Summer is in full swing at Sunrise Ranch. Groups of conference attendees have been filling our meeting rooms and dining hall. Life is bustling here, with plans and preparations for our biggest event of the year, the ARISE Music Festival, which gets underway August 4th.
A special guest to the ARISE festival this year will be one of our newer residents, Barbara Marx Hubbard, the 87-year-old firecracker futurist. She’ll be speaking at least a couple of times during the event, and lots of us are involved in supporting her presentations with music, video, parades and anything else we can think of to bring her visions of humanity arising to spectacular, bigger-than-life fulfillment. (She has a way of inspiring us to that kind of greatness.)
Barbara arrived at Sunrise Ranch in December. She decided she wanted to live in a community where we’re practicing in our everyday lives some of those things she preaches … at least, we attempt to walk our talk of honoring Universal Being, being of service to others and consciously choosing how we show up in our individual worlds.
One thing you’ll notice about Barbara if you spend any time with her at all: She doesn’t do small talk. Every conversation is about the evolution of our species, about becoming and being the highest and best versions of ourselves, and about bringing our gifts forward unabashedly because the Universe needs us to do so. During a recent gathering we had at our house, Barbara queried each of us about our gifts and how we’re sharing them with the world, asking us to be specific and concise, to hone that one-sentence declaration to a powerful punch that could be used to inspire others to discover and use their own gifts.
Last month, I talked about the emotional roller-coaster on which I found myself. In the midst of my heartache, I went for a walk in the hills behind our little community. While I was walking, some words and music came into my head, and I started singing while I walked along the trail. I quickly recorded the lyrics on my iPhone so I wouldn’t forget them. A week later while I was in the Dome, I decided to see if I could figure out what the chords might be for that melody. I sat down at the piano and started playing, and I played the whole song, beginning to end, basically fully formed.
Well. That had never happened to me. I’m not much of a piano player, and I’d never written a song before. But there it was.
I soon realized it would take me a long time to learn to play the song confidently while singing it at the same time, so I recorded the piano part on my iPhone, took it home to load it into some audio software and went about cutting and pasting and stretching and otherwise modifying it until it was at least half-way to my standards. Then I sang it on a Sunday morning.
Here it is, a song of gratitude for my community and the natural surroundings that soothe me:
The Earth is Calling Me
The waters of my heart are troubled, they’re coupled with tears
The valley where I live is holding, it’s enfolding my fears
Life’s abounding, and I am grounding
In the current of life in this flow
When I fall through the cracks of my sorrow,
I am caught by the Love that I know.
The wind calls me; the trails carry me
the trees see me; the rocks steady me
The wind calls my name; The trails take me home
The trees see who I am; The rocks, they steady me.
Steady me, steady me. The rocks, they steady me.
Steady me, steady me. The rocks, they steady me.
The pain I’ve hid inside is bursting, my heart’s thirsting for peace
The Earth is calling me to rest here, to confess fear and release
Here’s a link to the video, should you care to see the performance, which is blended with shots from our beautiful valley.
I’ve performed a lot in my life, mostly flute, and spent a few years in a band, playing and singing, but this performance was a huge step out of my comfort zone.
The creative process is so absorbing that when my performance was over, I was left with a longing to do it again. But the song was a gift, and gifts like that don’t drop into my lap every day, so I’ll be patient. And I sure hope I don’t have to go through the sadness that put me in the state of mind that produced this offering.
Mostly, I’m thankful for the many gifts in my life — the beautiful valley and trails, the creative work that fills my days and the loving friends I have found here.
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