I open the garage door and the smell of fresh rain floods in. There’s a mix of dead leaves to its scent. I inhale it deeply, feeling my body relax as I take a moment to just smell the air. It is a beautiful earthy smell and a reminder of why fall is such a heartwarmingly cozy time of year. Sad to see summer go, but as I step out of my garage into the light of the overcast sky and a crisp breeze chills through my damp hair, I feel a welcoming for the fall and for what it might bring, as seasonally the old will fall away.
I watch my daughter, who will turn two in a month, trail off out into the driveway. She stops at the edge of the yard and bends down to examine something in the grass. I imagine she has no preference yet for the time of year. She greets each day the same with an eagerness to explore, to play, to learn, and live. She knows the key to happiness in life and it is nothing she has been taught. It is a basic inner stirring to do the things that she wishes to do. To follow the trails of possibility and go to these places that call to her. To be free in her will and swept up in the moment. I look at her and see that yes, that girl has it all. I am happy to give what freedoms I can to her and also eager myself to watch, take note, and perhaps learn a thing or two about being in the moment.
She follows me to the front of our house where we are going to plant a white dragon flower. I had ordered it from a catalog this past spring and it arrived at our house yesterday packaged in a cardboard box and a redi-plant pot. She watches me as I pull up the overgrown weeds of my neglected flower bed. Next year I will do better I tell myself. Soon she is down there with me pulling up weeds and tearing off leaves from plants asking, “S’one?” and handing them to me, “Here Mama.” We are clearing a spot to plant the dragon flower next to our shepherd’s hook where the wind chime hangs. The chime’s dangling weighted cord seems to have gotten tangled up around a weed. I untangle it and the sound instantly draws my daughter’s attention. She looks at it, watching intently as the dangly cord blows in every direction of the wind. It teases her to catch it but instead she reaches up and bats at the chimes themselves, smiling with joy at the noise she can make. I take note here: there’s always joy in discovering new things that we are capable of doing.
As I dig a shallow hole for the little potted plant she leans over top of where I dig watching closely to see what I am doing. “Dig!” she exclaims. When I am done I hand her the shovel so she may try for herself. She makes a quick decision of what to do with the shovel and starts filling the hole back in. I tell her, “No, we have to take the dirt out.” She tries my suggestion but then reverts back to filling. I don’t intervene this time and just let her do her own work. Eventually her attention skips a beat to look up at the singing wind chime and identify it as, “song.” “Mama’s turn.” she says next handing me the shovel. This moment is complete for her as she wanders off briefly, her own convictions leading the way.
I grab the plant but then remember that there is something else I wanted to place in the earth before the dragon flower. The day before I had pulled a stray piece of hair from my shirt. A normal enough occurrence but something inside of me spoke up and suggested that I save it. I know, kinda weird, but as a person that follows her intuition I often give thought to those strange ideas that seem to be emphasized by overshadowing. There was definitely a part of the day where I thought that’s really kind of gross, saving hair!? And then later I noticed a clump of hair on my daughter’s shoulder that she must have pulled out along with the barrette I couldn’t get her to keep in. Ok, ok, I’ll save it, I thought to myself agreeing to this strange inkling. I put the hairs into a plastic baggie and by the end of the day it contained both hair and nails and from every member of my family and I knew now that when I planted that dragon flower I would also be planting these little bits of us as a way to initiate a blessing for our family.
Now here I am ready to do this so I lean in and place my hands around the hole, palms down. My daughter also leans in and mimics me keeping her hands there for only but a moment. I ask aloud, “God please bless this Earth that we walk on. Help it to provide everything that we need both physically and spiritually.” I drop in the contents of the bag watching as they land below and ask, “Earth please bless my family, provide for us all that we need and with your love, safety, and protection we ask you to watch over the bodies from which these bits I offer you have came. Thank you God. Thank you Earth. Amen. Love realized.” As I end the prayer for a blessing I again place my hands up against the Earth and send heart energy down into her. From my heart to hers.
Once the dragon flower has been planted into the ground I dump the last little bit of dirt and my daughter decides, “All done.” I sprinkle a little water over the earth wondering briefly what it will look like next year when it flowers. Then we both move on to the next moment of the day leaving the blessing and the plant to take growth and maintain on its own.