Monday, September 8, 2014

Come out, Come out...

I will admit it.

For more than a year now, I have been a reclusive hermit.  The Grove I work with was undergoing several changes, as was I, so I decided I needed time to myself.  I was going to practice as a solitary, something I hadn't done for more than a decade.  I didn't set a time limit, and my Grove was beyond supportive and accepting of my decision, which is good because my decision translated into a much longer and deeper period of hibernation than I could have ever planned for or expected.

To be honest, I felt broken, though I couldn't pinpoint why or how I felt that way. All I knew was that I couldn't hear the wisps of inspiration that had been driving my music and poetry and I couldn't feel the energy and connection to the land that had been driving my spiritual growth.  It was a power outage on my end,  a blown fuse in my spiritual soul, and  I lacked the means of understanding, let alone figuring out how to fix it. I knew I needed time to sort out what I was going through both in the mundane and spiritual aspects of my life.  I knew it wouldn't be healthy for me to maintain the level of outward commitment to my Grove & community that I had been maintaining for years.  The time I spent as a solitary is largely unremarkable--truly a period of hibernation rather than intense journeys and cosmic revelations.  It was a period of regrouping, attempting to heal, and refocus on the needs of the self.  I haven't been certain if the process is complete or still ongoing, but the thought of returning or not returning to work with my Grove has been increasingly louder.

Waking back up is hard.  When you mentally and physically isolate yourself from the friends and family around you for so long that it becomes habit, it takes a lot of humility to reconnect. Hi...I know I've all but ignored you for more than a year, but let's get together like no time has passed at all, ok?  Because for me, while hibernating, it felt like, or rather feels like no time has passed at all.  And that means there is a painful realization upon returning to a wakeful state, that life moved on without you. Some are more willing than others to reconnect and the hardship are the uncertainties...Has my prolonged absence, isolation, and reclusive actions created a breach so wide it cannot be crossed? Am I so different now that I no longer 'fit' or 'belong'?

A weekend camping with some of the Druids of my Grove, left me wondering those questions more deeply than I have been in previous months.  How would I know if, or when I would be ready to return to work with them?  How would they know? What if my path truly did lead further away from them?  How would we all have the hard conversations that would answer these questions?

Well...sometimes the universe answers for you.  Today, upon entering my wheel I spied a strange little burrow (pictured to the left, with my  hand in the shot for sense of size).

Speculating that one of the squirrels was storing nuts for winter (but had been preemptively chased off by one of the household cats) or that perhaps a some small rodent had been constructing a wee home (also preemptively chased off by one of the household cats), I examined it more closely and found this:

It's the carapace of a Cicada.  And in finding it, I knew I had some answers.

Cicada's are cyclical--they will burrow into the earth to be nurtured by the soil and tree roots for years, instinctively able to choose the best time to re-emerge.   In essence, they "choose their time to be born." Cicada's wisdom is one of re-examining the past, shedding what is not needed, and embracing the act of emergence into the new.  Cicadas also sing as a community--when you hear that distinct hum, it is coming from the many males using their tymbal organs to call to females.  The louder and longer the sound, the more likely males and females will successfully find each other and mate, thereby sustaining the community as a whole.  In other words, the sound is one of many individuals working together for the benefit of the group.  The Cicada's song is one that asks if you are expressing yourself in a sustainable way.  My spiritual path, my 'song' must sustain my creative soul,  but both also need the harmony and strength found within community.

The Cicada comes calling for me after this period of seclusion, challenging me to come out of hiding. It's time to shed the old skins and emerge as something new and different.  It's time to start reconnecting once again to my friends, family, community, and Grove regardless of what new form those connections take.