go + sing to the mountain

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first of all, let me say a great big THANK YOU to everyone who has taken part in the questions + answers post from the other day (find the post here)! it has been a thrill to read your answers and see what questions you’ve come up with. don’t you just love community?!

ok. now on to today’s post… i have been excitedly waiting since the beginning of november to share this with you.

as you know, or don’t know, maybe, i am a big music lover. while i wouldn’t consider myself a musician or a singer, i can play + i can sing – somewhat. hehe. in any case, music is and always has been a huge part of my daily life – and an extra little liz-fact: i am a genius when it comes to lyrics. true story. if you play it, i can sing it. hehe.

anyway, music touches me so very deeply, expressing things otherwise difficult to say or even process. the lyrics + instruments of a song lift + ground my soul all at the same time. i’m sure you know what i mean.

when i ran across the song that i have attached below, i loved how it sounded, but i didn’t really pay it too much attention. and then, one day, in the end of my meditation time in the morning, I came across the song again. as it began to play, i was carried away in my mind. i was deep in the midst of a magical forest, with a cracking bonfire, and bright stars above me. in my meditation, i danced around that fire, and i celebrated the powerful moments that i have had late at night, all alone – just me + the mountains.

sunset camp pinnacle wedding

here’s one of the powerful moments that i remembered: about 20-25 years ago i went camping with my family. i decided to wander away from our campsite  quite late in the evening to get some time alone. to just soak in the night. i vividly remember stopping at one point, under the trees where there was a clearing, in a space where i could see the dark sky up above me. only, it wasn’t dark. it was sparkling + twinkling with millions of stars. and, in that moment, i experienced a deep connection with the universe – with all that is and was and will be – like i had never experienced before. i was so small, and yet so important. i was so alone, and yet completely connected. connected even to you, who i do not know, or you, who i did not yet know, and you, who i have known for years.

on that mountain that night my soul sang. there were no words. there was only the music of my heartbeat and the beep breathing of the natural world all around me.

and so, when i heard this song below a couple of weeks ago, i was immediately transported back to that moment in my teenage years. and i felt those feelings, again. not in exactly in the same way, of course, but with the same emotions. all that my soul wanted to do was to sing to the mountain, again + again. and, i realized, that who i was back then – and those moments that touched me so deeply, are some of the same things that still touch me so deeply today. and with that realization, i knew that i had a found a true, authentic part of my soul – an unchanging, unwavering piece of me

i leave you, now, with this song… so excited to share it with you. i didn’t attach a youtube video on purpose. i want you to just listen. listen + be. let your mind flow. just feel whatever comes. and celebrate that you, too, are an integral part of this great, vast, magical, beautiful, mysterious universe.

wishing you magical, starry nights of soul-filling light + love. xx

| the lyrics |

Let the fires burn tonight
Let the jugs of wine get drunk
Let the truth be known tonight
Don’t go let yourself hide

Go and sing to the mountain
Go and sing to the moon
Go and sing to just about everything
Cuz everything is you

Listen to the rhythm
Of your heart play like a drum
Listen to the night call
Singing songs from all around

Go and sing to the mountain
Go and sing to the moon
Go and sing to just about everything
Cuz everything is you

And let your voice go
Let it pierce through your soul
And let your voice go
Let it pierce through your soul

meditation mondays: embrace your tree-hugging nature

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i woke up on my own this morning. before any alarm. and before the coffee pot, which i filled + set last night, started puttering and spitting and brewing my morning pot of coffee. i woke feeling energized, even though the rain was falling down hard outside. usually, i just want to creep under the covers + stay there when it’s dark, chilly, drippy weather like this. but, not today.

i awoke inspired. ready to get moving + to make things happen. i waited until the coffee was done (let’s be realistic, folks), filled my mug, lit some candles, and parked myself on the floor. totally ready to start this week with a bit of meditation.


so far, this november, we have explored a little bit of the native american belief of going on a personal quest to discover one’s purpose in life + the native american focus on families, especially women + ancestors. this week, we extend the circle even more. we move from our self, to our families, to the entire earth.

we all know that native americans deeply respect and care for the earth. honestly, it’s one of the reasons that i admire the native american culture so much. as a group of people (and i aware that i am generalizing right now), they are grounded + connected, believing that there is spirit within everything. it comes from a belief that the earth is sacred – and, if the earth is sacred, then every single thing in it is also sacred. holy. magical. beautiful. everything is equally worthy. the trees, the birds, the waters, the flowers, all animals… and the entire human race.

it is a belief in the unity and harmony of all things.

this is something that speaks so deeply to my soul. this is something that i learned from my christian upbringing and experiences, and then, as i explored other religions and faiths, i discovered is the foundation of many of them as well.

which begs me to ask one question: if so many of us have these thoughts deep within our belief systems, why don’t we live like that? why don’t we, not only respect nature, but each other as well? why is it so hard to see the pure, equal worth of each other?

well, as i let those thoughts roll around in my head this week, and as i ponder the beauty + the importance of the earth + everything that is a part of it, i return again and again to the native american way of life to inspire me. i let the natives’ love for all things natural teach me how to live a life that is more wild, organic, holding regard for each and every little thing that lives + moves. this week, may i learn to be even more aware of my surroundings – giving thanks to the universe and the divine spirit that connects each and every one of us to each other.

native nove nature

happy monday, dear sisters + brothers.

sending you boundless love + light. xx

the love of thousands

remember how i said on monday that i was focusing on the value + emphasis that native americans put on families? well, i truly have been thinking about family a lot this week – it’s amazing how the universe seems to flow, connecting + bringing forth the exact things that you need, when you need them. in other words, timing often seem serendipitous as life unfolds moment by moment. well, this week i’ve been pondering the ups + downs of family. the sizes of family. the definition of family. belonging, history, land, and much more…

personally, i have a fairly small family. two parents. one sibling. three cousins. two aunts. two uncles. and my amazing wife. of course, i have her family – which is huuuuuge. but, right now, i am talking about my closest blood relations. it’s a small clan. and while we may be close, we are quite spread out. my parents + brother are nearby, however. in any case, i have never had this really big, loud, crazy family. however, my family is loud + crazy + unique (in a good way). it’s just that there are not that many of us. which, could be seen as a negative (and sometimes i wish for a big family).

however, when i think back to all of the grants (my mother’s maiden name) and reynolds who have gone before me… when i trace my roots all the way back to scotland + england in the 1600s, i realize that my family is quite large. i have a great number of people who are with me, if not physically present, then spiritually or emotionally. and that, is extremely inspiring.

lake junaluska

the other day, i went to visit my parents for the afternoon. just to hang out – and to help my dad with some computer things. but, before i arrived at their house, i took the long way through their “neighborhood” in order to pass by some places that hold special meaning to me.

you see, my granddad, who died when i was 11, was a minister/pastor. he had a house up here in these mountains where we would vacation during the summers and holidays. i never lived up here during my childhood, but i have so many memories of this place. summers at the pool. feeding the ducks. walking on the lake when it was frozen in the winter. weekends in the fall. thanksgivings + christmases. i remember sitting with my grandparents on their front porch, chatting with the people as they walked by. playing cards with my grandmother. watching the fireworks over the lake on the 4th of july.

and, later in life, when i was in college and my grandparents were long gone, i remember coming “home” to this place for holidays since my parents and my brother moved here. at one point, in my previous marriage, i lived in a house here for a short time, calling it home. and then, after meeting lina, i brought her here – to share with here the beauty + magic of this place. we got engaged at this lake on christmas eve 6 years ago.

all of this to say, i do not call this home. but, it is engrained in my history. this place is a member of my family. it reminds me of who i have been + from where i have come. it has imprinted its beauty on my soul.

lake junaluska cross

growing up, when i traveled here for the summer, or a weekend, or a holiday with my family, we always arrived at the lake and took the “long way” in… as i did the other day. we crossed over a rickety wooden bridge and then ascended a big hill, arriving at the base of this cross, which looks out over the lake (see the first photo in this post – that is the view from beside this cross). my dad always made me + my brother get out, no matter the weather or the time of year or time of day. and here, standing at the base of this cross, we had our picture taken. there are photos of me with my brother, some with my dad, some with my mom, and some with my grandparents. it’s a tradition that lasted year after year. and one i will always cherish. even to this day…

me cross lake junaluska

on this day, i took a picture of myself, as i was alone up there at the cross. but, i did not feel alone. i felt the company of my family – of all of the people who have come + gone in my life, blood-related or not. i felt inspired, blessed, lucky, and at peace. feelings that always creep up in me and settle in my soul whenever i stand or sit right here. so many memories. so many feelings. so much to be thankful for, as i look back over the past 40 years + wonder what the next 40 years will bring.

trees road

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as tempting as it has always been to simply stay right here, wrapped up in the safety + the memories of this place, i know that the story continues. we cannot stay in the same places, doing the same things. we can carry on traditions + revisit + remember, but time marches on. change always happens. so, it’s up to me to welcome that change + see the road ahead as another great adventure, or to stay stuck where i am, or worse yet, only yearning for the past (which i most certainly do not do. hehe.)

come what may, we cannot stay in the same place, repeating the same story. we may not know what lies ahead, but with confidence we can be sure that, as long as we stay true to our selves, the universe will continue to guide us as our lives unfold, moment by moment.

it’s up to me to continue my story. to not forget about the stories of the past + simply move on, but to continue to write the story of my ancestors. for wherever i go, whatever i do, they always remain with me.

lake junaluska

walking i am listening to a deeper way. suddenly all of my ancestors are behind me. be still, they say. watch and listen. you are the result of the love of thousands.

- linda hogan, chickasaw indian.

me cross lake junaluska

peace + light as you travel your road. xx