The Colorado foothills are especially beautiful this year. Green and lush from the heavy spring rains they are spotted with the color of wild flowers. The day before the Solstice I was assisting a ceremony in the foothills above Boulder, surrounded by fields and pines vibrant and alive under a blue afternoon sky accentuated with the puffy piles of white that are summer afternoon clouds in over the mountains. The birds were signing and calling, a buck wandered across the opposite hillside. Waiting by a path that was the entrance to the ceremonial site I was smudging the participants as they arrived, letting the smoke clear their space, helping them to ground and release whatever didn’t serve them, to be open to the celebration that they had come for.
Between greetings, I let my mind drift, opening my heart to the magnificent manifestation of Spirit and Life around me. I find that at times like these I often notice pattern and detail as much a grand scope. Focused on the grass and flowers near the path I heard a buzzing sound over my shoulder. Looking around I noticed a bee had landed on a flower near my feet. This little guy was busy appreciating the flower in a different way, collecting the sweet nectar that he would return to his hive to contribute to the making of the honey there. Perhaps it was the Solar theme of the Solstice, but in my open state a knowing welled up, taking the form of thought, but coming from a more intuitive level. I was looking at a small step in a chain of solar energy flowing through the world.
The chain expanded out from the bee and the flower to the sun shining its light, received by the leaves of this flower, converted into energy which was used to grow and generate the flower, with its yellow daisy petals, and the nectar that the bee was collecting. In the other direction the nectar would become honey, stored solar energy, to feed young bees, bears, or humans. These bees, bears, or humans having enjoyed the honey would convert its sweetness into movement, or muscle, or store it for the future.
Looking up and out from the bee and its flower I knew that the landscape around me was filled with similar flows, a web of moving, transforming energy, connecting all the visible pieces in ways often invisible to our usual sight. Awareness that the Sun we were about to celebrate is the source of all the energy that flows through this world came through me. The Sun that powers the vast and varied creativity of life on planet Earth. This energy changes into so many forms, is passed back and forth, from plant to animal to plant or human. It lifts the rain that powers the rivers. It falls on the Earth differently at different latitudes and helps to generate the winds. It raises the clouds and creates the lightening. It is stored by the plants, those essential gatherers on the front line of Earthly life, and is passed along as vegetables, grain, fruit, or falls with the leaves and nourishes more plants. In the seas and the swamps it was stored millions of years ago and became coal, or oil, or gas.
This world is literally a web of flowing, transforming, solar energy. I invite you to make some time to go outside, to feel into the clouds, the trees, the bees and the flowers, to open to an appreciation for the rich flow of sunlight in all its forms. Looking with your intuition and feeling from your soul, become aware of the life force flowing everywhere. Appreciate how you are held and supported in this web, and how precious and necessary it is for your life. Find the joy in being consciously alive, and give yourself permission to notice this level of life in the world around you, inside yourself.
Eat some honey, appreciate some amber, be blessed by the Sun in all its forms. Step into the sacred embodied in the world and in yourself.