In honor of earth – a mandala on smooth ground
collecting twig, leaf & stone
This month’s image is inspired by a visit I made to my local park, Stow Grove, in Goleta, CA. It’s one of the only places near my home where I can be in a forest of redwoods. My intention was to make an earth mandala in a public location in honor of the magic forest. When I arrived I noticed the parking lot was occupied with big trucks. As I went into the park I was sad to discover that many of the big redwood trees were cut down. I quickly noticed how many of the redwood trees were brown and looked to be struggling. Redwoods are not native to the area and according to local news, I looked up after, 10-12 trees have been dead for some time. Perhaps the trees died due to lack of water or bugs. With the summer approaching the dead trees are fire hazards. The city says they plan to replace the trees and intend to keep the grove. It will be many years before the landscape returns to what it once was–if ever. With climate changing the future seems uncertain.
I spent time in a separate section of the park creating my mandala with the buzz of chainsaws in the distance. This part of the forest is still magical and I felt the small alter that I made helped me process the shock I felt about the dead trees. I found one large seedpod, covered with green mold, it was the one element of my mandala that was alive–all the other elements I found on the forest ground were mostly brown. One ant crossed the circle. As I got up from the mandala and walked out of the forest I looked up at the trees and a bunch of birds erupted from them. I took a last look at the fallen trucks on my way out–a woman sat on a log, looking contemplative, and she reminded me of the last scene in the giving tree.
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