garnet: flying with roots
by victoria larkins
I have always loved to fly. I was 14 years old when I first starting taking pilot lessons. I was 15 years old when I first soloed an airplane. It was a glider airplane. The essence of pure flight was what I sought, from the youngest age I can remember. I chose to learn the realest form of flying. One that required no engine, no gasoline, no “throttle,” no “mixing;” just me, the small Plexiglas cockpit, and an intimate relationship with the air and clouds around me. Waggling my rudder signaled the tow-plane 200 feet away (usually a bright yellow Super Cub or another “tail-dragger”) that I was ready to take off. The tow-plane, that was hooked to a rope that attached under the nose of my plane, would pull me up to my desired elevation.
When I liked what I saw on my altimeter, I would pull the rusted red knob, hear that familiar bang of the rope releasing, and make a sharp turn to the right as the tow plane would veer to the left, gunning for the airport landing strip. I would be left alone, in the sky, in the clouds, with the silence of what it means to simply ride the wind, soaring on the thermals from billowing cumulus clouds or hot summer pavement below. Flying gave me a new perception. I got to see the peaks of mountains from a different angle, and see the city I lived in become smaller. It put the whole world in perspective.
I have always loved to fly. But, I didn’t realize that my love for aviation would transform to a different type of flying dream. I began to soar in a altered way: traveling. At 16 years old, I flew to live in Central Mexico. And that was just the beginning of my travels. Since living in Mexico, I have lived in the sensual city of Buenos Aires, hiked the frosted glaciers of Patagonia, worked in healthcare in Nicaragua, skinny-dipped in Uruguay, train-hopped in Scotland and Paris, road tipped and rock-climbed in the Middle East, and I currently live in the highlands of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.
My love of flying continues to bring me all over the globe. I travel with a ravenous sensation of knowing the world and its rich cultures intimately. I yearn to experience the edges of what this world has to offer. Exploring and living in foreign countries fills me with the same sensation that flying a glider does. I get a new viewpoint of everything I thought I understood. The paradigms of what I once knew wobble out of their monotonous grooves as they become challenged by new perspective.
I have always loved to fly. However, sometimes I wonder why. Just like any plane casts an inevitable dark shadow on the earth as it passes in front of the sun, there is a dark side to being a flyer. Loving to fly has been deeply ungrounding for me. Always seeking flight and heights means that any roots that I have (perfunctorily) planted are susceptible to get torn away from their rich soils that they have begun to settle into. Flying a way of leaving body and myself. It’s a way of letting my Essence escape my Being.
After losing Myself many times in my love affair with flight, I realized there was a vital piece to flying that I’ve been missing….rooting. For someone who loves to fly so much, my Essential daily intention, now, is to be deeply grounded. I ask myself every day, “how can I make my roots in this day, in this place, in this year, in this life?” I have deepened my relationship with Mother Earth, though I have spent lots of time not actually upon Her ground. With this intention, I seek to be deeply rooted upon the earth I am walking.
Since exploring this commitment to being grounded, I understand, much deeper, my attraction for my life’s calling, of women’s health and childbirth. In fact, my deep calling towards women’s health and childbirth undoubtedly comes from years of uprooted flight and little to no relationship with my first chakra, my Original Root. I have not traded in one extreme for another. I am learning, instead, to join and balance two ways of being that I used to see as polarities: flight and deep roots.
I now work in women’s health, in a birthing center in the highlands of Guatemala. I am still very much flying. However, there is something different now. Now, I remain rooted as I fly. I now walk with an altered daily intention, a daily mantra. I recommit to myself, to Mother Earth, and to my roots, and to my Original Root, to live my life with a deeply grounded self-devotion. I sit with what it feels like to live like a tree, building deep roots before I build branches. My work with pregnant mothers and birth is easily some of the most grounding work one can do. Its pure first chakra, muladhara, in its rawest, deepest expression. With my blood-red granite gem that accompanies me in every birth I am in, and every moment I live, I am reminded to drop down to my deepest roots, to balance my love of flight with the groundedness that is innate to my life’s passion.
I still fly, but I also have created a deep relationship with my right to Be, my right to be grounded, my womb, my muladhara, the deepest blood-red of the womb of the Earth.
I still fly, and I still love to fly. But living with an intention of grounding, and working with my passion, I now fly in a way that does not lose mySelf. My Essence no longer deserts my body. I fly, but I root just as much. I sore to new heights, but I balance that by digging, planting, and settling to the deepest Roots.
By : Bry Baldridge Kring
Women's Health and Birthing Specialist