The Birth of Spring

(Photo taken in 2014, on a shining morning.)

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.

Children of One Blood

“It is often said that the first sound we hear in the womb is our mother’s heartbeat. Actually, the first sound to vibrate our newly developed hearing apparatus is the pulse of our mother’s blood through her veins and arteries. We vibrate to that primordial rhythm even before we have ears to hear. Before we were conceived, we existed in part as an egg in our mother’s ovary. All the eggs a woman will ever carry form in her ovaries while she is a four-month-old fetus in the womb of her mother. This means our cellular life as an egg begins in the womb of our grandmother. Each of us spent five months in our grandmother’s womb and she in turn formed within the womb of her grandmother. We vibrate to the rhythms of our mother’s blood before she herself is born. And this pulse is the thread of blood that runs all the way back through the grandmothers to the first mother. We all share the blood of the first mother – we are truly children of one blood.”
–Layne Redmond

“For it is the function of consciousness not only to recognize and assimilate the external world through the gateway of the senses, but to translate into visible reality the world within us.”
~ Carl G. Jung
The Call Away
by Robert Bly

A cold wind flows over the cornfields;
Fleets of blackbirds ride that ocean.
I want to be out of here, go out,
Outdoors, anywhere in wind.
My back against a shed wall, I settle
Down where no one can find me.
I stare out at the box-elder leaves
Moving frond-like in that mysterious water.
What is it that I want? Not money,
Not a large desk, not a house with ten rooms.
This is what I want to do: to sit here,
To take no part, to be called away by wind.
I want to go the new way, build a shack
With one door, sit against the door frame.
After twenty years, you will see on my face
The same expression you see in the grass.
“On this day, the Autumn Equinox, we are in perfect balance between light and dark. As we straddle this threshold time, you may be experiencing both an expanded sense of self alongside some painful contractions into a familiar darkness.

It may help to remember that sometimes we are plummeted into our darkest depths precisely because we have elevated our ceilings on Love. Our demons appear most ferociously when they feel threatened by a new attitude.

So please consider your contractions are actually validations of where you are bravely digging into your own substrate to unearth those limiting patterns and, in releasing them, revealing a greater capacity for belonging and joy.

Keep going,” Toko-pa Turner

Gratitude List:
1. Holding paradoxes. Leaning into ambiguity. (I stole this from last year’s list, but it’s apt.)
2. Tiny Toad
3. The village–fun and play, and support when things get tough
4. People who know what to do in a crisis
5. Cool evenings

May we walk in Beauty!

Bless the Seeds

A Blessed Autumn Equinox to you.

“We have arrived at Autumn Equinox, one of those exquisite balance points of the year cycle, the moment of shift in the whirl around our star. The light has been shifting, coming in at a slant that sets everything atwinkle. Every dusk, hundreds of robins sail into the hollow and set up a clatter and cacophony in the bamboo grove. The geese are going, cormorants winging their way, thousands of feet above us, or angling down to the River for a rest. Seeds burst forth.

Say a blessing for the seeds, those packets of potential that burst from the ripened fruits of the flower buds and fall to earth, some to be trampled by passing feet, some to be eaten–fuel for the journeys of the little birds or stocked up by small animals as fat for the coming cold. And some to fall into the rich soil to wait through the winter until it is time to Become.

How has your own ripening been? What is the seed within you at this moment? What is the hopeful little bundle of potential that is waiting to fall, to be carried by the winds and the waves and the creatures that pass, to tumble into the soil of your future self? What has ripened within you, and what will you release, knowing it may grow and bear its own fruit, or may become food for others? What of yourself do you give to this season? Say a blessing for the seeds.” ―Beth Weaver-Kreider
“There is almost a sensual longing for communion with others who have a large vision. The immense fulfillment of the friendship between those engaged in furthering the evolution of consciousness has a quality impossible to describe.” ―Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
“Stories,” he’d said, his voice low and almost husky, “we are made up of stories. And even the ones that seem the most like lies can be our deepest hidden truths.”
― Jane Yolen, Briar Rose
“Imagination is the golden-eyed monster that never sleeps. It must be fed; it cannot be ignored.”
― Patricia A. McKillip
“Matter is spirit moving slowly enough to be seen.” ―Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
“Let my soul smile through my heart and my heart smile through my eyes, that I may scatter rich smiles in sad hearts.” ―Paramahansa Yogananda

Gratitude List:
1. The morning sky. Sundogs. Woven clouds. Golden pathways of the sun.
2. Those young hawks sitting everywhere, learning to make it on their own. Buffy bellies high in the trees.
3. Walnut leaves fluttering down through afternoon sun. Cherry blossoms of autumn.
4. A tidy house. Well, sort of tidy. Tidier, anyway.
5. Singing with people

May we walk in Beauty!


A couple photos from the goat-petting party at Sonya’s yesterday. I’m still pretty awkward with the whole selfie thing, but I do like that there’s a rainbow on my face.

Somehow, it feels more like spring because we’re having an actual thaw on this day before the Equinox. That last blast of winter stood right on the doorstep of spring, and this morning brought the sound of water dripping from the trees. When we peeked outside this morning, it looked like sun through a rain-shower, but the rain was falling from the trees and nowhere else. Thaw.

Oh, how I need a thaw! I need to get the juices flowing, get the good mojo moving, get the fierce and raw energies of the season swinging brilliantly into the sunlight. Can you feel the balance approaching?

What is being born in you now? What new thing arises, like the little flowers that are suddenly free of their snowy encumbrance to pop into the sun?

Was it only three years ago that I put a little prayer bundle out into the elements on Spring Equinox, setting my intentions to get a job within the next six weeks?  It was a reminder for me to keep my head and my heart in the process of the job search. And within a couple weeks, my friend Ryan suggested I contact a certain school. Now I work there, and my life is full–so full–and rich in ways I could not have imagined.

I have new intentions this year, new goals for where I want to go with the things that I am writing. And so tomorrow I will place another bundle out into the elements, with the prayerful intention to keep my head and my heart in the process of writing and submitting work for publication.

Gratitude List:
1. Balance
2. Thaw
3. Intention
4. Energy
5. Birth

May we walk in Beauty!


Jet Star

I spent my earliest years in East Africa, just a few degrees south of the wide belt of this big round ball, in a comfortable climate where the sun rose every morning at seven o’clock and set again at seven every evening, all year long.  Our seasons were marked by the coming of rains and their going away again.  The days were often hot, but the evenings brought cool breezes off of Lake Victoria, and roiling Michaelangelo clouds sailed in across the plains from the lake.

Here, where the sun slips off to the south for a season, where the days get shorter and then longer again, this moment when the day and night reach equilibrium brings me closer to that sense of rightness and balance, though the cold of winter still lingers in my bones.  While I find the cold time, the dark time, still to be a challenge, I have come to love the seasons, to revel in the feel of the shifting, whirling tilting planet we live on, the reassurance that one state of being will inevitably give way to the next.

Tomorrow 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.

Gratitude List:
1. Inevitability and choice
2. Intention and destiny
3. Fate and chance
4. Fortune and opportunity
5. Blueberry pancakes

May we walk in Beauty!





Prayer Bundle:  Tonight I am finishing up gathering the items for my bundle.  I don’t have a direct symbolic link for each thing–I included some things because they are shiny or colorful and caught my magpie’s eye.  There is a piece of cloth to wrap it all together, and cord and wire for tying, a broken necklace with sparkly dangles for brightening it up.  I will take pictures tomorrow in a good light, wrap it all up, and then at about quarter to five, I’ll take it outside as the Equinox arrives.  I want it to rest on the earth, to be touched by the fire of the sun, by wind, by rain.  I want all the elements to work on it.  And I’ll place it somewhere where I won’t mow over it six weeks from now, and where it will be safe from curious children.

Jiggetty Jig

2013 September 162

Home again, home again, from a lovely five days in Stone Harbor, NJ.  Instead of trying to whittle my Gratitude List from all those days down to five, or even ten, here is a list of general joys from the trip:

1.  Getting the Farmer off the farm.  Watching him relax.
2.  We got there in time to see the massive flock of swallows snapping up insects on a short pit stop on their southward journey.  By mid-day Friday, they’d gone south.
3.  The full moon over my right shoulder, and the sun leaping out of the early morning waves in front of me, and the season changing (certainly at that very moment) to Autumn.
4.  Monarchs.  So few, so few.  But still.  Some.
5.  Sitting.
6.  Trash scavenging treasures: a beach rake, another beach umbrella in really good shape, a boogie board.  Call me a vulture.
7.  Josiah opened the screen door on Friday morning: “Now we’re open for love and business.”
8.  Dolphins!
9.  Dragonflies!
10.  Sylvester’s Fish Market, Nemo’s, Tortilla Flats, Uncle Bill’s Pancake House.  In other words, good eating.
11.  There were no more throwing up incidents after we got there.  We needed to get rid of that old car seat anyway.  Now we have a nice new booster.
12.  Big shovels to dig massive holes with.  As soon as they had a good hole, the boys would start nesting, creating sand shelves for their tools, making roads for the construction equipment. . .
14.  Making drip castles with Ellis.
15.  The way the boys hum quietly to themselves as they play in the sand, as they swim in the pool.
16.  Ellis jumping off the sand ridge into the water, into the sun.
17.  Watching my child’s eyes when he realized that he had just kept himself afloat in the pool.
18.  You know what I mean about the sun-road on the waves?  I love how it always appears to lead directly to me.

May we walk that road in Beauty.

The Wheel is Turning

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.


Gratitude List:
1.  Those little trees in the understory of the woods, the ones that don’t lose their leaves until spring, whose leaves are wisps of yellowed paper against the mottled floor of the wood.
2.  Finding a nearly-empty (but not quite!) jar of Chocolat in the back of the fridge
3.  The many colors of potatoes
4.  Reading books with the whole family
5.  Writing it down
May we walk in beauty.

Not sure why it scanned so blue, nor why I had the impulse to post it here tonight.  This is my Great-Aunt Lizzie (Elizabeth Weaver–I am named for her) and my Grandma Weaver (Marian Weaver, Lizzie’s sister-in-law).  Quilting.