As I am starting to consider Awen while pursuing the Black Mountain Druid Order (BMDO) Dedicant Path (DP), I have been considering the Meaning of Awen here in my first week.
Awen is a concept often represented as /|\ and loosely means divine inspiration or that which takes one’s breath away. I like to think about it as similar to The Force in Star Wars or Eywa in Avatar, something that is akin to inspiration or energy associated with an Aha! moment (cf. the resolution of a liminal period). Likewise, the life-force of awen can even be considered as a point of balance, something not always common in my life, or a sense of harmony in life and in the natural world.
Considering the questions to ponder for this first week:
1. What places in nature inspire you?
2. Do you have a favorite outdoor place? Why?
3. How does nature inspire you??
There are two places in nature that particularly inspire me. The first is a certain area of vines / trees that I regularly pass here in Manhattan that shelter a group of small birds. Walking by these early in the morning or just before sunset in the evening, the birds chatter away, coexisting with us humans while living their lives singing for joy. It always reminds me of the nature-oriented poetry of Walt Whitman, especially some of the lines in his Calamus poems where he vibrantly links humanity and nature into a seemless continuity. The other location that inspires me is a lines of giant pine trees in an upstate community I often visit, and this pine row offers a shelter along one side where the branches are high enough that one can walk 100 feet or so under them. This reminds me of a natural cloister walk, one that is living and breathing.
Hmm, come to think about it, both of these locations involve shelter or safety and trees. I never made that connection before . . . .
Nature inspires me with an energy; the birds that sing out and the trees that grow, all doing what they have always done with or without human meddling in nature (while we are still very part of nature itself, something to never forget). Nature always finds a way to continue, and I am inspired, as with awen, by the complexities of nature and how it is so very beyond me.
While seemingly beyond me, I am always linked with nature, never too far away . . . even when I am not paying attention to it.
The BMDO is an interesting new path for me to follow, and while I will not make any assumptions or projections for where it will lead, journeys begin with but a single step.