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April 2024 Flying Needle News

Venerate the old

Praise the new as it springs forth

During Pure Brightness

Hello Friends of Flying Needle!

Happy Pure Brightness!

- fifth vernal solar node -

Hope this finds you well during these interesting times!

Seasonal Musings & Reflections

Spring's vibrance is bursting forth here in the North Carolina Piedmont. Redbud, azaleas, dogwood, wildflowers, and even (shockingly) wisteria are in bloom. Pine pollen blankets everything in yellow. There are still some daffodils and tulip poplars about. It's a beautiful riot of color, shape and scent.

Ants are stirring, bumblebees are buzzing, though sadly not as many as in years past. Birdsong fills the morning. Morels are popping up to be foraged. Let's take a moment of appreciation for their commitment to wildness and total unwillingness to be domesticated.

Hail Morel!

Morels are saprotrophs – they feed on dead organic matter. They are part of the web of relationships that through decomposition tends to the dead supporting the flourishing of life. Water-Winter-Death gives rise to Wood-Spring-Birth.

April 5th is Qingming, Pure Brightness, or Clear and Bright, is the fifth solar node of Spring. In China, and throughout many parts of Asia, the Qingming Festival (Tomb-Sweeping Day, Ancestor's Day, Chinese Memorial Day) is commemorated. Like the fruiting of the morel in the midst of Spring flowering, there is a beautiful harmony to honoring the tombs of our ancestors in the height of Spring.

It is through those that have come before us that we have the opportunity to be here in this moment living and learning. We are the expression of the hopes, dreams, and prayers of our ancestors. Given the challenges that we are facing on our beloved Earth this merits veneration, gratitude, and reconciliation.

What kind of ancestors will we be?

What kind of ancestors do we wish to be?

If we broaden our view of ancestry, we can see that all life is ancestral to us. If we broaden it further, we can see that everything on Earth, living and 'non-living', is ancestral. If we are willing to open our perception even further, we can come to understand that there is nothing in this universe that is not ancestral. We are composed of atoms forged in the hearts of stars. Everything that has ever been and become since emergence from the void, that namelessness that precedes even the Dao, is ancestral to this moment in which you are reading these words. 

This contemplation and connection is one of the practices that gives me strength to continue working to help alleviate what suffering and pain I can where I can in the service of living and dying well on this beautiful planet. May it be of use to you.

May you find a moment of gratitude, peace, and contemplation for where we have come from on this Ancestor's Day.

May it grant you the fortitude to offer kindness and love in and for your life where and when you can.

May your Spring days be filled with beauty, mystery, and friendship! 

May you and your kin feel both rooted and free!

May we walk in gratitude with our Ancestors!

May all being and becoming receive nourishment!

Offering kindness

Gratitude and love for this

Life on Clear and Bright

It is my sincere hope that you have found something of use in these words.

If you know folks who you feel would enjoy this newsletter, please forward it their way! Thank you!

Wishing you and all your relations wellbeing and good medicine!

With gratitude,


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