My reflection on rootedness began last year when I happened to see a TED Talk from Suzanne Simard. In it, she explores scientifically as to whether trees communicate with one another. How does this research effect our spiritual/ecological awareness and practice?
“They are like trees
planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season,
and their leaves do not wither.
In all that they do, they prosper.” Psalm 1:3 (NRSV)
As I reflect on this verse from the Psalms, I am aware of rootedness. I also am aware that along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast that tremendous wind and rain are uprooting and flooding trees, land, and homes. Many people may not have anything to come back to if they evacuated before the storm and those that remained may have their lives in great danger. Life as they knew it has been uprooted.
I pray for them that they may find safety, that their needs may be met in the weeks and months ahead, and that they may know their roots in the Holy One that is with them in all of life’s journey. Please join me in praying and responding to those in need.
Today in the United States we experienced the eclipse. After weeks of building up to the event, scientific discussions of what was happening, and concern about safety glasses as well as long distance travel by many, it happened. I personally loved it although I watched it on tv. Due to foggy conditions the eclipse remained a shadowed event where I was. Many others throughout the United States were able to see it more clearly than I was.
I have more empathy for our ancestors for whom this was perhaps a terror filled event. Perhaps they not only were unprepared for such an event but the fact that some were permanently blinded may have increased the disruption they experienced.
What I enjoyed seeing on tv were the groups of friends and family who traveled to witness the eclipse together. While watching a solar event, perhaps they were also experiencing the rootedness of sharing something of significance together.
What do you think?
What was your experience?
I haven’t posted on my blog for over a week. As with many I have been struggling to articulate my feelings in the aftermath of the events in Charlottesville, Virginia. Any blog on rootedness without mentioning the roots of racism which flourish underground and behind closed doors in the United States and elsewhere is at best naive, and at worst, colluding with evil.
As a white woman of a certain age, I have experienced privilege. I am aware of racism but have been largely unaware of the depth of this evil as it was not part of the day to day life in the world that I lived in on a daily basis. That lack of awareness changed for me when I was working as a psychology intern in a public school in Oakland, California. I was engaged in listening to African American children talking about their lives, their dreams, their poverty, their family members killed violently, and drugs. These children became “my children” and I became intensely aware of the school and the neighborhood around them. There was so much from billboards to attitudes that offered little hope or expectation for my children to do anything in the way of pursuing their dreams.
As communities and as individuals we can do better than that. We must do better than that. Our rootedness as individuals, as families, as communities, and as nations in this world requires of us to know evil as well as good, and to act together in confronting the evils of racism and violence wherever and whenever we see them.
I am going to invite you to engage with me in a creative practice. The first step is to light a candle and meditate on your rootedness in the Holy One. Whether you name the Holy One as God, the Source, the Ground or many other names, sit in silence and allow that silence to fill you and go down into the earth beneath you. Pay attention to the root of the Holy that is within you and how it grounds you in this place and time. Give yourself 20 minutes or more to sit with this Practice. If you found it helpful, you may return to this practice again.
The second practice is to draw or paint roots or as we imagine roots to be. (The accuracy or beauty of your drawing or painting is unimportant. ) Name the roots by making labels for each root such as God, family, self, community etc. Let the painting rest and come back to it at a later time. Perhaps at that time other roots will be drawn and/or connecting roots may be added.
The third practice is to take this picture and use it as part of your meditation. Use your journal to record any thoughts or further images. What action steps can you take to create encourage and create change in your life or create change with others?
If you wish to share comments or your thoughts on this process, please respond. Please continue to pray for Earthenware Ministry that this small Ministry may deepen and grow rooted in Christ. Please know that you are in my prayers as well.
Please also remember, Evil has roots, so does Love. Know what and in whom you are rooted.
When I think of rootedness I am reminded of my landlady's wisteria. I know that may sound a bit strange.
A couple of years ago my landlady wished to have the back of her residence re-painted. In preparation of the painting, she had an old wisteria vine cut down to the ground level. She saved pieces of the vine which were large and twisted as decorative pieces in large flower arrangements, had the painting done and imagined that was all of the wisteria vine. Little did she know that the wisteria was plotting a come-back. Wisteria vines have come up where the roots originally were, in the flower beds, and even through cracks in the concrete floor. I had never thought of wisteria as invasive, but having seen it, I imagine the wisteria will survive longer than the house. I find it amusing and am in awe of the tenacity of this vine.
I imagine each of us are aware of our own "vines" which may be positive, but also potentially less so. We could discuss all kinds of seemingly real and metaphorical vines.
However, in this blog post I wish to focus on that deep root that is part of our goodness, our courage, our tenacity that draws strength from the Holy One who is also the source of our being. It is not a wisteria plant but rather our own living self. We can find humor in our humanness as well as appreciation and gratitude for the gift of life and the grace of living. Thanks be to God.
I just discovered on-line an academic writing about Rootedness. I have not read this book as of this time and am not providing a review. However if this topic interests you, you may wish to explore this, Rootedness: The Ramifications of Metaphor by Christy Wampole, University of Chicago Press, 2016.
I am house-sitting in North-State California and enjoying a garden on the property that could use some assistance. As it is not my property, I don't want to make a large investment in giving the garden that attention. So, during my stay here, I have been putting cuttings into water and rooting them. In a relatively short time, fragile filaments become visible and then roots. These are then ready for planting where the roots will hopefully establish the plant more securely provided there is enough water, sun, and nutrients for the plant to survive. At this time there is plenty of sun, water less so.
During the month of August, I will continue to reflect upon rootedness both as a way of looking at both fragility and strength.
Why rootedness rather than stability or groundedness? I will touch on those topics as well as they are not separate from rootedness. Also, this blog for August will not be a reflection on Jesus' Parable of the Sower, although I may touch on that as well.
During this month of August as we prepare for the increased pace of the next few months, and as eyes are focused on the skies with both a lunar and solar eclipse, let us also look at our rootedness including our own fragility and strength. Let us look at our need for community, spiritual practice, and God's grace in our lives. May your roots, as well as mine, be deep ones.
Your thoughts or reflections on this topic are invited. Prayers for Earthenware Ministry are always appreciated.
Today is the last day that we will specifically focus on the topic of play as a Spiritual Practice. I hope you have enjoyed reflecting on play during the month of July and will continue to incorporate positive play into your life daily.
I further hope that your reflection has led to a deeper awareness of the Holy One and the practices that you might choose to deepen that relationship through that play.
Please leave a message below should you wish to leave any thoughts or comments.
Play on! Peace!