Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The brave

There they are- she stops in the gravel road to look down at the plants showing brave first leaves through the frosty ground. She thinks perhaps she should trust them and believe that Spring is not far away- believe that it is safe to put out leaves and try again. But, she remembers those years when the weather was cruel and froze those first brave leaves and infant flower buds. Even as a child, she had looked at the lilac buds encased in glassy ice and felt a deep sadness- a soul sadness. It was like a promise broken- a friend who laughs at you behind your back- the sweet smell of lilac would not fill the breeze that year.

She wonders, is it worth it? Why do they start so soon? Why do we try again for love and friendship when our hearts have been broken?

The birds are brave this morning too, singing and flitting about the hedges. She thinks of another plant and wonders- are they up yet? As she walks closer, she can only see the dead stalks. Standing right beside the brown stalks she can not see them. But, as she gets down upon her knees, there almost as dark as the dark earth, are the first shoots of the nettles. Deep, deep green- almost black-fuzzy but not yet stinging. Nettles. She touches one fondly with her finger tip. The nettles mean something deep and old to her. First, she loves them because they were here- they and the Salmon Berries came by themselves and set up house in a corner of the garden (the unlikely partners growing tall mixed together and supporting each other). Second, because their deep greenness holds so much (imagine if your pantry was not continuously replenished by the store- imagine how good those fresh greens would look and taste after the winter). Third, because they remind her that not all things that sting should be avoided. She rises and feels strong. It's all worth it.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Imbolc beckons...

Bride is said to tend the triple fires of smithcraft (physical fire), healing (the fire of life within), and poetry (the fire of the spirit). Daughter, honor these fires of yours! A fire must be tended!

The physical fire is tended by moving your body. Have you felt the surge of heat after you really move your body? Run, walk,swim, ride a bike. Use it, feel it, understand it. This fire can be honored by feeding your body wholesome foods- moderation for the rest.

The fire of life within is for you and for others- it offers love and healing. This fire is stronger than you imagine within you. Try- put forth this warmth to your family, to the random stranger who could use a smile. You might find that when you share this warmth, the fire is fed.

The fire of spirit is a fickle, needy fire. You must lovingly tend it, try to understand it, look deep into it's flames to find answers. Sing, play music, write, copy a poem into a journal or read it aloud- find yourself in the frost decorating a leaf. You must find a moment of quiet- you must move just a step beyond yourself and daily chores of your life. You can do it. The return of this flame is worth it- it will speak to you of eternity.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Quotes to live by from Rainer Maria Rilke:

All emotions are pure which gather you and lift you up; that emotion is impure which seizes only one side of your being and so distorts you.

Believe that with your feelings and your work you are taking part in the greatest; the more strongly you cultivate this belief, the more will reality and the world go forth from it.
Live your questions now, and perhaps even without knowing it, you will live along some distant day into your answers.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Winter Eden
by Robert Frost

A winter garden in an alder swamp,
Where conies now come out to sun and romp,
As near a paradise as it can be
And not melt snow or start a dormant tree.

It lifts existence on a plane of snow
One level higher than the earth below,
One level nearer heaven overhead,
And last year's berries shining scarlet red.

It lifts a gaunt luxuriating beast
Where he can stretch and hold his highest feat
On some wild apple tree's young tender bark,
What well may prove the year's high girdle mark.

So near to paradise all pairing ends:
Here loveless birds now flock as winter friends,
Content with bud-inspecting. They presume
To say which buds are leaf and which are bloom.

A feather-hammer gives a double knock.
This Eden day is done at two o'clock.
An hour of winter day might seem too short
To make it worth life's while to wake and sport.