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Thoughts on Intention Plus Time
I've lived on Dancing TreePeople Farm for longer than I've lived anywhere in my life. This year, for the first time in nineteen years, as I breathe in the crisp morning air, a harbinger of autumn, I sense not just what intention can do, but how intention combines with time to create magic.
This summer, hummingbirds, bees and other pollinators are everywhere. At some level, this is by design, though until today, I can't say I would have believed it.
In the beginning, nature whispers as in the Field of Dreams: "If you build it, they will come."By "it" I mean habitat. By "they" I mean butterflies, hummingbirds, dragonflies, bees, frogs... you get the idea.
Initially, as we gazed across a flat, mono-crop of walnut trees, a barn piled high with junk, we dreamed of a creating a food forest.
We imagined pollinator habitat, flowering plants that would bloom at different times, places for birds to shelter, butterfly bushes to attract butterflies, oaks to gray squirrels and a variety of birds, hollyhocks for the hummingbirds, a tiny pond for frogs.
All who lived on this orchard began planting, and each person who has come and gone, added their own imprint.
Droughts, freezes and pests took plants. We planted more, a few perennials each year. Our original intention was to create a place where life could thrive, especially birds.
And lo, nearly two decades later, the birds have come in abundance: finch, jays, robins, morning doves, a multitude of songbirds, quail and, of course, hummingbirds. From time to time we even spot turkey, owls, hawks and an occasional blue heron.
It occurs to me that creating habitat, whether it be a quarter-acre food forest, or a small garden patch, is much a more than a place for creatures. Creating habitat is a spiritual act—an act of intention.
And so, we plant and tend--one simple step at a time, one season at a time, one flowering plant at a time: Because, time is the essential element in this transformation.
Who could imagine what intention and action over time could create? Each season offers another opportunity to build on the last. Baby steps.
Life responds to our invitation in its own way and in its own time. The creature are so beautiful and so very fragile, and also a force of nature and a gift beyond measure. And here we are, graced by their presence again and again.
It may not seem like much in the scheme of things, investing energy and attention in such tiny places. But give it time. That’s where the magic comes in.