“Let the gentle bush dig its root deep and spread upward to split the boulder.”-Carl Sandburg
Last night in a glorious, ironic twist of trying to get enough sleep to thrive during a stressful situation, I couldn’t get to sleep. you know how that goes, right?
I’d run out of ashwagandha so I took a nice long dropperful drag of motherwort tincture which I usually take in tiny doses during the day when I need a hug and no one’s around to give me one. Motherwort puts me in a….mellow?….mood. As a I lay there allowing myself and sleep to drift towards each other, my brain started bobbing along on the waves of imagery.
I have a thing for trees. I once spent a day with an ancient oak that stood watch over the edge of a marsh in Savannah. My afternoons were often spent in the arch of a mango tree’s branch when I was a little girl. Now, I go into the woods to watch birches crinkle like I did once after a brutal sunburn in Florida. So, not surprising, my mind likes to think of trees when it is bumping around in the night.
The greatest trees have the deepest roots.
I’ve always been very suspicious of routines. They constrain me with their predictable regularity. It’s taken me a long time to understand that I don’t like externally imposed routines. They make me bristle a little. But, routines of my own creation surprise me. They make sense to me. Each morning I have a routine, each evening as I start transitioning to the restoration that sleep provides, and certain weekly routines as well as yearly. As I chewed on this discovery of mine, something caught: routines just are. Even in my great avoidance of having them, I had them. We can’t help but have them. The earth spins, animals mate at certain times, the moon expands and contracts in the sky, the seasons change, my body hungers, needs sleep, wants to play….routines are the stuff of nature. (A fancier word for routine is ritual.)
So, I have routines whether I like it or not. What those routines do is profound. Do they make me weaker? Do they corrode my vitality? Do they chip away in little chunks my freedom? That is easily what happens when I don’t pay attention and allow society/bad habits/the well intentioned incorrect to dictate them to me. But, with intention, I sculpt the framework of my life by asking these questions: What routines nurture me? Which ones mine deeply for health? How do I use them to break through the crust, opening even the tiniest currents of connection?
In my sleepy thought wandering, I kept seeing the trees and the word routine. Each time I visualized the word, however, it was spelled ‘root-ine’. My routines are my rooting. They are the sturdy, anchoring forces that allow me to reach outwards and upwards with power and elegance.
Soon, I’ll elaborate a little on the specifics of my routines, my rootings. In the meantime, see if you can detect the routines that you have created, either intentionally or not. Ask yourself, what are my routines doing to my health?
In other but related news, Happy Late Mabon everyone! For my non-pagan friends, Happy Autumn Equinox! Keeping an ever appreciative eye on the earth’s journey through space and around our star, the Sun, I celebrated by going to the most sacred spot here in Haiti and scrubbed with the appropriate leaves: kapab (Which means “capable” and I have no clue whatsoever what it is in english or even what the plant looks like. The kids that live in the region go grab some for me when I go.) and basil. And, I let the water crash over me, breathed deeply, laughed louder than the falls with friends and in that way, performed another root-ine.
A great thing to add to your routine? Share and like.