The fields have gone under the plough.
The swifts and the swallows have flown.
The mist and the rain are descending again
And the fall into winter’s begun.
This is an autumn round I wrote for a group I am part of, called Voiceplay Unlimited, where several members were new to singing. We play with the voice and with the Indian scale of Sa Re Ga, rhythm, improvisation and exercises to free the vocal organs. Harmony singing is new to several of us and rounds are a wonderful way to get a feeling for harmony. Everyone sings the same words and melody but starting at different times and then we effortlessly find ourselves singing in harmony. I find the whole concept very interesting. We stand in a ‘round’, facing one another but in different groups. This seems to me very much how we can work together in community, ending up with a real sense of harmony. Where we have a group focused on the same theme, different people add in their own points of view at different times, contributing to the whole.
A sense of community
At this difficult time, when there are so many challenges facing us all, in our individual lives and on the larger scale, developing a real sense of community becomes more and more important. Perhaps the analogy of the sung ‘round’ breaks down if we look in more detail at what community involves. We do not all sing the same lines or melody. We each have our individual talents and strengths and also weaknesses, but to create true community all are needed and so we need to meet each other, really meet, and get to know one another, creating ‘rounds’ or circles of friendship, where our gifts and our needs balance out and we can support each other with our individual difficulties, but also begin to address the greater challenges of the times together. Perhaps working on shared meditations can help here too. We then create a heart flame which draws towards us help from higher levels of being, so that our capacity goes beyond the sum of our separate selves, just as the harmony arising from several voices singing their own parts together creates a choir that lifts the heart and gives courage and hope. I remember listening to two choirs singing in the abbey on the summit of Mont St. Michel in Normandy and having the realization that if the beautiful abbey had not been there the harmonies themselves would have created it.
Communities can be in one place where one can easily meet, work or celebrate together, or may be scattered over the world and yet be linked by common aims and inner work. The Cygnus members are also a community, which is building a heart connection between us and contributing to the wellbeing of this special venture. Getting to know one another, accepting and celebrating our differences but recognizing our common aims and strengths are at the core of creating community. We are all People of the Earth, and learning to work together for the healing of the Earth and Humanity is a very powerful way to promote peace. As we move towards the solstice, the concept of a ‘round’ evokes the Sun, which is also our own centre, from which we can move out in love towards our fellow human beings.
There’s no knowing the weather
But trees turn gold and then are bare.
Come follow the spiral to the centre.
Midwinter sun is shining there.
The Whole Earth
The whole earth is within you,
The whole earth is within,
From your incandescent centre
To the boundaries of skin.
A crystal sphere of radiant light
Is truly what you are.
As the sun grows brighter in your heart
The earth becomes a star.
Wind Says speaks
Wind Says speaks:
Walk in peace, peace before you, peace behind you, peace beside you, peace above you, peace under you feet. Remember, you are the people, people of the Earth Mother.
Step out of the familiar electric,
the well oiled certainties,
into the Fifth World, the opening future.
Listen to the song of the rocks and the soil,
the murmur of waters, the secrets of the wind.
Descend, go within,
Make ceremony in the
kiva* of your heart,
breathing the echo of flute,
the warm fragrance of sage,
hope mounting inside you like the mist of morning,
knowing you are the people
of the heart drumbeat,
beat, beat, beat, beating out
the message of sunrise,
of the lifting light.
Wind Says speaks:
Walk in peace with one another.
You are the people of the Earth,
you are the people.
Thus speaks Wind Says.
Wind Says is the name of a Native American wisdom keeper.
* A kiva is an underground chamber used for ceremonial purposes.
© 2013 by Jehanne Mehta , www.jehannemehta.com