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Billings got a tornado yesterday. Lots of damage. We got a honkin’ nasty storm here. I was outside pushing rocks around and pulling weeds. It was warm, partly overcast is all. Now and then I looked up because it seemed to be getting darker and it was only midday.  The sky in the south was deep gray and I wondered where it was going to go. Always hard to tell because the sky is so big here in Montana, with several seasons going on up there in any given day, as I interpret it. Then there was the crack of thunder closeby, so I went inside, but dashed back out when I saw the windows open on my car. I leaped like a gazelle, really big drops of cold rain mixed with hail chased me.  It happened fast. The temp dropped from 60 to 38 in minutes and then it started: bang womp flash!  The wind loaded with hail just tore through the trees, and rain-filled mist blocked out the mountains all around.  It sounded like a machine gun on my little skylight — the hail was the size of marbles, then came the deluge.  Our African Grey, Coo,  said, “ooh, rainshine!” and I smiled and said, “Ya think?”

We sat on a stool at the big kitchen window, the bird on my shoulder, and watched the show. I wanted to take a picture, but didn’t want to miss anything, or get off the stool — we were having a nice time — and I didn’t want to go outside to take a photo. The other parrot was hunched on a perch in the living room with his back to the window, just a little afraid. I told Coo how lucky she is to be living inside a house this life, and she tapped 5 times on the window with her  powerful, black beak as though to say, “ya think?” (I wonder how much she really understands)

But my recently planted special little garden experiment became a wading pool with a layer of hail packed around the edges. I peeked out the back window and worried. I wondered about other gardens in the neighborhood.  Gee, is it drowned now, after all that back-straining work on my knees, planting those amazing little seeds (all different) and pulling rocks out by the millions? (ok, dozens of the millions.) I think they divide and multiply. This isn’t called the Rockies for nothing. I wonder what the fate of my garden is. (I called Linda U. and she said chill, it’s ok). There was a solo little spinach plant from last year out there and it was torn to pieces from the hail, yet still rooted.  I am reminded of Jane James, my college painting teacher, who painted beautiful big skyscapes, and what she said to us students:

“We must deal with the harsh elements that come, like the new bamboo chute must withstand the rain, snow, wind and sun, in fact it’s very growth is strengthened and stimulated by them. And so it is with us.”   It was the most important bit of learning I recieved in school.
Just now the Amazon parrot, Cyrano, flinched at the shadow of a big bird that flew by close outside, and he said loudly, “jabberdamit-bla-bla!!” in an impersonation of my voice when raised, or arguing with him or Ron.   He in fact, told off the shadow which he thought was a predator.  It was probably just a big crow, but it’s dark shadow was an illusion of bigness, and I sit in amazement at the funny magnificence of all this.

I bought a bread machine recently and it took me about 8 or 9 loafs to get it right.  Too dense, didn’t rise much.  I thought a machine would know what it was doing.  I Almost gave up. Get this, and I tell the truth. It wasn’t until I got desperate, and warmly praised the ball of dough in the machine….that it started turning out good loaves.  Honest.  The standard white loaf with added hemp seeds came out perfect last night.  I said,  “Good job!”   These seemingly insignificant little mystical triumphs are the gems in the headdress of my being.

My job most weekends is at home alone managing the pets.   It’s just the way it is.  I do housework, enjoy solitude, but have to be attentive or our parrots  will start honking and screaming which causes the dogs to bark and howl.  If out, Coo, the African Grey often wanders around and will get into trouble simply looking for entertainment.  She’ll bang on kitchen appliance doors with her beak, (at least I know where she is) or climb drapes, or waddle down the hall to Ron’s bathroom, her selected private location for a nest.   It’s not going to become a nursery, but we let her pretend.  She makes nesting material out of anything her beak can tear, and that’s just about everything.  Ron doesn’t mind! He simply shares his bathroom with his African Grey. Actually both parrots enjoy the steamy room every morning when he showers.  It’s just what is.

 I have a parrot on my shoulder right now here in my room.  Cyrano the Amazon was screaming in short beeps, causing the dogs to howl,  so I brought him in here with me to make peace.  He has a constant pacifier – a bear bell on a ring.  Now and then we poke it for a jingle and he loves the sound; sometimes dances.  Now the Grey is going through her entire repertoire in the kitchen to get my attention.  I’ll take dictation now:  [brackets are my explanations.]

 “Wanna take a shower? Ooh cold outside. [it is snowing] Go to work. Where’s Ron?  Dweep, [perfect impersonation of water going down the drain] Where’s your bell? No bad barking, [impersonation of the other bird impersonating a moan] I’ll be right back. Peas  and corn, Good dog, [shrill whistle followed by a perfected vibrato soprano note] Wanna go for a walk? Mommy going to the store and I’ll be right back ok?  Go on!  Joy. Drink? [moderately naughty cuss words]  Coo? Where’s your bell?  Coo bee doo bee doo bee doo.  Ron! [the dogs heard. started barking and ran out their door to see if Ron was home.]  No bad barking.  Rainshine.  Wanna drink?  Ooh good.  Dweep.  [clicking of tongue sound, piercing whistle.]  Go for a walk. [cussing  is getting louder because I’m not  in the kitchen with the chatterbox. Next, an impersonation of the wood stove door creaking open, and last but not least:] Pop corn.  Umm good.  Woop.”

Bird sounds outside and inside.  I noticed the Robins are ignoring the soft snowfall.  Warmer weather means trimmed flight feathers for the parrots, a compromise I tell them, so that they can go outside in my secluded little garden for some sun.  Fridley Creek finally thawed and I hear that wonderful rushing sound as it flows singing through the yard.  The still bare cottonwoods and willows alongside the creek will fill up with green soon. I am happy with the peace and promise, and sounds, of Now. It’s just what is.

My husband and I, and actually the two dogs, (…and the parrots,) watched Leonardo DiCaprio’s DVD, “The Eleventh Hour” last night.  How we managed to miss it in the 3 years since it was released is embarrassing – we are followers of earth-defending/people-awakening films.  Maybe because we do not watch mainstream media much and  it became available on Netflix.

There are more and more documentary movies coming out in the mainstream using the media in integral ways: to raise the consciousness, to educate and enlighten the public, to present new facts, parallels, the great acts of man, the great beauty of our planet, and last but really first in importance, and the aim of this DVD, to expose again the predicted consequences of our greedy and ignorant misuse of Earth’s resources. 

Our planet is in trouble, and so then are we, if we are conscious and honest. “Environmentalist”  is finally the word for Tree Hugger which was used with a patronizing smile a couple of decades ago for those people who were special interest focused and not seeing the big picture…? All along, those Tree-Huggers were right on.  The alternative edge of thought is often where the seeds of truth are found. 

The “11th Hour” DVD so arrested my attention and disturbed me that I dreamed last night that I was trying to convince an acquaintance of mine,  an influential mover and a shaker, who normally I wouldn’t have the nerve to approach, to please see the DVD and get involved to help save the planet.  You know how dreams are, uniquely intense when you are in them, and often quite goofy and foolish when you share them, (or blog them) But it was a very real feeling dream. I was pleading for him to hear the truth about our planet.  He said, “well, what  can we do?”

And I answered him with great urging, “the DVD said we each need to look deep inside and see what our individual gift is, our passion, our contribution and start sharing it.”   And then I woke up! – crabby and distracted.  A few moments  later, I remembered another speaker in the DVD, Mr. Suzuki,  whose beautiful candid outreach was directed at our common sense, or perhaps to our souls. I wanted to go back and tell the influential guy in the dream what Mr. Suzuki asked us. And it was this:   “what is the highest we, mankind, can feel, or reach for?” —palms up he said,  “Love!”  and he shrugged almost apologetically as though for not coming up with something more ingenious or in some global savvy, trendy lingo.  I was sorry I couldn’t go back and tell the dream guy about Mr. Suzuki.  I rubbed my aching forehead at the fuzzy transition between dreams and waking.

I was left with a message, like a big package, on my doorstep.  I felt I could not ignore it. Step around it?  Kick it aside? Maybe I should muster up the courage and approach the mover and shaker.  Maybe he really represents my own inner mover and shaker.

All of the 11th Hour presenters were excellent, sincere and brief.  I found the absence of lengthy rhetoric  in the DVD very effective use of media.  It was easy to follow,  hard as it was to watch.  Its news was not good but it had honesty and integrity in it’s content, and intention; to crack the shell of inertia,  illusion and fear of change in us. 

I believe that there are other levels of outreach  in operation.  Teachers of 2012 predictions have much to say about cycles, and ancient myth and wisdom; astrologers talk about the configurations of the stars and their influence upon us.  Some interpreters of Christianity suggest the Savior of man will return within us.  I  listen and consider it all.  I feel deep inside me that the true change must and will happen in us and by us, from our willing, awake, effort to alter our way of seeing things,  and how we live with each other, and our earth.

I have woken up with the strong need to put Earth first in my consciousness.  How? I will daily ask, “what can I do for the earth today?”   Maybe a letter to be written, a phone call to someone of like mind, a gathering of friends to plan a fund raising idea.  Maybe a prayer or meditation.  Maybe a piece of art is in me.   As the DVD, “The 11th Hour” teaches, “We are not separate from nature. We are Nature.”  We are the Earth.

The Place (Creative Visioning)

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a beautiful Being now glides over the face of the earth, graceful, translucent, with a serene face and flowing hair. She is immeasurable in size. Her hands are together in the sleeves of her long pale jade green robe that ripples all over with silky waves shimmering in the sunlight.

As she passes, the colors of the countries below pulse slightly brighter, waters clear, feelings and thoughts of people elevate in her wake – all life elements are transformed as she passes, though they can’t see her. Only you and I.

She approaches the great sea and smiles radiantly; extending her hands out of her robes in blessing. The wind moves in waves around her, gently lifting her hair. I hear the wind, and I too feel the salty spray on my face. She moves steadily forward over the water towards the “Place.”

Dolphins leap along in joy; whales thrust their immense forms up out of the water and fall back into magnificent belly flops. The sun sparkles on the pearly foam of cresting waves. It takes my breath away.

Many formations of seabirds fly in attendance. She appears to be born of the clear blue topaz sky, yet belongs to the earth. Is she Venus? I fly in my mind up close to her heart. I hear its beat, and the soft hiss of her rippling silks. I tilt my head and hear the grand symphony of thousands of calling birds and of their wings in flight. Who are you?, I ask.

My eyes mist over and my heart pulses with the desire for this to be so – to be real – to really be happening.

I feel her great compassion envelope me and all that is. She is our mother of course, and there is not one cell not one soul she does not love. She is the soul of Earth, taking form in answer to the call from all over the world, and further. Such a call created a vortex of energy of caring and sacrifice that she could not resist. “Now this is more like it,” she said to me, and then, “The souls of Earth are gods, you know.” Then she moved over Haiti, arms out as though embracing the island; a great shimmering silk scarf descending into the busy rescue activity of countless men and women from many worlds . “Hey, wait for me,” I yelled.
She answered, “You are with me, we are one.”

Wouldn’t it be wonderful…..