Yesterday was the first morning of sunshine in quite a few days and it beckoned me ceaselessly to come out into the garden. Over the winter many jobs got left undone and now I had a surfeit of choice. Where to start? Down to the vege patch I went, surveying the posts planted around the edges of the garden which will, eventually, support the anti-rabbit mesh. Anyone who has read Beatrix Potter will immediately recognise me as a present day Mr MacGregor. My greens have been ravished; I’ve taken to planting in the glasshouse so we actually get some food!
I have to say that this didn’t bring out the best in me; I know bunnies are cute but the are devastation on four legs with a fluffy tail! So now, feeling provoked I turned my vengeful gaze on my potting shed and its numerous inhabitants. It too, hasn’t seen much of me over the winter. A new granddaughter was being incubated and she arrived at the beginning of June; so I’ve been Grandma-ing not gardening. Now was the time to take up the reins again. It was no surprise to see the mass colonisation of spiders; nature will encourage all her creatures to do that. After my rabbit-reflections I was in just the right mood to to deal with spiders. Generally, I’m not afraid of spiders and actually find some quite beautiful, but these had to go. I am not Arachne and need no spinning lessons.
Calling upon my Kali aspect I mixed up some pyrethrum spray that urges spiders to move on – at least two continents away! I swept, I stacked, I sprayed. Spiders packed their bags hastily and left, an exodus akin to the Hebrews fleeing Egypt. Today I will go down again and clean the windows so all is prepared for Spring planting.I know that Persephone is making her way up from the underworld because my Almond is blossoming; she is always the first orchard tree to express her joy at the returning of Spring. All around I can feel the garden waking up; we have ben visited by the quail for the first time after their winter holidays. It is fascinating to notice the turning of the wheel; i have so much gratitude for being able to live close to the natural world and to feel communion with her. So much mystery abounds and like a small child who has secretly peaked at her Christmas presents prior to the day, I am allowed to understand the mystery and experience the magnificence. The life of a gardener is glorious and gifted.
And the greatest mystery of all is that of life and death. I have learned to honour this cycle even though I know that the beautiful Magnolia flowers that have bought me such joy these last few months are now in their death throes as the way is made clear for an abundance of foliage. I will mourn their loss even as I yearn for the emergence of fruit blossom, gardenias and rambling rose blooms. With every ending there is always a new beginning.
Balanced on the cliff edge, my acorn shell cracked wide open I look out into the void. My old brain screams in terror, seeing only my annihilation. There is a whispering, the gentle susurration of oak leaves shimmying, calling me forward. I am exhausted by the terror and so I drop into the velvety darkness. The banshee wail fades behind me and I am gently caught in the loving embrace of a compassionate God, manifested through the actions of my beloved husband, caring family, friends and my garden. A tiny shoot has sprouted in my soul garden. Each time I drop I am buoyed up, carried on swells of constancy, love and acceptance. Ebbing and flowing, my emotions toss the boat of my soul. Little by little I learn to find my balance, my sea-legs, more quickly. In this moment I am not that abandoned child sucked down into a whirlpool of despair, drowning in her own shame. A new land is in sight and the waves push me ever closer. It is the unknown; I am a way off yet. I feel its pull, it is the moon, I am the water. Like the new growth sprouting skyward in my soul garden my roots are seeking their home. I am still vulnerable; though pulsing within me is all the potential of a mighty oak and all around me the compassionate manifestation of the Beloved.
Since my last post life has been a series of days spent living with the loss of my soul garden. All around me the natural world continued to flourish prolifically as I lay in my bed unable to show the least enthusiasm. I was literally prostrated by my inability to change what had happened. Foolishly, I expended a large amount of energy contemplating how to reverse away from the scene, to rewind, to avert my gaze. Such destruction, such ugliness evoked pain & disbelief. My prayers turned to dust in my mouth. Finally I understood; I had no choice but to accept what I felt. This experience of my inner desert, the grittiness of the ashes, the veil of darkness; this was as valid as any other experience. It is a hollowing out; a decimation, yes, and a creation of space felt, at first, like a dark and frightening void. Slowly, the veil lifted the tiniest bit, allowing me to recognise that facing the ugliness, embracing the ashes was the only option. As I accepted that necessity my body and mind began to relax and I was able to appreciate the quiet spaciousness. No beauty was present and yet in the letting go there was a welcome peace. I began to imagine the possibilities of a new creation. As I relaxed more into this new beginning I began to wonder what was happening in the outside world. Today I have been back in my garden; after seven days absence I found so much inspiration and once again experienced the joy of being part of the world, in all its beauty and ugliness.