Each falling leaf has a god on her spine, riding Death to the ground.
-Sarah La Rosa
What lives underneath?
All that is dark, all that is black, all that is damp, and smells of rot.
What lives underneath is also what lives inside of a thing, tending the inner fires, nurturing the inner life of a seed.
This life thrums and throbs, sending ripples and vibrations out from the sacred center of brave, relentless conception.
What is underneath makes for a perfect container for the beginnings of such a life -
the life of our becoming.
Far too long, we have viewed the underneath as only fit for burial and decay.
We lay our dead and bless their vacant bodies in the empty wounds of earth, dug up and hollow with our sorrow at their departure, believing them gone forever.
We fill our eyes, ears and hearts with violent images in movies and music, where the underneath is synonymous with evil, fear, hatred and unending death.
Resurrection in Hollywood is something to be used in a horror film, where zombies and mutants and possessed bodies stalk innocents without relief.
We literally run away from the underneath.
Or rather, we run from our ideas of it.
What we have been told.
What we have been shown on the screen.
What we have shared in, as a culture, has trained us to fear and revile the underneath anything, and that sense of demonic evil has its threads deep in our religious and spiritual traditions, too.
But the underneath realm is sumptuously rich, with roots and minerals and gems.
It is rich in life, both literal and potential. It is bursting with poetry, with strength, with stability and grace for the seasons of change we inevitably come to, time and again.
The underneath as Earth supports our very existence, and the underneath as mother offers us a holy container to return, repair, renew, and yes, resurrect once more.
Without a strong sense of the underneath as wisdom-giver in her life, a woman is left floundering without a solid base on which to stand.
Her creative pursuits, her relationships, including the one with her Self, her play and her rest are all tinged with an insubstantial grayness, which others will see immediately, though she may not see herself.
She is water, without a harbor in which to dock.
She will vacillate wildly in her emotions without reprieve.
She will say things like, "I am drowning", "I can't seem to keep my head above water" or "I'm just feeling pushed/pulled all over the place" to describe her body sense and soulful deep knowing that she is unmoored in her life.
The cure for this, as always, is to return with reverence to the underneath.
There, in the dark, pregnant places of possibilities and vulnerability, she will find wild home and wild bones.
Wild bones are woven by wild hands in wild dark places of night and dark earth.
What did you dream of when you were 12 years old?
What precious light tempted you at that tender age?
Think back, woman.
Think back on your threshold year.
That vulnerable space between child and adult, when all the world had not yet pressed in to take hold of your open heart and mind, to lay hold the wild malleable bones of your young body.
Think back, woman.
What did you fantasize about?
Where was your longing placed?
What story did you whisper to yourself in the hours between 12-3am?
That is your starting place.
You will find the wild bones of your life begin there, in the murky mud of your 12-year old self, buried away like so many family photos and that baby sweater you just can't let go of yet.
Bony, skeletal, needing flesh so desperately.
She's been starved of food and water for so long.
Retrieve her now.
Go to her.
Scoop up her lighter than light frame.
Speak soothing words to her.
Say to her,
"I will breathe you to life once more. You will live. I will nourish you. I will resurrect you. I will love you. I will bring your dream into being."
She's been waiting such a long time for you to come back to her.
She has been waiting, knowing you would discover her wasted form eventually.
She has life in her yet.
Don't write her off.
There are great things living inside her wasted remains.
Those bones are wild.
They will never grow white and orderly now.
But they will grow wild and long and strong.
Once you've brought them back to life and wind and to the open air of freedom.
Oh yes, they will grow. They will live a howling life that sings the night songs.