Enlightenment.

My inspiration for writing this post has come from a number of sources.  Firstly, it is dedicated to my niece, Araminta – who’s birthday it is today.  At birth she weighed less than a pound. She is her parent’s own miracle fawn – whom they have nurtured for nineteen whole years to this point in time – 24th. May 2016.

Today she is in her second year at university studying costume production and associated crafts at Plymouth university.

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Amitayus - Something About Dartmoor

“Nowadays people don’t get enlightenment because they don’t sit under a tree.” Satish Kumar – Earth Pilgrim.   Amitayus –  ‘Buddha of Limitless Life’ sits under the Mulberry tree in our garden.

Tuesday is probably my favourite day of the week because I don’t have to go to work – and I have time right now to sit and meditate – to ponder; not under a tree but in front of my computer at home. Beyond the screen – through the window – I’m vaguely distracted and amused by an acrobatic squirrel who has come to my table again…Squirrel at my table - Something about Dartmoor

Along with Squirrel – there are feathered beings – Wood Pigeons, Collared Doves, Sparrows, Blackbirds and a lightning-fast Magpie that all daily come to to eat at my table – each and everyone a welcome guest – and an inspiration; I feed them and they in turn feed my soul.  

I’m inspired too by Caitlin – and by Lynn – two wise commentators who regularly visit my blog.

Caitlin’s most recent comment on ‘A brown speckled cushion of loveliness’ reads – “On Buddha’s Birthday a spotted fawn is born – just like that.”
Haiku by Basho.

Lynn’s latest comment on ‘Beauty’s spot’ – says ‘Thank the Gods for nature.’  Both comments are so beautifully succinct; I couldn’t have put things better myself and I thank them kindly.  

Roe Deer Fawn - Something about Dartmoor

The Buddhist festival, Vesak – was celebrated on the date of the full moon – the day I ‘coincidentally’ found the tiny fawn – 21st May 2016. The festival marks Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death.

Another source came while setting off from the house for my late evening walk yesterday with Tom – 23rd May 2016 – I noticed a leaf had opened on Dad’s Mulberry tree that overhangs the garden railings into the road; it is a perfect, symbolic heart.  The tree was given to my father by my mother as a gift about fifty years ago. My father is now 92 and confined to his bed.  He has lived with cancer for five years and is slowly, inextricably nearing a new beginning…

While all the other trees in the garden and beyond have unfurled their leaves – the Mulberry will be the last to fully open. Standing next to it – I could hear the sap rising – pushing forth.

Beneath the Mulberry tree sits Amitayus – ‘Buddha of Limitless Life’.

Mulberry tree - Something about Dartmoor

Picking up on those thoughts and feelings – was something my Mother externalised when I showed her the picture of the tiny fawn on Sunday 22nd May 2016 – she is 82 years young.  Stirred by how all trees except the Mulberry have reached their zenith of vivid greenness – she verbalised that universal feeling of maternal joy – exhaustion – and relief – that a mother feels after nine ‘long’ months when finally her unborn child arrives on the Earth – that first moment of instant love when you hold your offspring in your arms and melt. My mother had five children – I was number four. I have gone on to have two myself – and I exactly got what she was expressing…Tom - Something about DartmoorArchie - just days old

Each and every birth is its own miracle and it is a feeling that time doesn’t diminish.  It echoed my thoughts of the doe straining to give birth to the little fawn alone in a quiet wood – no midwife to assist – ‘just’ Nature – or Gaia taking her course. 

Walking home with Tom in the darkness – we reached the crossroads near the wood where I found the tiny fawn. “No talking now.”  I said. “We don’t want our voices to carry on the wind and disturb the tiny fawn and doe.”  Quietly we journeyed on until we reached the dip far enough away to not be heard.  As we resumed our conversation – a tawny owl somewhere up in in the tall pine trees chirped-in.  Not so much a “Tu-whit Tu-whoo”  rather a penetrating screech – and I asked of it – “Are you the owl that came back to life in my car?”  and the owl screeched back at me again. Several times I asked the same question and every-time it answered with the same reply.

Ever-since the owl incident last year – we hear the same tawny owl always in the same spot and always when we are together – and I ask the same question. I feel certain that it is ‘our’ owl because as the crow flies – the spot is about half a mile from where we released it back into the wild.  I explained to Tom – that when we are in a state of unconsciousness as we are before birth – and as the Owl was when it was lying ‘dead’ on the front seat of the car – voice recognition is the sense that comes to the fore; we remember it.

As we reached the brow of the hill back into our village – I stopped and looked back.  There on the horizon above ‘Shedland’ – a huge orange Moon had risen – and I realised the momentousness of finding that tiny, furry form curled-up on the woodland floor.  

Simply put via the miracle of modern-day communication – it’s that vastly greater medium of interconnectedness that all beings share; it’s called the gift of life.

Many happy returns of the day Araminta!  X

 

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