tree buds against blue sky and dead leaves and acorns on forest floor

written by Rachel Schneider, Co-Director, The Institute for Mindful Agriculture at Hawthorne Valley


I took a walk the other day. I saw a branch with new buds against a clear blue sky. A little further on, over the bridge and the clear flowing brook with a multitude of stones beneath it, I walked along the wooded path strewn with last year’s oak leaves. I saw that life allows the letting go of last year’s leaves to sink into the mystery of earth-soil, while at the very same moment, opens the buds to the mystery of air-light/warmth.

Recently, within a span of two days, I met three people with very different perspectives on our current situation. The first was a young and vibrant Chinese woman who was helping to organize an exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum. A world famous architect Rem Koolhaas – an urban visionary – was turning his eye to the “countryside”. For the exhibition, “Countryside, The Future,” a tractor was placed in front of the museum in NYC. The question was posed, “Do we need to look at our countryside to help us shape our future?”

Not long after, I spoke with a healer. An acupuncturist here in our own county who has made yearly trips to a remote part of a mountain plateau in Nepal, working to rebuild local shaman temples and to establish a traditional Tibetan medical clinic. She works alongside the village shaman, Chhakka Bahadur Lama, from a long and deep lineage of shaman elders, learning indigenous healing modalities and spiritual practices and sharing her own acupuncture skills and knowledge of Classical Chinese medicine. Together, through the formation of the Middle World Alliance, they are committed to “furthering sacred partnerships — between East and West, male and female, humans and nature, to effect healing and re-establish unity on the planet.”

Finally I spoke with a physicist who is challenging the current Big Bang view of the origin of matter and is researching an emerging theory of movement as the originating source of the universe, and matter as movement come to rest.

These three people are willing to shake up current paradigms. They have courage enough to “let go to let come,” to reach out into the future and turn the searchlight back on us to see what wants to emerge. I ask myself, in this “corona-time” will we be able to let go of older ways of thinking, feeling, and being in the world to open ourselves to an emergent future? Or will we rush back into safer, more familiar patterns of being that make us feel comfortable and secure?