Monday, January 09, 2006

Fire and Ice

I'm reading the latest offering by Gretel Ehrlich, explorer and muse extraordinaire, The Future of Ice. It's her account of a personal environmental foray, told with a piercing honesty and insight that burns clean any remaining vestiges of hubris lingering like dust on an unexamined life.

Years ago, when I was still a city dweller yearning to breathe free, I read, The Solace of Open Spaces, and felt her word pictures of Wyoming's vastness open my own spiritual path toward sweet solitude. Later I walked with her through her experience of being struck by lightning, in A Match to the Heart.

The Future of Ice takes us to the extremities of consciousness, with weather as both metaphor and barometer for life expectancy on Earth. Indeed, Erhlich says that in Greenland, a country that defines "ice," the word sila means simultaneously "weather" and "consciousness."

Ehrlich asks, "When did we begin thinking weather was something to be rescued from? Why did we trade in our ceremonial lives for the workplace? Is this a natural progression, or a hiccup in human civilization that we'll soon renounce?"

She quotes E.O. Wilson, author of The Future of Life, whose words eerily echo my January newsletter exhortation to "embrace the matrix," which means Mother: "Nature is the matrix in which the human mind evolved. Without it we devolve. Simple as that. We are devolving."

It is still our choice in every moment, however. Yesterday at a gem and mineral faire I discovered a fascinating aspect about amethyst, my birthstone. I was searching for a piece of citrine, a crystal known for its manifesting properties, and one gem expert told me, "Amethyst and citrine are the same; citrine is amethyst that's been heated." Natural citrine is pale yellow. The brighter, orange-gold or burnt sienna citrine that's often sold is the color complement to amethyst. Heated, the purple burns away to bronze. It's the same stone, but with more energy, because it's been through the fire!

Embrace the ice. Embrace the fire. Embody the matrix. Walk in love. HO!

No comments: