At 4:45 this morning fierce winds knocked down two of our large pines sending one to the ground shaking and groaning as it fell and the other into our house. For about 15 minutes it sounded as if the house itself were about to fall. I actually shouted to Chuck: “The house is going!” In actuality it was the second pine falling onto the roof. The force of the fall as it hit the roof broke its eight-foot crown right off and sent it sailing over the peak of the house. “We’re in the Wizard of Oz!” Chuck said, as it landed with a shattering crash onto the deck right outside our bedroom. “Oh my god! There’s a pine tree on the deck! Where the heck did that come from?” I wondered. “We don’t have any pines near the deck.”
My daughter, who was asleep upstairs, came running downstairs as the first pine tree crashed past her window and just as the other punctured the roof a few feet from her bed. Opening the front door we saw the extent of the damage and even in the dark we could see that it looked pretty bad. The two tall pines, 80-100 feet high, which we always suspected of being vulnerable to the kinds of winds we get up on our little hill lay sprawled out, their roots yanked from the ground, huge holes exposing the earth that had been their home for the past 40 years.
Those trees were also resting and nesting places for numerous birds and they have been flying around in frantic disbelief all morning. It’s still quite windy as I write this and I’m a little worried that the last pine too will topple onto the house. About 5 years ago the fourth one went down in a similar windstorm, though it fell away from the house taking out the electric box as it went. We are lucky that the side of the house that was damaged this morning does not house any wires or lines of importance, so I sit comfortably enough inside at my computer, though if it rains again we fear more damage. The insurance company has been called and the first project is to get the tree off the house. I’m waiting for my neighbor, a tree man, to come and take a look.
I had planned to write about the process of recapitulation again today, with the idea of acquiescence uppermost in my mind. I am not surprised to be dealing with the loss of the presence of these two powerful trees for they are showing us something that we as humans have such a hard time with: letting ourselves fall.
As I neared the end of my recapitulation journey I had a powerful dream that signified for me why it had been so important to learn how to acquiesce to the process of that journey. In the dream I was preparing to meet my adversary, a huge space age monster, as big as a building, made of solid gleaming metal equipped with weapons of all kinds. I was dressed in a tattered padded dress with a tool belt tied around my waist that did not have any tools in it, but I knew I did not need weapons. The only things I needed were inner calm, balance, perseverance, the ability to remain in total alignment with the inner self and the ability to shift at the right moment. During the course of the dream I outwitted the terrible monster simply by remaining aware and alert. With utter calmness and balance I simply shifted out of his way, incrementally moving at exactly the right moment into the right position as I watched him repeatedly lunge at me and fall to the ground, his bulk no match for my agile accuracy.
From this dream I understood that during the process of my recapitulation I had learned not only how to successfully fight off an old monster from the past but that I had also won the battle against resistance to change. To begin with, I had to learn that I couldn’t move on in my life until I learned that things could change. That was the first big insight, and the second was as simple as surrendering to healing, yet it was the hardest thing I had ever done. I had to fall, like those two pines, in order for things to change and for eventual healing to happen.
This is what we must all do, surrender to the journey of confrontation with the inner demons and find the path to healing. The inner demons may not be fully known until we allow for change and even the path may not always be clear at times either. But with perseverance, by staying connected to the personal inner journey, the path undoubtedly reappears when we most need it. And it is indeed a path of surrender, first to the most apparent truths of the self and then to the most hidden ones as well. We can learn to accept the journey as one of healing, even as we struggle daily with what comes to awaken us to the deeper self, by surrendering to the natural process of our personal recapitulation.
Chuck and I have both loved those pine trees for the shade and privacy they gave us and known that some day they would have to come down. We were not yet ready to lose them, but now we are forced to face what the loss of them means. We must prepare for a new look to our front yard and get used to a new kind of exposure. We will get more sunlight into the house, but we will feel the heat in the summer as well. I think the recapitulation lesson here is that like the pine trees falling in the wind, sometimes our recapitulation comes to greet us unexpectedly, in abrupt and forceful ways. Sometimes we do not have a choice. Sometimes we must acquiesce to nature’s will and fall in the wind. Sometimes the power of nature, inside or outside of us, is all we need in order to surrender to the healing journey.
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Sending you all love and good wishes,