From Rapunzel’s Tower

(Oooh. It’s been over a month since I have posted. This business of trying to juggle all the balls means something tends to get set upon the back burner. Sorry, dear blog-space–you got the back burner this time.)

Irony, according to Mx. Google: a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result.

Example: When Covid cases in your area have been going down, but you’ve continued to double mask, to keep your distance, to wash hands, and also, you just got your J&J one-shot special anti-Covid vaccine, and five days later, feeling a distinct malaise, you go get a rapid antigen test at your local urgent care, and come home with instructions to isolate yourself from your family and the world for ten days because you have contracted Covid. Somehow.

I have contracted a case of Covid, along with a distinct case of Irony.

Things could be so much worse. Really. It’s a pain to be out of commission in the final week of a quarter, but also, I can write my lesson plans for my most excellent substitute, and then catch up on the overdue grading that was weighing me down.

I’m not afraid I’m going to die. There’s that really weird thing I’ve read about the vaccines: that they don’t entirely eliminate your chance of getting sick, but they 100% reduce your chance of dying.

Three days in, and an acetaminophen for the headache, and I am feeling pretty good. I’ve got grading to do, and a huge pile of mending, books to read, a blog post to write, and poetry floating through my brain. The birds are singing their springtime arias outside (it IS spring today!), and the sun is flooding in my window.

The cats keep knocking at the door to be let in. And then let out again. And then let in again. The CDC papers they gave me at Urgent Care say pets pose minimal risk of spread, so we’re going with that. It would be impossible to keep them out.

I’m allowed to go outside and walk around and take springtime pictures, as much as my energy allows, and if I stay away from people. I mask up when I go out, even though we live in the country.

I miss my family, even though they’re here in the house. So much of our togetherness is just togetherness, not necessarily talking, so yelling “How’s everybody doing?!?!” through my closed door doesn’t quite cut it. Still, I can hear them out there, creaking floorboards, talking to their friends on the Discord server, and Jon brings me food and coffee.

Once upon a time there was a woman named Rapunzel. Her hair, unlike that of the fairy tale princess, was short and grey. She lived, for a time, in a tower in a little wooded hollow surrounded by rolling hills. Although witches get a bad rap in all the stories, and most of them really aren’t as evil as they seem (in fact, many of them are wise women), there is an evil witch in this story, named Covid. Every day three princes would bring Rapunzel food and coffee. Cats would come and go as they pleased.

I think Rapunzel will live happily ever after.


Also, and most importantly: A Joyful Spring to you! Blessed Ostara! The shining wheel of the year turns, and we stand poised, balanced, equal day and equal night. Breathe in the balance, the sun, the birdsong. Breather out hope, compassion, dedication to making the world a better place.

A poem from 2006, to celebrate the turning of the year-wheel into Spring.

Day Turns

The way maple swings its wings spiraling down shafts of dawn wind,
The way chickadee whistles on bitter March mornings,
The way lichen spreads grey-green lace upon the patient rocks,
The way the egg falls from jay’s beak to lie silent, cold, and whole upon the moss,
The way the wren defends her nest,
The way rabbit hints at her home and scratches the packed earth,
The way squirrel scolds her wayward cousin’s child.
The way heron stands more still than thought,
The way the pond reflects the orange air at sunset,
The way snake stalks the field mouse through gathering dusk,
The way the fields are washed in the milk of the moon,
The way dark midnight covers the farm like a blanket.

Also this, from 2014:
“We come to that place, one of the quarter points we notice in Terra’s dance with Sol.  Equinox.  My head today is full of these complicated E-words: Equinox, Equator, Equilibrium, in-Evitable.  At these equal points of spring and fall, we are ever so much slightly closer to our star than we are on the outward fling of the Solstices.  Do-si-do, Sun.  Swing your partner.  Welcome, Spring, oh welcome, Spring.” (I’m not sure that bit about being closer to the sun at Equinox is quite accurate.)

And, from 2018:
Today, snow or no snow, our planet whirls into another season. Here in the western hemisphere, in the northern temperate climates, the early flowers have been up and blooming, calling to the bees. I have yet to see the early foragers this year, and it makes me anxious.

Someone must awaken the bees!
The crocus have opened their golden throats.
The windflowers have blown awake
out on the lawn.
Where are the Queen’s daughters?
Where are the melissas?
Someone awaken the bees!

On this first day of Ostara, the ancient holiday to celebrate the awakening spring, on the day when night and day are equal in duration, I like to ask myself questions to awaken my spirit:

What are the instincts and drives within me that must awaken, like the bees, to get my work done, to find the food I need to carry me through the season?
What new things are stirring within? What is awakening? What is hatching?
How do the forces of balance and imbalance work in my life? What can I do to bring more elegant balance into my daily rhythms? In what ways can I disrupt the balances which keep me caught in a rut?
This year, I keep coming back to the question of what calls me awake? When I fear that the bees will not awaken, I think about the sleepy spirit within me that likes to settle into sameness. It takes some effort to wake up, and then to wake up again, and to keep waking up, shedding the outer layers, like an opening flower.

Today, I will watch for the bees.
Today, I will keep my eyes open for the People of Feathers, who wing their way across the sky.
Today, I will feel the breezes on my face.
Today, I will keep listening for the voices of the bees, and for the voices of the young people.

Blessed Ostara to you! Happy Equinox! A Joyful spring. Walk in Beauty.

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