A woman of indeterminate age walks slowly and carefully through the long wet grass; barefoot, the feel of the soft moss and small flowers under her feet, but gently she passes so they spring back unharmed. A woman of mixed and unusual background; not old, not young, with memories flooding from centuries past, memories not so much forgotten as stolen, buried, ripped from her heart by the forces of modernity and culture. In the lengthening morning she walks to what will be her garden, the one that brings food and medicine all summer and into the cold months. As she does, she passes through the much larger area of eyebright and cinquefoil and yarrow and selfheal, by the ferns and the hawthorn and apple and pine, the presences that arrived unbidden, of their own soulful accord, to nourish and make medicine and bring balance, along with that which is cultivated, teachers and protectors and guides all..
A woman of great age, as souls go, calling back the birds to a small parcel of land almost stripped of it’s wildness by two centuries of isolation and taming- much like her own body, once structured and imprisoned and implanted with the necessities of modern acceptability, now grown wilder and warmer with nourishment instead of punishment. The house and acre, surrounded by farmland, had been manicured and polished to a picture perfect image, just six years ago – weeds contained, imported prettiness strategically planted to provide colour co-ordinated blooms every season in perfect timing. And she did love it’s blossoming beauties every year, but marveled at how readily the Wild stepped in and corrected it all. She marvelled at the lack of birds,initially, it seemed strange in a wildish countryside… and the huge effort required to keep the white peonies and salmon pink poppies and rounded or steepled cedars just so. But as she herself fell into wildness and longing and freedom of soul, so too did the manicured parcel of land begin first to whisper, then to sing, and finally to burst forth in shouts of reclamation and joy.
And the birds came back, and the herbs arrived, one by one, some shy and unassuming, some rough and tumble in-your-face, and some just treasures of exuberant beauty and presence.
And now, the gateway opened, the Woman of Indeterminate Age but Ancient Lineage walks a straight line to the pulsating centre of the soul of the land. Under her feet, plantain and chickweed and club moss and earth. Over her head, sapsuckers and orioles and songbirds of every description. All come home, all sung home by the opening of the wild heart, that aches and burns and pours forth love and is finally, incredibly free. All bursting with hope on this warm and sunny day in the Avalon of the Heart, externalized in an island far from it’s origin. Earth sea and sky, the four directions, the layers of life opened again. She stoops to pick a flower she needs to learn about. She stops to thank the mourning dove for her song and gentle presence. There is much to do and the day is young. But a morning like this must not be missed. Before the day is passed, a new dance will begin.
A dance of rapturous love for the living earth, a paean of praise to the Mother….
but above all, a remembrance.