Invisible Roots

What are your roots? Let’s go underground and discover…

What are your roots? Let’s go underground and discover…

Do you hear the word ‘foundations’ and think of cold, immovable stones? I do.

But it changes completely when it becomes personal: ‘what are your/my life’s foundations?’

Ah! Now the stones turn into roots, porous, warm and flexible - drawing in nourishment from the soil…

The Foundations of Wild Poplars, too, are more like the roots of a great veteran of the forest.

Unlike beliefs, which need airing (often) and to be seen to be believed, roots are invisible but we sense their presence. We catch glimpses of their substance only via the shapes and forms which emerge as flowers and fruit on the branches we call ‘us’. Strong roots produce healthy trees. And like trees, we all have them. Our roots are intrinsic to our nature.

Root yourself in what is,
and your days will spread out
like the far-reaching limbs
on an ancient inexhaustible tree
from which one person
will hew a walking stick
another, posts and lintels
still another, a mantel.
— Daniel Skach-Mills, Twenty-One

Our roots have nothing to do with our ancestry. Our common roots are the invisible essence of life itself. And they have an unmistakable stability. Have you tasted it? In a peaceful moment we sense this essence is common to everything. But what is it? Scientists will tell you its mainly space… Perhaps! And perhaps, too, this space has an indefinable quality which is both no-thing and yet is integral to every thing…

Can you feel into the soles of your feet and find a softness, even a spaciousness as you sense your being rooting itself down, down, into the ground? Guest Poet for the Foundations – Daniel Skach-Mills – puts so simply and sublimely in the poem here which he kindly recorded for me from ‘across the pond’.

You can read more about Daniel here including why he graces this place (although he’d be equally happy in The Tea House).

The antithesis of the so-called ‘tree of knowledge’, the metaphorical tree of life holds a secret. When I draw on its sap - without which I starve - I feel connected to a wisdom and intimacy which roots me in the only place which feels wholly real: NOW.
— Pearl's Pearl

And by the magic of imagination, we’re able to worm our way into the warm soil, while the soil feels our bony contours absorbing its nourishment.

What is this soil? Before we examine these roots, let’s get digging…