of it, I can’t really say such without sounding a pompous fool or at least a preposterous one. But fool I am. Fool to believe in hope for our world all this time, particularly when evidence seemingly started to tip more recently towards the contrary.
Yet, yet yet yet, get it. Look at what I learned here. Can believing make it so? Yes, and yes again. Easily. Holding the knowing of it coming about, of it already done, and swish, everything falls into place even when there was great resistance right up to the moment before.
I am content to stop here. The whether or not this small book can align with those who are wanting hope, and wanting to believe and Make their Difference and effect change such that all is well, when, listening to Mother Earth we find, all is already well ... well, that is not my question. My question was “How can I explain interrelatedness to children?” I did it. And in so doing I also found how my story is inextricably linked to the larger story of humans righting themselves after getting a little “wibbly wobbly” (Yep, “Stranger than Fiction” again) but oh so ready for not only hope, but for the relief that finding hope and hope’s manifesting brings.
Remind me, will you. Call me up 541 332-1242 and remind me if/when I start to think I need to do anything more, like get so many people to buy the book, to reach the tipping point, in order for the change to take place. Just read to the last page and remind me so I don’t forget! I did my part. I stuck with it. I gave, carried and believed in and birthed hope for our world. And I am leaping for joy now that she’s out among us. No question about it.
Oh, with this afterbirth I no doubt will feel such the fool. Such that I am.
Einstein did not veer from his knowing that there is no discernible difference between the minimicro and mac. My experience has shown (me at least) irrefutably, believing does make it so, sometimes swiftly and easily. (And absolutely, there is hope.) This is where we’ve arrived, myself and so many others, in beloved 2012. Oh can’t you just imagine with me (yes, quoting Hope for our World a bit) what wonders await us as hope expands, as we turn towards what we choose in 2013.