Spiritual Lessons from the Land: On the Vines that Catch and Snag

Wise words, as usual! I particularly agree about the poison ivy acting as a protector. When we first arrived at this recently clear cut property, poison ivy edged all the perimeters like a sentinel. It was only through my working with the spirits of the land and committing to protecting the land in other ways that the poison ivy backed off to an occasional hello near ailing trees. Poison oak made an appearance only when we experienced a boundary violation here, and poison ivy still guards one gate I don’t like people walking through. The discussion of “vines” in our own lives is so right on!

The Druid's Garden

Nature is abundant with stories and metaphors that allow us to reflect upon our own lives and draw deep meaning, as I’ve written about many times on this blog. It is in these simple lessons that we find the most profound truths–ways of re-seeing our own lives, stories that allow us to spiritually grow, and methods of better living and interacting with our lands. I believe that everything we need to understand to heal ourselves, our lands, and our communities can be found within nature–if only we listen. Today, I’d like to share two stories about vines and the spiritual teachings that they provide.

In the weeks following my move to Western PA this summer, I made it a point to visit as many wild places as possible. The closest one was a park to the north, visible from my window of my rented house in town, that’s…

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Kieron on September 5, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    Once again you post something I was also dealing with. Some darn vine has taken over my shade garden, just as it does every year. Despite pulling up every seedling in the spring that I could find, they got away from me and have formed a mat covering more desirable plants. Sometimes you can pull entire, twisted-snake-nest handfuls out by the root, but you risk damaging whatever is laboring under the weight of it.
    Today I was impatient and managed to uproot a sky-blue aster that was hidden under the mat of vines. 😦 Not sure of the name of this vile vine, but by August it’s always over-running everything. But I can appreciate the view the author takes of letting distractions take over and allowing these vines to infiltrate and choke out everything else. OTOH, this is also something I do for a living… I help people whose lives have gotten choked and weighed down with other kinds of cunning, invasive vines, to uproot the tendrils and try to reach for air and light.

    I wish I knew how to tell this particularly noxious vine to leave!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Posted by Kieron on September 6, 2015 at 1:24 am

    Well! I finally figured out its name. That’s a good first step. Enemy mine: American Hog Peanut. https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/flower/american-hog-peanut And get this: it’s native to North America, not an invader as I thought. Well, it certainly hogs everything it can: space, light, water. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, it’s all in the eye and tummy of the beholder. Permaculture folks go on and on about the hog peanut — LOL — until they grow it! http://tcpermaculture.com/site/2013/05/07/permaculture-plants-hog-peanut/

    It was also mentioned in the book, Paradise Lot. They were so excited for a shade tolerant nitrogen fixer, but as I recall, once established, it became more trouble than it was worth. I think they relegated it to an isolated area. Good luck!

    Like

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