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Posts Tagged ‘Monument Mountain’

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Dark Journal 
writing.ritual & art making

Suzy Banks Baum

There is not a day that passes without me doing this:

I set out to bring the veg scraps to the compost. I pass the majestic oak. I pass the ancient maple stump that was 250 years old when the rest of its tree self fell 20 years ago. I walk on the mossy grass and murmur prayers of thanksgiving to all the spirits who hold this land. I send prayers of honor to the people who inhabited this place before me. Before the people who built our house in 1898. Before the white settlers came to this area and called it Great Barrington in 1726.

The traditional Native inhabitants of this area were Mohican. Stockbridge Mohican, as I learned from my friend Jimmy, who is a member of that tribe. Long displaced to Wisconsin, the tribe has a presence here in Berkshire County, no matter how many years have passed since they hunted, traded, and lived here. Just to the north of where I sit, stands Monument Mountain, a sacred place for Mohicans. My children went to high school in its craggy shadow. We have hiked it more times than I can recall. A few miles east is the confluence of the Umpachene and Konkapot Rivers. That land was a special meeting place for the Indigenous inhabitants of this territory. We go to those waterfalls for sanctuary in every season.

By my estimation, that Sugar Maple stood while the Mohicans still populated what is now called Berkshire County. This fact alone causes me to stop and say thank you for the shelter that tree provided then, and for what it gives to my family now.

How does the land you walk on nourish your day? How can you give thanks and acknowledge those who came before you? How does the act of breathing, step by step, connect you to yourself and help prepare for the coming winter season?

If you find yourself edgy and twitching from seasonal sensory overload, here is a small gift. It comes to you without cost, for it is the freshest and most readily accessed gift we can find every moment.
It is breath.

Place your right hand on your belly.
Place your left hand on your heart.
Begin to breathe so that you lift the belly hand slightly with your inhale, while your heart hand stays still.
Continue to breathe in this pattern, slowly. Inhale, move the belly hand. Exhale feel your belly fall toward your spine.

Continue in this breathing pattern for at least ten rounds of breath. If you feel lightheaded, please stop and try it again later.

This practice quiets my nervous system. I awoke this morning worrying about my daughter. I put my hands on belly and heart and breathed slowly for ten rounds. As I did, I saw her with plenty of strong solutions to the snag she is in right now. I saw her swimming forward in her life with strong brave strokes. I continued breathing and noticed how my mind, so quick to enter the day agitated, instead relaxed.

I hope you will consider joining me for Advent Dark Journal, a nourishing 6-week self-paced guided experience with writing, art, and ritual prompts delivered to your email every Saturday morning.

You can read all about it here.

Or go ahead and register here.
With love from my heart to yours,
Suzi

Copyright © 2019 Suzi Banks Baum, All rights reserved.
Via SuziBanksBaum.com, or at LaundryLineDivine.com
Our mailing address is:
Suzi Banks Baum
Post Office Box 224
Great Barrington, MA 01230

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TO Suzi from Napkinwriter:

I needed this in this exact agitated moment, dear Suzi. I will share on Napkinwriter. Hearts and blessings to you, dear friend. I am breath…
Sue
aka Journey GIrl

 

 

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