After a winter of intense snow and cold, these later snowstorms can make us feel that winter is never going to end. In all appearances, the landscape looks barren and brown and white with the snow. As we struggle to walk through the 18" of thick heavy snow that came with the recent storm, and walk through the forest and down to one of the many springs that run through our forest, we see that although it looks like a winter landscape, spring is right below the surface. Spring is in the swelling buds on the trees, spring is in the increasingly flirtatious bird activity, and spring is in the energy rising from the earth, which is amplified within the Trees (palos) as the sap rises back up into their branches. This is the time of year when the maple sap is collected in the trees as the sweetness rises back up to be expressed in leaves, seeds and fruits!
(Note: Paleros collecting Palos should understand the different energies the tree moves through during the cycle of the year (solar cycle) and the lunar cycle. It does make a difference when we cut the Palo, especially if we are working with the subtle energies closely!)
The springs in particular reveal the beginning of a new season of growth. The snow melts into them and so they are the only place in the forest where water, earth, and rock are revealed. Within them brilliant green appears, even more vibrant because of the surrounding snow. The greens of mosses, ferns and grasses who are fed by the constant trickling water of the spring are a visual tonic to the eye, mind and spirit.In these times of Earth Changes, it is vital that we re-establish our relationships with the natural cycle of the seasons, and are able to recognize and understand the true beginning of the seasons, and how to move in a way that is in harmony with the seasons, not relying on set calendar dates to guide us. As the Earth Changes become more extreme, and water systems, agricultural systems and ecosystems continue to become strained, we need to once again become humble to learn from the Earth herself, as our glorious Ancestors once did.
For both the Palero and Taino, water represents the transition between Living and Dead, whether we are talking about the Kalunga Line, or the Lagoon into which Opiel Guabiron disappeared upon the vicious arrival of the conquistadores. Water is a medium through which we can see, using our Vittiti, the world of the Dead, the messages and symbols of the Dead, and through which we can send messages to the Dead.
The camera often captures some of the myriad spirits who are constantly looking at us when we walk into the sacred forest, or by the sacred river. They have so much to teach us, and by truly learning the Art of Observation, which is a form of Meditation, we can open our Inner Ear to their Wisdom!