(Essay) Gratitude Stalks You by Hearth Moon Rising

HMR DSCN0861-1024x768Gratitude stalks you
Unawares you are ambushed
Smile in surprise

Earlier this week I was in the woods at a stream swollen with spring, and a familiar situation overtook me. It’s similar to coming upon a beautiful scene by surprise or having an unusual interaction with an animal–and of course you left the camera at home. This is the situation of coming upon a sublime space, maybe in some ordinary place where you’ve been many times, and your heart is unexpectedly opened and full to overflowing. Perhaps you can hear the voices of water, rocks and trees. This is the time for ritual, but you have no offering. A simple thank you does not seem like enough. What gift can you leave to signify the importance of this moment?

Fortunately, a priestess twenty years ago taught me that you can leave a strand of hair as an offering. Trees love hair–that’s why they grab at your head as you walk down the trail. In the desert you can offer a few drops from your water bottle, but where I live a water offering seems superfluous. (It’s one thing we have plenty of!)

There are many offerings you can make when you come with just yourself.

If you have a few coins in your pocket, trees also love money. They prefer coin to paper money. Water and earth like coins as well.

A gesture can be an offering: a hug, kiss or pat on a rock or tree. Touch water and rub your forehead. Spinning or jumping are more exhuberant gestures.

The spoken word is a profound offering. A prayer said out loud. A song, not necessarily a spiritual song but even a popular song that comes into your head at the moment. Conversation can be a wonderful gift that trees and animals value. They might not understand your words, but they hear the tone and cadence. Animals particularly like the higher pitched, more melodic voices of children and women.

If the ground is sandy, you can write a message with a stick: a symbol, a picture, a word. Pebbles can also be arranged to send a message.

What other empty-handed offerings can you suggest? Leave a message in the comments.

First published in http://hearthmoonblog.com/gratitude-stalks-you/

Read Meet Mago Contributor Hearth Moon Rising.

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4 thoughts on “(Essay) Gratitude Stalks You by Hearth Moon Rising”

  1. I love all of your demonstrations of gratitude, Helen. Sometims i draw the 5 pointed star in the soil or sand and invoke any positive, healing energies to enter. Sometimes i do the same in the water with my hand. When i did workshops in South Africa, i asked the group to applaud – clap hands – when we arrived at beautiful places. I also believe trees and plants and animals appreciate being told how beautiful they are. I also tell them in a clear voice that they inspire me, and then i say thank you. I don’t know what would happen to my spirit if i cannot go into nature.
    . .

    1. Marie,

      Honor should go to Hearth Moon Rising, the author of the essay. Anyhow, thanks for sharing your way of being in Nature. It is the force of Earth Mother/Mago that will be with us till the end.

  2. “gratitude stalks you” a blissful evoking combination of words, thank you for providing this landscape…. trees catching your hair, a lovely reminder and writing a message with a stick, I look forward to doing this….. beautiful essay.

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