“There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground; there are a thousand ways to go home again.” ~Rumi
These are complicated times. We are bombarded with news of terror, violence, devastation, injustice, and suffering.
In order to make a difference, to help others, to change things, it’s important to stay whole. We can’t fight battles, tackle world problems, or be of service when we are worn down and depleted.
Growing up, my family owned land in rural Pennsylvania. I can still feel the excitement that washed over me when I heard my Dad tell us we were going “to the ground”. That was followed by nine people piling into a station wagon – without seat belts, air bags, or satellite radio.
We spent the drive looking out the window at the sights, not staring down at a cell phone. We sang songs, played games, and fought with each other when the ride was too long.
My Dad would find a billboard with a message we would memorize. Later in the day, if we could repeat the message, we’d be rewarded with candy, or coins, or Juicy Fruit gum. (I miss Juicy Fruit gum.)
The ground was a magical place. Lush, green forests dotted the landscape. Rollings hills were strewn with huge boulders that we could climb. And there was a sparkling, natural spring that ran through the center, complete with an old, workable pump.
It was Heaven.
To this day, when I’m overwhelmed with the status of the world, when my sunny outlook turns gloomy, when it gets too difficult to navigate – I go “to the ground”.
I find a patch of earth, a boulder on a mountain, or a rickety, wooden dock by a lake, and I plant my bottom there. I inhale huge gulps of sweet, fresh air, let go of all that weighs me down, talk to my Maker…and melt.
Going “to the ground”, humbles me, nourishes me, and reminds me of a higher power that reigns supreme. It calls to mind a simpler time before technology invaded us, overwhelmed our senses, and robbed us of innocence. It feels like a sacred space that holds the promise of justice, and peace, and purity, and equality, and safety, and love…within its core.
At the end of my ground going experience, I always look up at the sky and repeat the “burned in my memory” contents of a billboard that once stood on the edge of a country highway, in a small, rural Pennsylvania town…so many years ago.
I say it like a prayer.
Five-eighty-two, twenty-four-ten, Buddy’s Nursery. (Dad, I still remember…everything.)
Carole, As I read your story, it brought tears to my eyes. As I continued, the tears were replaced with the joy of reminiscing such a wonderful time when we were young and our lives were much simpler but actually happy. Thanks for sharing a wonderful time from our past. You talent is amazing. It reminds me of how Daddy thinks. ♡ BROTHER JIMMY
Jim, thank you for taking the time to read this, and for your beautiful response. Nature, for me…feels like a friend that I can turn to when I need to re-charge, and make sense of it all. I believe it all started at “the ground”. Sending you love and light, brother. xo
Carole, what a wonderful memory! Thanks for sharing with others. It also brought happy tears to my eyes. It brought fond memories of my childhood riding in the back of a pickup truck with my brothers and sister. We only had our imagination and the passing scenery to amuse us. And what fun we had! We had treats and blankets if we got tired.Mom would check on us through the sliding window in the truck. It was such good times.
I also find a quiet place outside to reflect on things and find the beauty of nature as calming.
Thanks again for sharing with others.
Kathy, thanks for taking the time to read this, and for sharing your beautiful, childhood memory.
I am happy that you hold your childhood memories close, and that you have found peace and love nestled in nature.