Wednesday, September 28, 2016


 I walked along the rocky trail and instead of seeing a lovely, purple flower, I labeled it knapweed – noxious, invasive, must be destroyed - weed. The asters were a similar shade, with a golden center, growing along the same path. These I bent down to smell and honor their beauty.

From the middle of a dirt road, fields of horses look majestic with mountain peaks in the background. Instead of focusing on the magnificent view, I notice overgrazing that has occurred because the pasture is overstocked by 400%. The grass can’t regrow because the stems have been chewed off too short and all carbohydrates, have been removed. The hooves disturb the soil and thistles take the place of the grass.

I see residents transplanting weeds from the forest and putting them in their gardens. Field bindweed is allowed to grow in lawns and up chain link fences. Trees are thirsting for water because their roots have been covered in asphalt and concrete. Shrubbery is “maintained” by scalping with electric trimmers and shaped into globes and boxes.

Why did the top of my spruce tree die?

 Why is there a worm in my apple?

My tomato has a black spot on the end, how do I fix it?

How can I get the woodpecker to stop hammering on my house?

My maple tree gets white spots on it every summer, will it die?

I am paid to know these things and make these observations. In my world, everything is to be identified, categorized as good or evil and then controlled. Yet, knowing is a double edged sword. I wonder what it would be like to not know for 24 hours. What if I could switch the knowing off? I would like to take a rafting trip through Glacier, down the middle fork, and not see the ox eye daisy along the rail road tracks. I’d like my mind to go off duty at 5:00 pm and not notice weeds, poor planting and inadequate animal husbandry.

That said, is it the human condition to want to know? Or is it just me? I do enjoy learning and gaining understanding. If it’s out there, I want to experience it. I want to taste it, feel it, understand it and smell it.

There are so many things that we cannot know. It can be frustrating, if we can’t accept this fact of life. For example, no one knows for sure where we will be living next year. We cannot be positive of our health, our relationships or our finances. We can speculate and weigh our odds, but positively know? Sorry, no guarantees.

Why do we want to know? We want to protect ourselves against loss, against pain, against the unknown. The unknown can be seen as negative and harmful. The unknown is not always embraced with exuberance and out stretched arms. My grandest dreams can only be realized if I plan it, work towards it and keep my eye on the ball. Is that correct?

 Recently, I visited my oldest daughter. I had purchased my airline tickets six months in advance. When I arrived, she was in a different town, in a different house, and in a different relationship then when I had set my itinerary. We had no idea, when I bought those tickets, how her world would have changed. I could not have planned that visit better. My not knowing was in harmony with her life alterations.

Subsequent to my visit with her, I joined a tour in Europe that had been organized by a couple of dear friends of mine. I did not know where we were going exactly, how we were getting there, who were my traveling companions or what the activities would entail. Meeting in London, at a specified hotel on a designated day, was what I needed to know. I relinquished my desire to control and organize to my trusted friends. I had asked to have my knowing put on hold and here it was. I didn’t know where we were going to eat each night or where our bus was taking us. Every day was met with anticipation and surprise. I felt like a child at Christmas. My knowing was replaced with trust and a sense of magic.

When I returned home my need to know hit me full force. There were no lifelong friends to plan my days. My trust was compromised. How do I know that my new co-worker will be an asset to the office team? Do I want to move forward in this career or change direction? Will I find an affordable house in an area that I like? Do I see myself committing to a relationship? I want to know. I want to plan. I was back to the need to categorize and control. Somehow this style didn’t fit the way it had before. It felt like putting shoes on that were too small and restrictive.

What I did know was that I have to trust in something outside of myself, outside of my friends and outside of family. I pulled a rune stone this morning and it was blank. “Blank is the end. Blank is the beginning. The Unknowable is moving in your life. Relinquishing control is the ultimate challenge of the spiritual warrior.” That something was listening.

 Can I picture that the something grander than me wants me to be happy, successful and loved? Do I dare dream that my wishes have been heard and are manifesting in ways I cannot imagine? Am I brave enough to jump into the void and know I will be supported?

I have to accept my not knowing. It is not a weakness; it is my greatest strength. To know when it serves those around me and be willing to surrender any control to manipulate my future; that is my goal.
Stonehenge at dawn