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On the sky within you
Why you cannot ascend what holds you
Why do trees grow to the height they do? Why does Sequoia suddenly stop at her dizzying altitude and not reach any further?
Why is heaven’s floor not pierced with the green ferny needles of a redwood’s crown?
Trees grow to the heights they do for the very same reason we cannot afford to keep searching the sky for what exists within the good green dirt of our earthly bodies.
Trees are always fighting against the ground with every inch of growth they make. At a certain height, trees cannot afford the loss of nutrients that get thinned as they become taller, and this internal sense of lightheadedness causes them to reinvest all their energy into reestablishing their roots.
Wholeness is never a one-way journey but forever a homecoming.
Like the intrinsic knowing of a tree, we too feel the delirium of our alpinist ways, forever reaching summits and goals that promise to free us from the pain and uncertainty of being human.
Every search for enlightenment, joy, peace, and freedom that orphans us from our physicality reinforces the illusion that divinity lives in the sky and is something we need to bargain our feet for.
Altitude sickness caused by living a purely ascendant life leaves us subtly dissociated, nihilistic, indifferent, de-personalized, and aching for the muddy flatlands of the living.
Trees stop growing because they cannot support themselves when they are living too far from their fungal lifelines and burly hearts. If we are made of more microbiome DNA than human, why should this information not be ours too? Should we not too feel this secret pull inside our own bodies to return home?
In their eventual descent back down into the peaty undergrowth, trees lose nothing of importance, only the search for the sky…only the belief that they are not already contained within it - and made of it.
‘Sky’ or skygge in old Norse means, shadow. Sky existed not only as space above one's head but as a ground-cast shade that slipped beneath one’s feet, reminding us that the sky is not a localized phenomenon.
No one knows the true origins of the universe – apart from the sky, he knows.
He was given an incomprehensible secret to keep safe from all those who might wish to break such Mystery in by whip and spur of mind - and yet, in his loneliness, and under the weight of his silent burden, he asked for a lover, for Matter. Matter comes from the Latin word for mother; the substance from which something is made – the substance from which we are all made. And so Sky was given Matter to whisper his secrets through.
How else could he speak of the unspeakable if not against your skin, through the gathering of dry leaves, or inside the porous squelch of mud?
We too, are always growing against an innate sense of gravity, that pulls us back down into the physical limitations of our being, of our own matter. It reminds us that we cannot know ourselves by leaving ourselves. Just as we cannot find peace until we come to know ourselves as the very peace we seek.
Eventually, we will come to know that the sky lives within our shadows.
So, come home to the body, dear friend, to the pain and uncertainty of it all, so you may realize that the sky, your essential being, is not something that exists outside of you but that you exist within it – just as a tree is held by the space around it, you are held within your essence.
What is your search for now that you know everything you seek is already tenderly cradling you?
You do not need to become anyone else, or reach a certain state - but know yourself deeply - and live the implications of what you ultimately are; an unfathomable secret whispered into life by a lonely sky through his lover…
As the world is round, so too must your search be spherical - reaching higher will eventually arc you around the belt of your own heart… and if you are wise, you will allow yourself to be bowed back towards your own body, allowing the heights of your journey to be lived through the weight of your feet.