by Anna Lyons-Roost in collaboration with Rick Jansen and Frieda Nixdorf
Recorded by Frieda Nixdorf
This submission emerged at the interplay of creative embodiment through the meeting of three humans whose paths crossed in the midst of soul journey. Each, following their own rhythms and deep call of Soul, through spontaneous response, offered themselves to the calling forth of the dance of masculine and feminine.
During a recent vision fast on the land, in the presence of four trees, Anna received the following poem.
‘I have come as a pilgrim to this forest, knowing nothing but my own yearning. From some ways off the path, I am drawn towards the sentient presence of a small gathering of four trees. Soon I am under their branches, sheltered from the rain. I let go my anxiety, and I sleep.’
After a full day in the presence of those four trees Anna experienced a significant change in her way of being and perceiving.
‘As I return to Who I Am, the Roots of the Trees welcome me back into my, kinship in the family of life on this planet.’
Shared with Rick, while immersed in his practice of deep listening while accompanied by background music*, he was struck by the interplay of words and music, and how the combination of both seemed to meet as partners in dance. Inspired to dance along, Rick was called to record an adapted version of Anna’s poem as an “Ode to Four Trees” set to music, which he then shared with Anna.
This spontaneous reception of Anna’s deep soul expression with Rick’s creative heart evoked a gentle emergence of a deeper process underneath the soil of this creative collaboration, which was then met by Frieda. In her capacity to recognize and draw visibility to hidden threads, she shared her awareness of the intimate meeting that was occurring between the sacred feminine and masculine, between the elder generation and the younger generation, between a young man seeking his true and native way to live, and an elder opening to the presence of soul in the mysterious realms of her own old age and death. It is in those meetings that something precious and unnamable was birthed and now shared here as a rippling out of a shared medicine.
* Acknowledgement for the music goes to composer Kevin Wrenn. This particular piece is called “Unwoven.”
“Ode for Four Trees” recorded by Rick Jansen
Praise to you, Four Trees
By Anna Lyons-Roost
Oh Four Trees,
I wander your forest floor,
rootless and seeking
knowing nothing, and seeking,
seeking to be whole.
You call me,
Do you call me?
Beneath your branches
you shelter me,
amidst your roots I lie down.
Your forest is silent
and in stillness I sleep.
But my Soul, keeping vigil,
hears you call her to come,
from her home spun of light,
to come to you
in the shadows of the earth.
She wakes to her yearning
to touch and be touched
by your trunks of mossy bark,
and to know this sleeping one.
In love with this tender earth,
She enters my body,
beyond the boundary of my skin,
She kindles my flesh
into the flame of my Soul.
After decades of yearning,
I know her as Who I am.
And beneath the earth, Four Trees,
your roots embrace their new kin.
Anna Lyons-Roost, born in Berkeley, California, lived as a child in the Sierra Nevadas, finding sanctuary in the forest, playing, reading and wool-gathering among the branches and roots of trees. At 17, back in Berkeley, she awakened with anguish and shame to the Vietnam war and the oppression of Black Americans, and she began working with children in urban ghettos. At 18, she found both sacred silence and activism in Berkeley Friends Meeting, shifting at 33 to meditate and dance with the Sufi Order, and then settling at 36 into her current practice of Contemplation rooted Christian and Buddhist monastic traditions. Anna lives in Portland, Oregon, with Eric, her lifetime partner of 52 years, and Zocha their dog, and Anna’s co-therapist in her practice of Jungian analysis. Anna cherishes these elder years with her children, grandchildren, friends and garden, and is deeply grateful to participate in the Great Turning.
Rick Jansen is a young Dutch man who is just recently giving in to his long-lasting passions for creative expression, movement/dance and the mysteries of soul and wild nature. After quite some soul searching, threads are weaving together now in his work as a Purpose Guide™, where he accompanies people in seeking their visions in service to the Great Turning and soon he will join the team of Alliance for the Earth and the Earth Treasure Vase Global Healing Project dedicated to global healing and collective awakening. You can find Rick at www.naturesoulpurpose.com.
Frieda Nixdorf – The thread that underscores all Frieda’s work is the recognition of the healing and regenerative powers of nature and her commitment to serving the planet and growing the cultural shift of the Great Turning. In addition to mothering a young human who is on the brink of venturing out into the world, she offers her gifts as a soul aligned purpose guide and mentor, a group facilitator, teacher, a playful and connected weaver of dream world imagery and tender of earth consciousness. Frieda’s background is in psychology, education, art history, visual culture, expressive arts and the non-profit environmental field. She currently serves as adjunct faculty at John F. Kennedy University and staff mentor at Purpose Guides Institute. You may connect with Frieda at: www.lifeintheconfluence.com.
What beauty, what peace. Thank you Anne, Rick and Frieda for this gentle interweaving of generations, ages, humans and the Earth with the timeless melody of Kevin Wrenn. A most resourcing moment for me to listen to and bathe in this movement-stillness prayer.