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  • Writer's pictureCassie Stockamp


Updated: Jan 17, 2019

It’s hot. Like 101 degrees/38 Celsius hot. OMG. Have I mentioned we don’t have AC here?! I now have a better understanding of why Bill Bryson chose the title “In a Sunburned Country.” The cicadas seemed to be affected by the heat as they too were quiet which is unusual as the cacophony of sound they make is so LOUD that while on a beautiful morning walk several days ago, I thought something was wrong with me! It felt like I had hearing aids that were malfunctioning as the space deep inside my head was rattling. I literally thought something had gone awry with my hearing as the sound was SO overwhelming. But I digress. Thank god there is a salt pool!

The pool felt great after an hour and a half in the garden with my fellow volunteers pruning away... I had spent a couple of hours the day before in the gardens and had noticed how satisfying it felt. At morning meeting dear 23 year old Brenna from Virginia shared some notions. She is a fellow farm kid who was volunteering at a beach hostel on the Northeast coast of Australia before coming to Swami’s. After we became facebook friends, she found that several of my friends knew her grandfather who was a retired physician turned spiritual teacher and had started a retreat center focusing on a Course in Miracles. Two degrees of separation.

As we gathered to start our day, she shared the metaphors she’s experienced as a result of her farm work.

She reminded us that removing and cutting away the dead diseased leaves is good for the plant. In a soft way, she suggested that we can use this task as an opportunity to be present and think about what we may need to prune away in our lives, or it simply can be a chore.

The conscious choice makes the difference.

I found myself not want to cut away those leaves that were only partially spotted with bugs. Am I unwilling to let go of all of my stuff because it still seems ok, or am I just not looking deep enough?

She reminded us that pulling weeds is only effective if you are able to pull up the entire root from way down under the soil, or else it just grows back... And to pull that weed takes a bit of finesse. You have to firmly grab the base of the weed while gently pulling and tugging up on the root. It helps if the ground has been softened by a light rain.

So many metaphors...

Later that day I talked to my daughter (Facebook Messenger, but the way, provides the best connection of all that I’ve tried. There Zuckerberg goes again...) and shared my awareness exercise in pruning. She burst out laughing. I asked her what was so funny and her chortling reply was, “Mom, you don’t understand. You’ve been saying those broken metaphors my whole life.” Now it was my turn to chuckle!

Somehow it seems so different now...

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