The Green Man – Enchanted Symbol of the Earth

English: Photograph depicting a carving by Pau...
English: Photograph depicting a carving by Paul Sivell, titled “Whitefield Green Man.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first symbol of enchantment in my Enchanted Oasis series is the Green Man, a reflection of our longing for connection with nature.

Given the role of all plants in consuming our carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen in the air for us to breathe, perhaps the Green Man symbol is a mirror of something deep within us that knows we are more intimately connected to the green world than we realize.

If you’re unfamiliar with this symbol of enchantment, Wikipedia discusses the idea of the green man in this way:

A Green Man is a sculpture, drawing, or other representation of a face surrounded by or made from leaves. Branches or vines may sprout from the nose, mouth, nostrils or other parts of the face and these shoots may bear flowers or fruit. Commonly used as a decorative architectural ornament, Green Men are frequently found on carvings in churches and other buildings (both secular and ecclesiastical). “The Green Man” is also a popular name for English public houses and various interpretations of the name appear on in signs, which sometimes show a full figure rather than just the head.

The Green Man motif has many variations. Found in many cultures around the world, the Green Man is often related to natural vegetative deities springing up in different cultures throughout the ages. Primarily it is interpreted as a symbol of rebirth, or “renaissance”, representing the cycle of growth each spring. Some speculate that the mythology of the Green Man developed independently in the traditions of separate ancient cultures and evolved into the wide variety of examples found throughout history.

We are indebted to the artists and sculptors among us who create these beautiful symbols of man intertwined with nature. For my own part, the Green Man symbol shows up in the novel series that I’m revising this summer, in a slightly different manifestation.

The artistic use of enchanted symbols can also be a reminder for many of us to take practical action.  The Green Man reminds us that it is in our best interest to remember our close connection with the trees of the earth.

Typical boreal forest.
Typical boreal forest. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are many ways to work on the sustainability of our world, but in my opinion,  few are more important than maintaining and rebuilding forests around the world.  The challenge is that climate change is going to make this more difficult. Across the U.S.  global climate change is creating fires that destroy forests like those in California this year, and without frosts to kill insects that attack trees, many species of trees are suffering.  So, we’re going to have a battle on our hands.

Does the Green Man or other symbols of enchantment intertwined with nature speak to you?

If maintaining a green earth is an important issue for you, how might the use of an enchanted nature symbol in your art or life add to your commitment and actions?

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Bloom in the Garden of Your Life

This was a little twig when my kids’ grandfather (on their Dad’s side) planted this about 14 years ago. Their grandfather is no longer with us, but these flowers bloom in what now looks like a tall tree and remind of us his love.

Every season gives us different types of blooming.

In my garden, the time of most profuse blooming is in the Spring.

The summer heat can often be too intense for many of the more delicate flowers that I like.

In Fall, the bloom of colors in falling leaves dazzles us.

In the heart of Winter, there are trees that stay green and even one with berries and blossoms coming forth.

Outside of the seasonal world, our soul’s world can also bloom at all times.

We bloom differently when we are in grief than in joy.  Even boredom is blooming if we can see it as a signal to create something new.

What is blooming for you in this season of your life?

Pay attention to it, even if it hurts you. The bloom doesn’t last forever, for our human lives come to an end quicker than we would like.  Each bloom is precious in the garden of your life.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Part 1

International Recycling Symbol 32px|alt=W3C|li...
International Recycling Symbol 32px|alt=W3C|link=✓ The source code of this SVG is valid. Category:Valid SVG (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This was a day of reduce, reuse, recycle for me.  Usually, I don’t do all three at once.

Today is both electronic recycling Saturday in Aurora and free big item pick up day.

I probably should have taken pictures of some of what I was getting rid of and recycling today for this blog, but I was thinking that far ahead this morning.

Due to the work that I used to do with by-product synergy, I don’t like to throw anything away.  If at all possible, I like to give it to someone to reuse or find a way to recycle my unwanted or un-needed items.

Since,  I’m now on a quest to reduce the amount of stuff in my life before I move into a new place, I was up at 8am in line with other cars taking advantage of the opportunity to get rid of stuff like old building materials, big appliances, carpets, toys, etc. Then, it was off to the electronics recycling center and finally a third place that accepts hazardous wastes like the flourescent bulbs and batteries I had been collecting.

Re-using someone else’s trash and transforming it into treasure

When I got home, I decided that I was on a roll and painted this old dresser.  Someone was throwing it away last fall, and it was exactly the kind of piece that I wanted for storing my youngest son’s art supplies.  (Note: reducing usually means you don’t consume something in the first place, but I consider reducing the amount of stuff that I buy new to be helpful too).


Another view plus polishing up an old picture frame

I like that the dresser is not perfect and has chips on the drawers — that feels more Wabi Sabi to me. Now that it’s painted,  I know it goes perfectly with a black stained table and chairs that I purchased from Crate and Barrel many years ago.  In a few days I’ll show how they look together.It feels so good to be cleaning up in a responsible way.And it got me to thinking about ways to benefit from the reduce, reuse and recycle philosophy in our writing – Part 2 comes tomorrow.