The Feng Shui of Impermanence
Where I live, May is the time for the green to return to the mountains. Everywhere, almost simultaneously, there is a profusion of colors, birds and flowers. As the yellow flowers on the forsythia depart, the purple, pink and white lilacs emerge and perfume the air.
The cherry, apple and peach blossoms delight the eye on every turn in the road. The hummingbirds return from their astounding flight from South America to feast on the fresh pollen.
Flocks of red wing black birds and yellow finches dart through the air and an amazing turquoise goddess, the secretive indigo bunting, graces my feeder for a few hours before slipping away on her adventures north. Everywhere, the birds are seeking housing or building nests in the trees. At night, the owls hoot through the woods to establish their territory, and the black bears start raiding the feeders and garbage pails.
I want to be young, to play to frolic, to feel and be in all my senses. There are trails that want to be walked, vegetables and flowers to be planted and limbs to be trimmed, friends to see now that the snow has gone.
May also is the time of Mother’s Day. I give thanks to the Great Mother of us all. However badly we treat her, she still tries to feed us, shelter us and provide for our needs.
But her face is not all gentle. In all the old Feng Shui texts, we are taught the need to acknowledge and pacify demons. Old superstition?
Without warning, storms come, tornadoes and earthquakes ravage countries. In Burma, a cyclone ravages the lowlands and thousands of people are dead, bodies washing down the rivers. In China, an enormous quake collapses the work of new technology as factories, apartment buildings and schools are pulverized.
In the United States, tornadoes race across the heartland and southeast. In a matter of moments, homes and ecosystems are reduced to piles of debris.
Feng Shui is based in large measure on the ancient wisdom of the I Ching. In the I Ching, the hexagram Chên speaks of this (Wilhelm translation).
The Arousing (Shock, Thunder)
Shock brings success.
Shock comes-oh, oh!
Laughing words-ha, ha!
The shock terrifies for a hundred miles,
And he does not let fall the sacrificial spoon and chalice.
Thunder repeated: The image of Shock.
Thus in fear and trembling.
The superior man sets his life in order.
And examines himself.
Just like the beautiful blossoms of the spring trees that soon fall to the ground and are scattered by the wind, all is ephemeral. Youth is a wonderful stage that cannot be clung to. All we accumulate will one day be swept away. As the recent Hubble pictures of galaxies colliding show us, the universe is in flux, an evolving system of birth, death and new life.
We all will pass away. What is important in the miraculous now.
Feng Shui teaches us to clear the clutter, to focus on what is meaningful in the now, to stand in our center, whatever winds blow through our world. Our lives are short, yet we are part of a greater chain. Can we embrace that with beauty and compassion? Can we be like the flower petal that graces all who see her and fall as bountiful compost to feed future generations?
In the merry month of May we can learn to walk in grace, knowing all that is born will pass away. We may weep, but we can choose to join the dance in gratitude and joy, gaining our own mastery by embracing the whole of the Tao.
Remember, giving is the most important ingredient in abundance. Think how much more you have than those suffering from the effects of these devastating natural disasters and give of your abundance, for all our relations.
Readers: What are you grateful for? Let us know in the comment field below.
To contact Betsy Stang, practitioner of Healing by Design Feng Shui, click here.
By Betsy Stang, Healing By Design.