By Lynda Shadbolt
I just went to pick up my husband who had spent the day with his good friend, collecting and boiling sap. So far they have made four litres of maple syrup. They have been outside all day listening to the birds, tending the fire, eating good sandwiches and laughing a lot. They are so happy. They have Canoe FM playing and Sue Shikaze (with her radio show Northern Aire on Saturdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.) is encouraging everyone to take a few minutes and dance. So, we are dancing around the wood burning stove. It feels so uplifting to be dancing together. I would say the whole process is filling our hearts. And soon it filled our bellies!
Earlier in the day, I had been leading a yoga workshop and I always start the class with remembering that we do this practice for our own well-being, and for the well-being of all. I said, “The two-legged, four-legged, feathered, those that swim in the ocean and lakes and rivers, those that crawl and bite, those that slither, the rainforests, the deserts, the flowers, the fruits, the vegetables and the weeds.” And of course we wish the trees well too.
These trees have roots that go deep down into the earth. The roots are grounding and supporting them. Nourishing them. Their roots have a relationship with all the roots from all trees that are around them. These roots that reach down, so that the magnificent trees can rise up and be their unique beautiful beings in the world. Every tree is unique. It has its own shape and curves and branch structure. Every tree is a collection of living cells, just as we are. When we remember to wish for the well being of all “beings,” we are remembering that we are all connected. We all share the same air. We all share the same earth. And as Caroline Myss regularly says in her talks, “what we do to the one we do to the whole.”
When we love and respect ourselves we can love and respect all. When we forget that we are loved and feel disconnected or alone that is when we may suffer. It is important to have a daily reminder that you are connected to the whole of life, and to keep that practice strong. It might be through prayer, journaling, making art, meditation, going to church, being in nature, yoga, qigong, having a quiet reflective reading each day, etc. When we can take a few minutes every day to be quiet and to remember the deeper presence of love, gratitude and peace that is in us we can hold that for ourselves and for the well-being of all. The sun shines on everything. It doesn’t discriminate. What if our love shined for the well-being of all? If everyone remembered this connection, how would the world be? So, as I dance around the fire with my friends, I am so grateful for every maple tree in their yard! I will never take them for granted. And I will remember them every time I have some maple syrup on my pancakes or ice cream!