We’ve just experienced the equinox this week and along with it the usual equinoctial gales. It now finally begins to feel that Spring is here; for some time now we’ve lived with t he dry bones clatter of the death Goddess as she moves through bare branches on a chill wind, shriveling the life out of any new and tender growth.
So it was with joy and anticipation I listened and finally heard the first call of the shining cuckoo a few days ago; the most reliable of harbingers. I trust then that Mother Nature is awakening from her winter’s rest once again. My eyes don’t deceive me either for that Great Lady is now covering her bones with garments of every green imaginable; gauzy limes layered over soft velvety olives and an underskirt of dark glossy greens.
Everywhere there is urgency as birds court flirtatiously and build nests of all manner of wondrous finds. Twigs, feathers, fur and lichen are woven with skill and grace. The call to spend time outside overcomes my concern for wet ground underfoot; a couple of sunny days and all will be dried out once again.
Now as the wisteria racemes begin to unfurl their blossoms revealing a delicious scent I am beguiled and know that I must bow my head in honour of this glorious turning of the wheel.
This morning I looked out the window and a tiny dewdrop winked and blinked at me, its scintillating corona shifting and changing from moment to moment. I breathed in its diamond bright message, thanked it and began my morning regime.
Later as I lay practicing the yin portion of my exercise sunlight streamed in onto my face; I immediately felt embraced by an intense heat and as I relaxed into it my awareness expanded to embrace the sound of the wind in the trees and a sensation of powerful energy suffused my whole body. I felt deeply held and continued to relax into the experience, my whole world becoming light and heat and sound. I lay bathing in these sensations for some time, noticing how odd thoughts would pop up – and I saw with great clarity the struggle of my ego to resist the total letting go into the experience. Such beauty and peace and there I was thinking “what if it doesn’t last” and “how will I ‘make’ myself surrender fully?” As these things do, it did end and I lay feeling very blessed, smiled to myself at the silliness of my ego and its delusions, gave thanks and went on with my day.
When our loved ones let us down remember, we’re not alone. This is how I know…
This morning I’m sitting in a sheltered place out of the brisk westerly; I feel the Mother’s sun-kiss on my face and warm tendrils of pleasure unfurl within my body. I lay back relaxing and opening to receive the kiss, the loving touch of the Divine Feminine reminding me of her Prescence. All is well, time stands still and my heart beats in a slow gentle cadence. A tui sings out, its sharp tones travelling far in the clear winter air, the voice of the Goddess, proclaiming joy. As the sun warms all around the lemony scent of Michelia doltsopa ‘Silver Cloud’ reaches me and I breathe in; I bow my head in honour of her gracious gift. I feel such connection in this moment, a gentle radiant peace. At my feet our Manx cat, Lilith, rests curled in sleep; wise creature that she is. Don’t expect us anytime soon world, we may be here for a while.
Today as I look out my upstairs bedroom window the perfume of the Stephanotis floribunda growing there instantly grabs my attention. I breathe in deeply. Looking further out into the yellows, reds and greens of the surrounding trees a dew drop scintillating in the sun catches my eye where it clings to a leaf. The lime yellow of Gleditsia “Sunburst”, under planted with pale blue Agapanthus accentuates the freshness of this time of the day. We are accompanied by the singing of cicadas, the sound of water over the fall in the river and the faraway drone of traffic. We’ve had some rain so our visitors are feeling a little constrained and are now preparing to make their escape for the day. On the odd occasion I go to town during the festive season I notice how big the lines of traffic are, how busy the shops and how when I want to go to a movie it’s already sold out! This is my version of constraint; bumper to bumper traffic through town, drivers doing 60kms in a 100km speed area as they weave across the road “sight- seeing”. I know they’re great for the local economy and that when you live in such a beautiful place it’s only fair to share with others, but I can’t help wishing them gone. As soon as I can I get myself back home to the peace and quiet that is my sanctuary from all the consumerist madness. Once there I lie around with a book or if it’s not too hot pop out into the garden to pull out all the lettuces that have bolted in the heat, along with the weeds that are massing in preparation for a coup! If it’s very hot I waste the day away lounging in the shade laughing and chatting with my dearly beloved, drinking copious green tea and nibbling leftovers from various festive feasts. I know it sounds profligate and I accept the judgement willingly. Finally early evening rolls around, the heat declines and I can head out into the cool quiet of the garden. This is the time of day that as I work, bent over pulling weeds, digging and pruning my connection to Spirit is refreshed. In the dusky quiet the garden wraps itself around me; night-scented plants soothe with their moth attracting perfumes, carrying me to another realm replete with beauty and wonder. The mystery and magic of this special time, when there is almost no evidence of humanity is such a gift. My body, heart and mind is open to the quiet gentleness and I feel I could continue in just this way forever.
Since last writing I’ve spent quite some time in deep reflection about continuing to post. My motivation had always been to reach out and connect with others who may share my enthusiasms already or to inspire those who are newly interested. As blogging was new to me it’s been a learning experience; just dealing with the intricacies of setting up my page was challenging enough. Once I’d entered that world I found it was awash with blogs on every subject imaginable. This made me pause and consider why my offerings would even have any impact. I considered that I was possibly just adding to the already enormous amount of ‘word pollution’ already out there. Friends dismissed that idea and told me to go ahead, I had something to offer. So I did and when I received a response I was shocked and pleasantly uplifted. I carried on and emails would appear in my inbox telling me so and so had ‘liked’ or was following my blog. There was an erratic nature to this and although flattering didn’t really give me the sense of connection I really sought. I feel I may be a failure in this respect; no amount of virtual contact, least of all the appearance of a gravatar image in the ‘like’ section is really going to supply the nourishment I seek. Some may say that I’m being unrealistic and that I should be grateful people take the time to read & ‘like’ my posts. I am grateful and I do reciprocate. There have been some wonderful and uplifting stories to which I have responded with deep respect. Sometimes, however I’m left feeling that there is a manipulative aspect to blogging – you read mine and I’ll read yours… My inner cynic clearly feels provoked! Having spent time in reflection I am writing this as a means to clarify my thoughts and to potentially learn from others how they deal with their experiences in blog world. I realise my writing may not be the best but people I respect say it is good. If I don’t receive regular feedback, how can I really know? Perhaps I’m just screaming into the void? Perhaps my skills need growing? Or there is a perspective or two I have completely overlooked. I’ve experienced some challenge lately that has been painful and I’m feeling the lack of encouragement. These are all very human experiences and I share them in an effort to be transparent. Challenge is always with us and I know from experience that there can be wonderful rewards attached to facing our challenges and yet right now some dark shadow material is stealing my clarity. I can only pray that all will become clear in due course.The one thing I do know is that my garden never ceases to provide both joy and solace. The beauty, the creativity and the natural order culminating in death has taught me many wise and valuable lessons. If , as it seems, I am not able to share my experiences in a way that is useful, perhaps it’s time to follow the garden’s example and let the natural order begin the process of decay.
The ocean roar of wind crashes through the canopy of the eucalypts surrounding the garden with as much power and fury as a west coast beach in a storm. Down below all is calm and bathed in warm sunlight, the merest waving of leaves a pale reflection of what occurs above. Spring continues her unfolding – one step forward, two steps back, emerging then finding things not entirely to her liking she retreats again. It’s as though Persephone isn’t fully prepared to give up her dark lover.
For me too, I’m happy to lay in bed on cold and rainy days, reading a book and contemplating; only to find the next day I’m sun-seduced into a full days garden activity – planting, seed sowing, dreaming up my next project. The creatures also respond to the call of the sun; the garden is full of birds again today, bees are out gathering pollen with serious intent. Fortunately the blossoms seem to have timed their arrival to avoid the stormy period so an abundant harvest is still possible. Although, until Spring has fully unfolded and all her petals have dropped there are no guarantees – she is youthful fickleness – a lesson in both the discomfort and pleasure of transformation. As I embrace the lesson I feel a child-like curiosity and anticipation arise and a quiet acceptance that it is all out of my hands.