The Fox and the Cedar

As I listen to the rain outside
I'm reminded that
all that's alive has a purpose,
a mission, and means to fulfil it. 
This universal wisdom gives me the
opportunity to soften my focus, deepen my
perception of what's intangible  
and embrace it with my whole being.

Grandpa Antonio in communion with nature in one of his last visits to my parents when we were there for the summer ...

When I realized that I would not be able to say goodbye to my beloved grandfather I prayed that, one day, I could do it in my dreams. I prayed wholeheartedly and then life as we know it took over. 

Grandpa Tunico left this plane of existence in 2015, a couple of months before we moved to Santa Cruz. One year later I had the dream that follows. 

Remembrance, the fox 

There was a fox in the corner of the room. And I felt a mix of fear of the wild creature and of the wild within myself. I remember telling him to go away. It was dark and rested a cloud over all things that care for the ordinary truth. 

In the second night there was the fox again in the corner of the dark room. It seems to me that I asked a man for help, perhaps my husband, father or father-in-law to take the fox out of the room. Then, I myself took him out of the room and left him between the tall walls and the entrance gate.

It felt gray. Shadow-dark and I couldn't understand  why I wanted him to leave, why I took him out of the house. What follows remains the only truth I know. 

We bawled, the fox and I. A lifelong breathtaking farewell cry. He hugged me with his front legs and at that precise moment I knew it was my grandfather - my heart ached a thousand pains. Part of my consciousness watched from a distance bursting with emotions, heart compressed between heavy cliff rocks. The other half felt touched by the sacred... it was ~ almost ~ an impossible goodbye. 

The ranch, Lorena, Brazil

The feeling of the dream accompanied myself for days and so did the feeling of closure and deep gratitude which were felt immediately. When you're living far away and can't be a part, physically speaking, of your family's rituals, it is very important to tend to your well being, to find ways to incorporate self care routines and practices that will support you in your healing journey. Talking to closed trusted ones (because remember, they are going through this as well), working with the earth, praying/meditating, long walks and writing are just a few simple ideas accessible to all.

Dream experiences like this are very powerful, moving and healing - they're often very subtle too, requiring, as I am learning in my plant path, that we go deep into each symbol / feeling / emotion & message in order to activate an aspect of our own inner healer, our inner forest, and heal.

As a carpenter and homestead farmer my grandfather was deeply connect to the fields, to the earth. When you learn about creatures of the fields and forests, you learn about their suit of survival and instinct, how grounded and supportive they are, but also how they can become stuck in their ways. I can see that trait in my grandpa very clear now. The personification of the fox in my dream ties it all together in ways that fill my heart, nourishes my soul. Foxes as a spiritual animal are smart, strong partners and wise teachers. Their energy guide us towards staying true to those most dear to us...

As I learned later, field foxes are found in my grandpa's hometown and parts of the west of Brazil. ♡♡♡

My world is small, Lord. 
It has a river and a few trees. 
Our home wasn't made facing the river. 
Ants cut out grandmother's rose bushes. 
In the backyard there is a boy and his 
wonderful cans
All things in this place are already committed 
to birds. 
Here, if the horizon blushes a little, the 
beetles think they caught fire. 
When the river is birthing a fish, 
He thing me
He frog me
He tree me. 
In the afternoon an old man will play his flute to reverse the sunsets. 

(Small World, Part I, Manoel de Barros) 

Manoel de Barros is one of my favorite Brazilian authors along with Guimarães Rosa who also had this humble yet profound view about life to say the least. His poems are shaped through his perceptions of nature and life, his poetic language is sensorial, seeking to transform what's paradoxically abstract. Unfortunately I couldn't find most of my favorites translated into English but did find one, Birds for a Demolition. 


Ancient cedar trees in the forest of lebanon. Bayard Taylor


We were going through so much since moving cross-country that the dream helped me re-center and be what I needed to be. It brought me peace. But it's not always like that. Just like the tides we find us living moments of high and lows.

This November was hard, painful. My senses attuned beyond words. The pain that originated from that ancestral longing often times seemed unbearable. I kept catching myself burning plants, lighting candles, looking at old photos and praying more often. November is their month. Cedar was not only available, as I was working on a new formula, but seemed like the perfect plant for the occasion. I needed to turn inward. 

For thousands of years Cedar has been used for healing, purification and spiritual protection. Its spiritual properties are supposed to promote peaceful thoughts and help interpret messages from the inner self. Its wood was used for the doors of sacred temples and burned in cleansing ceremonies for purification. The tree was thought to house important gods and to be an entrance to higher realms.

Indigenous people of the North teach us that cedar is offered with tobacco into a fire and that it makes a crackling sound which is believed to call the attention of the spirits. The spirits will give a stronger passage for the message to be carried through into the spirit world. 

 "If we do not believe within ourselves this deeply rooted feeling that there is something higher than ourselves, we shall never find the strength to evolve into something higher." Rudolf Steiner 

My grandpa Tunico, Estela, David (in the baby carrier) and I visiting my school many many moons ago...

 Wishing you love and good vibes, always ~ Isabella 

Leave a comment