If there one thing I've worked on this year, it's creating calm; in my mind, my home and in my life.
Prior to this pandemic I found an eagles nest. Quite by accident actually. Mike and I were looking for an additional place to keep some of our beehives. A friend of Mikes offered to let us put them on his land.
As we were scouting the location, I had a sense that this place was right, even more I has a sense this place was sacred. We walked around looking at potential soon-to-be pollen and nectar sources which was a little tricky since this was during the end of January.
Something made me look up. Stunned, I said "Is that an eagles nest?!"
It was a massive circle of perfectly woven sticks.
As we gazed in amazement, not caring about the neck strain that comes from looking up for so long, an eagle appeared firmly perched on the top of a broken sycamore tree branch.
I had my camera and I took full advantage of having it with me, making sure though that I also took in the moment in my soul as well as in my camera.
Clearly, we were the predator to this predator so he/she made several flights around us.
Sure, I have seen my share of eagles. I go every year to either Grafton, Illinois or Clarksville, Missouri to see them and take pictures. I have never ever though seen a real life eagles nest. Also, the annual trips to take pictures of eagles can be a hit or miss, I may see some, I may not. This eagle family, I stumbled upon, became as much a part of my life as I became part of theirs.
Soon after our nest discovery, the world shifted. School was let out, people were getting very sick, people were dying. The pandemic was official.
As this realization set in, so did my anxiety. I tried to get my mind off of it, I tried not to worry. Through my reading and journal writing during this time, phrases like "find what makes you happy and do that" and "where and when do you feel calm?" kept coming up. For me, these things usually take place while feeding the animals on our farm, tending to our garden or just sitting at the creek. This time though, I wasn't getting the peace of mind I usually do, the worries, questions and confusion kept coming up.
Finally, it hit me. I need to go back to the eagles nest. After all, it's a NEST and a nest means eggs and eggs means babies! I did some quick research and found out that eaglets usually hatch in March. It was nearly March.
I went to the nest every few days. Walked the river side trails. Tripping quite often as I had my head up to the nest and sky the whole time. No sign of babies yet. I didn't care. I just wanted to be there because there, I felt calm. It's where my mind shut off and my senses turned on. I created a calm.
Then one day I told my grandson, "let's go see some baby eagles!" He said "Okay, but how do you know there is a baby eagle there?" I told him that I didn't know, but I felt there was. Deep down, I wasn't sure, had a "hunch" but it was worth checking it out.
Imagine my absolute giddiness as I walked up to this!
I almost passed out with excitement! Okay, that's a little dramatic, but I could hardly believe when I looked up to see this tiny gray bird.
This place became my thing. My calm.
The natural world knew nothing about a pandemic affecting the human race. One parent watched over the eaglets while the other hunted for food. So simple. So natural. The process unfolding before me reminded me of the hunter-gathers that we humans once were, not so very long ago.
During this pretty short period of time, the eaglet grew and grew and grew, seemingly very fast! He/she was went from gray to brown and those tiny wings became not so tiny.
As I write this, it is August. The pandemic started in March. We were told things would be better in June, then July. It's still here and will continue to be here. By the time it is less of a threat and we resume a life similar to what we knew before March; I hope we all have lessons that we learned and can call upon from this time.
I have two big lessons so far to come out of this. One, is that more than ever, keeping my and my families immune systems running at optimal levels is priority. Since we can't always get that in our food, we will supplement with high quality vitamins, every day, for the rest of our lives.
Secondly, I have learned how to create calm. This is different than just "calming down." It's different than trying to make the stress and/or worry go away. It is literally finding a place either physically or in my mind to actively seek out and find the calm.
The eaglets (ends up thee were two - the whole time I watched them grow, I thought I was watching one grow.) have are fully grown. They have left the nest and I assume doing just fine.
I will never forget this amazing and spiritual experience. Watching eagles became so much more than I ever expected and has helped me through this weird time we are collectively going through.
I want to say that I am by nature, not calm. I have bouts of anxiety and have had to train myself to work with it. The truth is, we ARE all calm by nature and calmed by nature. It's our life experiences and how we interpret them that takes us out of balance with nature.
Find your calm. Create your calm. It can be in your yard, at a park, riverside, creek side, the middle of the woods your front porch. Find it. Place yourself in a space to absorb nature. Find it, create it, sit there and do absolutely nothing. I promise you, in that nothing there is something for you.
If you feel drawn to check out the most recent featured product, just click on the pictures. It's a meaningful one. Bee Well Basket. I wish for you and your loved ones, to "bee" well, in mind, body and soul.
I leave you with some more random moments I captured in my calm space. Enjoy!