Solstice Prayer

emily drum jamestown summer solstice © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.png
 

I’m sending out a prayer today;

that caresses the belly of the golden canyons,
and skims the surface of the deep blue sea…

may all hearts break open
may all hearts become soft
may we come to know there is no other
may we ignite the eternal flame of love

I’m sending out smoke signals;

over the vast arctic tundra,
to the towering heights of the holy Himalayas…

may all hearts break open
may all hearts become soft
may we come to know there is no other
may we ignite the eternal flame of love

I’m sending up a flare tonight;

that lights the sky like a brilliant cosmic lantern;
its dying ember-streams illuminating the darkness below…

may all hearts break open
may all hearts become soft
may we come to know there is no other
may we ignite the eternal flame of love

I’m beating the drum for humanity;

I’m sending out a prayer
on summer solstice…

won’t you join me?

sacred thread words & image © Heather Rhodes
summer solstice 2018
model: emily (shot at the honey hour in jamestown)

The Necessity of Grief

the necessity of grief © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.png

take your time
in the crucible
of grief...

yield fully
to its holy mystery;

its fire,
its ice,
its unrelenting honesty,

its gifts, ten thousand fold...

trust the cadence,
the nuance,
the bitter sweetness;

invite its solemn ache
to inhabit requisite space
in the mansion of your soul;

walk hand-in-hand in the garden
with this deeply gentle guide,
sans expectation of parting;

into the somber fields;
the hallowed grounds
of loss
and grace
and longing;

where the bones of what once was
come to rest;

in the indigenous divinity of a heart
cracked wide open...

in this communion
you are not alone;

offer yourself
to this territory
of surrender;

where anguish reigns,
and sorrow wears a crown;

where you lay yourself naked
upon the altar of despair;

penning amaranthine love letters
with benevolent ink;
addressed to cosmic caretakers;

piercing the veil of sadness;

coming to rest
in the tender beauty
at the center of the labyrinth;

where harshness pales,
giving way to a new depth of softness...

I promise you,
there is a fountain of love
inside it all...

acquiesce
to
the necessity of grief…

sacred thread words & image © heather rhodes at studio petronella
no use or reproduction of any kind
model: emily
studiopetronella.com

 

Ordinary Magic

jane peony and clouds © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.png

the clouds looked like cotton candy
and the ocean felt like a lover...

wild hare and catbird
whispered secret poetry
beneath the verdant maple canopy,

buzzing bees
fell to their knees
at the sheer beauty of it all, 

and the moon played cat's cradle
with strands of liquid silver;

another ordinary day of magic
here on planet earth...

I don’t have any answers;

but I am learning to love
living inside
the landscape of the questions…

sacred thread words & image © Heather Rhodes
model: jane
studiopetronella.com

 

Peony Dreams

jane peony dreams © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.jpg

peonies…

yesterday I invited Jane
to come sit in the garden with
the first of the luscious, pink peony blossoms…

such a blessing, 
to honor their effulgent arrival in this way;

the layers of soft petals,
an unruly landscape of ruffled colour and texture;

inviting us to dive in,
to lose ourselves
in the wild depths of beauty unfolding…

something so subtlly important takes place
inside the simple act of resting our presence in this way;

we remember
the indigenous language of connection…

sacred thread words & image © Heather Rhodes
model: jane
studiopetronella.com

 

Reading the Sky

thunderstorm clouds upslpash.jpg


last night I woke to a long, slow, rolling thunderstorm, my sweet little dog cuddling a little closer than usual as it made its way overhead… I sang to him as we listened in the darkness between the sudden flashes of light…

such a lovely sense of comfort, being in the little cocoon of my home; dry and warm, as mother nature played in her theatre in the clouds...

I began to feel my heart glow with gratitude for both of my parents; for the love and knowledge of nature they carried and nourished throughout their lives and how they instilled this love in us, their children…

I remember counting the seconds between the intense flash and the crack of thunder; my mother letting me know that each second of counting was a mile in its distance from us… I don’t know if this is true, but it still feels comforting to meet each storm in this way; like engaging in a game, or entering into conversation with the elements… our childhood home had lightning rods and we always got struck, I remember the high whirring of the electricity traveling down the length of the rod to crash into the ground below…

I remember knowing it was going to rain soon by the way the leaves on the trees curled and showed their “silver”…

I remember my mother and father knowing how to read the sky... and that the mackerel skies were my favorite; as I imagined the heavens a body of water with giant fish roaming free... and I loved the mare’s tails, too, (we did have a stable full of horses) which let us know that the weather was going to be willy-nilly for the next few days or hours…

on hikes, my mother would help us identify the flora as we made our way through the woods; my favorites were the lady slippers, the indian pipes, the unfurling ferns, carpets of emerald moss and the acorn faery "hats"... we ate edible berries and drank from clear streams and chewed on the loveliness of fresh birch bark…

resting today, in the beauty of this gift from my parents that lives on eternally through my senses and my connection to the natural world, and on again through my son;

resting in the mystery of the cadence, the timing of the inevitable storms that come in life; the unsettling prelude, the disruption, and the calm that resides in the aftermath...

reading the sky ~ sacred thread words © Heather Rhodes
may 23 2018
image: thunderhead, public domain


 

 

The Heart of the Mother

ofelia phlox at napatree © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.jpg

feeling into this expansiveness today;

beyond the realm of my own amazing mother,
my lineage, and the gift of being mother to my beloved son…

the world is hungry for mothering;

for the great mother that resides in each of us;

a love that cuts through the unessential
and goes straight to the crux of the matter
without bypassing the heart

a love that is so stable and encompassing, it can hold the most broken of souls and situations without turning away or attempting to fix…

a love that knows no boundaries between my children and your children 

a love whose intelligence is infinite and readily accessible in addressing equality, sustainability and peace

a love that serves as a perpetual warm lap in which to rest, where all shadow and light is seen through an unconditional lens

a love that speaks truth to power, albeit on shaky legs

a love that can see the collective need and respond individually in kind…

we will stumble
and we will fall, 
we will fall short
a thousand times,

but we will always rise
again and again;

gestating
birthing
nurturing
letting go

self-mothering

surrogate mothering

mothering the mother; 
who has lost her way
is too tired
never learned how
who lost a child
longs for a child…

knowing there is no "other"...

every day
we are birthing galaxies of new form;

through our

thoughts
creativity
space-holding
longing
interconnectedness
service
parenting
compassion
listening
leadership
mistake making
fierce truth telling;
clear boundaries
vulnerability
forgiveness
inclusion
patience
fathomless love;

we are all mothers;
branches from the same magnificent
life-giving tree…

I bow
to all the ways in which
the necessary medicine of mothering
shows up...

I bow to the generosity and the beauty of mother earth
and all her creatures;
may we heed the call to love and respect... 

celebrating mothers day 2018
honoring my son’s birth tree this morning. we planted a beautiful pink crabapple tree as a sapling, over his buried placenta ~ 24 and a half years ago…

sacred thread words & image © heather rhodes at studio petronella
model: ofelia

 

Light Couture

light couture unexpected beauty 2 © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.jpg
 


there is
an unbroken chain
of unexpected beauty;

a steady flow of
love notes
from the deities,

that may upon first glance
seem accidental...

[seeing with the eyes of the heart]

sacred thread words & image © Heather Rhodes

image:  
elemental/angelic couture designed by the light streaming through my glass filled with water & colloidal silver this afternoon

A Bride to Wonder

tara sadhana odessa bride to wonder © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.jpg
 

deep in the quiet…

tara’s hues dance in my field of consciousness,
as an endless parade of layered
awakening,
stirring
remembering…

deep in the marrow of my bones
she speaks so softly,
yet her words vibrate every cell,

like a tuning fork;
coaxing me back into my native dharmic frequency…

she stretches brilliant strings of stars across the cosmos,
illuminating the web of aliveness;

she sings through the birds, the bees, 
the gentle blue whale; lumbering through the watery depths,

she shows me the pervasive interconnectedness, 
the pulse that resides at the center of every single thing…

I am at once as expansive as the universe, 
as diminutive as a single molecule;

this is how she breathes me

in

and

out;

yellow finch at morning…

fleeting trepidation of things to come…

a waft of soft, warm air along my body in the afternoon…

the way she holds me so close in the dark places,
letting me know that this, too, is hers…

the sacred thread of love, loving, lovers woven through my life…

the intimacy of oneness...

a mother’s soft face, tired at end of day…

the peep frog’s serenade at dusk…

lending space to what is unsettled…

the sweetness of forgiveness…

the gentle glow of my candle on the altar, calling me closer home…

the balm of kind words; given and received… 

the scent of freshly cut grass…

a basket of regrets…

the glow of luna through the trees at night…

rigidity melting in the warmth of the heart…

the subtle lushness of the sheets caressing my skin at bedtime…

the freedom of the space inside not knowing…

oh, what exquisite richness is this gift of being alive:
all of it…

I am forever a bride to wonder…

jai tara ma

sacred thread words & image © Heather Rhodes
model: odessa
deep in tara sadhana

The Golden Thread

emily sacred threads poem image © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.jpg

stay close
to the golden thread
that is yours in the great weaving,
the sacred tapestry of life…

do not mistake another’s
luscious shimmering
for your own…

sink deep, into the cosmic strata,
the holy stardust that is buried in your bones,

the recesses of the earth’s hot core
within the terrain of your body;

listen to the singularly resonant tone;
the fibril of your very own raison d’être…

celebrate
the luminous bouquet
of voices in the outer world
that stream forth
as blossoms from the soul;

loud and disrupting,
vulnerable and tender,
galvanizing and empowering,
soft and prayerful,
grounding and tethering,
silent and unseen;

yet,
lose not your bearings
in the vast sea of sounds and sights,
forget not the
poetry of your own calling...

remain steadfastly true;
kindling your devotion
to the holy thread
that unrelentingly expresses itself
as you,
through you…

sacred thread words & image © heather rhodes at studio petronella
model: emily
studiopetronella.com



 

Gaia's Daughter

emily beavertail sheer 1 © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved

ma gaia…

here I stand,
upon your generous,
relentless beauty…

your soft, thick grass
beneath my feet,

your crisp, autumn air filling
my lungs,

your rich scents
permeating my being;

I sense your vastness, 
and achingly, 
your finiteness…

I bow to you;

mother, 
midwife, 
death doula…

may I learn 

from your intelligence
of simplicity,

creative collaboration
of usefulness toward evolution,

the practice of
unqualified reverence…

may my attention be drawn
naturally more toward you;

that my daily actions and rituals
emerge from an attitude
of this heartfelt consideration…

resting in deep gratitude today
for the bounty you lay before us;

may we all rise to
know you and treat you
as the beloved home you are…

[gaia's daughter]
thanksgiving day 2017
sacred thread word prayer © Heather Rhodes
model: emily

 

Do You Hear Her Call?

emily savasana © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.jpg

systems are failing,
structures collapsing,
everything is unraveling…

inside,
outside,
a sense of tether-lessness;

there is no neat & tidy manual,
no quick remedy
no matter how bitter,
to bypass this discomfort;

this urgency
that points to itself as
an irrelevant, sickening, lethal fullness;

that cries out
for
purging,
emptiness, 
stillness,
an honest pause;

for
deep
active
listening...

make keen your eyes,
your ears,
your gifts of discernment
and unlimited grace;

make ready
for a new paradigm
of healing;

and although action may be required,
action for action’s sake is futile…

hold steady the ground for radical
disintegration,
dissolution,
indigenous reclamation,
& regeneration…

from the void of not-yet-knowing,
something extraordinarily worthy
seeks to arise…

beneath the high pitched whine of toxic ignorance,
there is a low, steady, resounding hum…

mother earth herself;
wise
impartial
generous
intelligent
powerful
uncorrupt
honest
trustworthy

listen there.

do you hear her call?

how does the flame ignite your heart, sister?
we are all in this together...

sacred thread words & image © Heather Rhodes
model: emily
studiopetronella.com

 

I Will Meet You

emily meet me here 5 © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.jpg


I will meet you;

as an early autumn field; wide and flung open in surrender
to its imminent desaturation and decomposition…

as an undiscovered galaxy; entertaining itself
by endlessly rebirthing its own being and becoming…

as the succumbing flora; crushing under the warm weight
of the doe seeking refuge in the thicket…

as twigs and leaves; dislodged from the river’s edge,
let loose like a handful of regrets into the cool, rushing waters…

as the earthy roots of the ancient felled tree; offering sanctuary
to the seeds of forgiveness that lie in wait…

as the warm sun; caressing the skin of the earth
as I inhabit this present moment…

as the sharp sting of the thorn's puncture
in the flesh of my tender foot, complete with crimson release...

as this emptiness; which secretly waits for the intrusion
of your loving footsteps…

will you know me
as this, too...?

sacred thread words & image © Heather Rhodes
model: emily
studiopetronella.com

 

Reignite the Flame

emily beavertail rocks 10 v2  © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.jpg

I answer to

the wave as it kisses the shoreline,
the keen twitch of the mountain hare’s ear,
the moon's innate audacity to expose herself in all phases,
the rumble of thunder rolling over the austere, grey tundra...

I am
 
daughter
to the fecund earth beneath my feet

sister
to the primordial longing in every beating heart

lover
to the pendulous stars in the dark velvet sky

mother
to the belly of creation...

I pledge allegiance to

that which
summoned the whisper in Hildegard’s ear,
galvanized the courage in Jeanne d’Arc’s chest,
stitched the moxie into Frida’s shattered spine,
permeates my being with ceaseless elemental wonder...

I will not stifle.
I will not shrink.

I will reignite,
again and again
the flame of my heart;

remaining soft,
and ever fluid....

sacred thread words & image © heather rhodes
model: emily
studiopetronella.com


Equinox

emily beavertail relaxed © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.jpg
 

oh, autumn...

you infuse your rich, warm, honey light
straight into my marrow;
stoking an inner fire that sustains
until winter has had her way with me...

your golden harvest nourishes and delights
my every sense...

your winds sweep the chambers of my heart;
making room for more of you
to kindle my devotion...

I will walk with you;
cloaked in surrender, 
through your honest crucible of permutation...

autumn equinox 2017
sacred thread words & image © Heather Rhodes
studiopetronella.com
model: emily

A Love That Can Hold it All

i believe in a love jane 2 © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.jpg

oh, beloved…

I still believe in a love
that can hold it all;

weight of grief,

disruption of chaos,

rapture of ecstasy,

mystery of the sacred,

quiet of solitude,
 

here I am...
 

darkness of the unknown,

depths of longing,

equalizer of humility,

splendor of union,

lusciousness of soma,
 

here I am...
 

portal of illness,

spark of the divine creative,

alchemical tangle of masculine & feminine,

pinnacle of joy,

transcendence of communion,
 

here I am...
 

wonder of innocence,

tension of the opposites,

holiness of the ordinary,

spaciousness of time,

river of tenderness…

I can only offer to meet you here
In this field of possibility,
wearing naught but the skin of my vulnerability…

whether you step forward to meet me, 
I cannot say…

here I am;
my sacred self my offering…

sacred thread words & image © Heather Rhodes
studiopetronella.com
model: jane

 

The Flame

emily red shawl 1 © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.jpg

I love when
you lie fallow, too;

when your wilderness aches
to feel the footsteps of the beloved
upon its forest floors...

when the nest of you is empty;
woven with expectancy
of the mystery to come…

when you become
a parched vernal pool,
laying quietly in wait
for the gush of spring rains…

when you tenderly hold
the holiness of your question;
without want
of answer…

when the sound of your heartbeat
is consciously imperceptible...

when I am  
the flame of your candle
in the darkness...

sacred thread words & image © Heather Rhodes
studiopetronella.com
model: emily

 

Turned On

emily beavertail ocean spray 1 © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved .jpg

Oh…
this light within me;

shines a thousand times brighter
in the midst of darkness…

I have turned myself on,
dismantled the off switch…

from this point of light
within my heart,
everything is possible;

this indigenous web of love
knows no borders,
no boundaries…

come join me,
turn yourself on…

sacred thread words & image Heather Rhodes
studiopetronella.com
model: emily, catching the sea spray on the cliffs at beavertail