Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Spiritual Light of Depression

It's drizzling again, like it has been through the whole growing season. While the rest of the country seems to burn, our area is locked in winter. I sit and watch out my window. The farm is heavy with the sky. Slugs are moving in from all directions. Berries rot. The growth of our livelihood is at a standstill, at least on the surface.

Yet the roots continue to dive into the clay. Flowers blossom deep in the soil where voles and moles seek to devour them, churning the crop rows in their feeding.  Life pushes ahead anyway.

I could be disappointed in what nature has dealt us this season. But I'm free to choose another way besides disappointment. All I can do today is what I've really have wanted to do all along: Write. Watch. Allow my spirit to wander. Then come here and tell you about the experience. Then, listen to your response.

Like so many people today, I've been cyclically depressed much of my life. It's as if a cool mist continues to fall, even in the summer season of my work.

Today I choose to go deep, even as the naysayers and doomsdayers approach from all sides. The challenges seem to come from every which way but from my spirit. Because there's a  central part of me (and I think all of us) that is totally healed. It may be very hard to find and see. But I cling to that holy place deep within.

So, what can I do now? Tend the garden anyway. Wait patiently for the words. Protect the tender blossoms. Be as free as I can in the drizzle. Be free while all around tamed expectations are burning in a climate change of forgetfulness.

A wildfire of inattention wants to claim me and all of us. Yet here, at this moment, the green crops and wild weeds are still reaching up into the grey.

Depression can be a great teacher or a boring  en-slaver. Depression can be a doorway into a joy which has little to do with superficial happiness. We, the clouded and damp, need the support of each other and the light that dwells deep in the heart of the Sacred Earth. Our souls have longings that can be touched down deep.

We are not alone and we are free, even in the rain.

What do you really want today?
Who are you down deep inside?

Here are a few links on the soulful aspects of depression:

Article: The Spiritual Side of Depression

Speaking of Faith Podcast on the Soul and Depression

Peace of the Mist Be Yours,

Copyright Richard Sievers, June 2012

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Remembering my Friend Tom, my Once Upon a Time Celtic Circle and the Wild Hunt
The Oran Mor: An ancient Celtic phrase for Song of the Universe.

This is a true experience while recently working on our farm, reminding me of the Song of the Universe… the One singing inside everything.

In the gloaming woodland I snaked over fallen logs and waded through heavy headed ferns. The reflection of the sun was asleep everywhere except for the very top of the ancient cedars and fir. Two hounds ran wildly, following their noses, plowing the humus and duff, charging into thickets of blackberry’s thorns, joined shoulder to shoulder.  They ran in frenzied flip fops of chaos, following a scent I could never know.

I had gone past the wood’s tangled boundary, high wired on a log over our rumbling creek. I had arrived in an open cathedral of wild vespers.

I was drowned out of my tilling and sowing by the reckless howling and braying that rose and fell from their wild tour of the borderlands. My curiosity pulled me into the forest that surrounds our land. I went inward without concern for the pain the loud noise had caused to my once silent reverie of mud and pipe and tines. 

I arrived in the near dark in an arc of limb and needles. I stood, wet and shivering, on a stump as the dogs ranged all through the field of vision. Their tails high and wagging. Tongues lolling. Shoulders hunched even as they ranged with a raucous swagger.

They ran all around me. The forest and me and the stump being the still points. They never saw me, never cared for anything beyond their wild task. They were intent on prey or joy or some hidden heart they'd smelled beating rapidly in the dander. They were pure in their mysterious purpose and their abandonment to joy.

It seemed like this was what the dogs came to earth for. This was their call and response of ecstasy. This wild hunt.

I paused until the darkness became deep. Then I meandered back, out of the forest. Crossed the swollen creek on the thread of arching wood. I walked into my field, heavy with dew, fingers of mist rising from the clay. I came back into the tailings and seedlings I had tended.

I thought about desire and passion, work and wonder. I had sweat and toiled all day. I wondered if my toil had brought the world more joy and freedom. Or, had I only distracted myself from the things I love?

I bent down and reached my hand into the sweet sacred soil of my home. I lifted the cold wet earth to my face and breathed in. I smelled spring and the sun. I felt the rains of winter drain from between my fingers. I smiled and sang a little tune recalled from my childhood summers. Then I dropped the scrutiny of my labors and my yearnings.

I was just another animal in the gloaming.

The two hounds brayed as the sun ran further into the night. Then their voices faded away. These beings had sung their own song of wilderness and joy. I heard them. I touched the mystery of my own happiness for moments in my home’s soil. And the field sighed. I breathed deep and then made my way toward the warmth of my home and my particular life… a wild memory in my heart.

Where is your home? 
What do you hear singing within you today?   
Who ranges the wild wood on the borderlands of your world?
Can I meet you there?

Song of the Wildwood be yours.

(c) Copyright Richard Sievers, June 2012