It's been a while since I've been in this grove…sometimes, Life happens!
And I've been doing a lot of living since February. First came my promotion in February, shortly after my last posting. The groundwork I had been patiently laying (read: extra hours!) did pay off. But very quickly I was taken away from mid-winter dormancy; my winter evenings were no longer spent reading, considering, writing, blogging….
My new duties were totally absorbing for a while - the next month and a half was work, work, and more work; sometimes by remote access from my home computer in the evening. But it's good work. Work that I can throw myself into, with interest and complete absorption. And this has been a blessing that is equal to (if not greater than) the added income the new position brings.
But as the days became longer and spring slowly arrived, other arenas in my life successfully garnered a few hours of my days. The pups of course - agility classes twice a week continued right through May. My gardens and my yard begged me to clean from them the refuse of last year's growth. And, the winter had taken its toll on a few trees - several large branches that needed to be pruned, and subsequently cut up into kindling for next winter's woodstove.
Weekends through April and May were pretty much consumed with that good work outside. But every Saturday and Sunday, I took an hour or so out to go hiking with the pups. I'm blessed to live close to the beach, and also several preserves and wildlife sanctuaries, so I have no lack of wild spaces (or spaces that at least feel free and wild) to escape to. I even started doing a little photography - perhaps I'll post a picture or two on days I don't have time to blog.
Contemplative, I have not been. No, far from it. At times I was barely aware of what the phase of the moon was. My observations for Ostara and Beltane were simple and fleeting, as my time and attention were diverted to so many things. Did I forget my Deities? No, not entirely, but at times I wondered if They felt I had.
Was I so busy Doing, that I had no time to Be?
Perhaps, but I don’t entirely think so. Rather, I think, I’ve had the very good fortune of seeing hopes, wishes, prayers that were laid out before the Goddess at Imbolc, begin to take root through the season of Ostara and show some blossoming during the month of Beltane. I’ve been busy --- manifesting!
First there’s my job, which has been wonderfully satisfying, and the added income has brought a bit of welcome relief to my family’s situation. Then, my gardens. Cleaning up the yard in the spring can be on the tedious side, but the results are so rewarding. I love my ½ acre of Earth. I have a Goddess garden in my back yard, it’s a rather secret space. I had a swing hanging from the maple tree that in the midst of it, for my daughter when she was little. It was a favored spot for her and her best friend next door… the swing is long gone, the neighbors have since moved, and just this spring, my daughter moved into her first apartment. (Another milestone for this mother!) But every once in a while I catch one or two of the little girls down the street in my garden under the trees. When this first happened, they were worried I would be upset. But after I let them play with the pups and pick a few flowers to take home, they now feel welcome. It’s good to have a sprite or two around, you know?
I love coming in from the yard with dirt absolutely ground into the bed of my fingernails. I love watching the week to week growth… and watching the birds during the migratory and nesting season. (My garden is interspersed with bird baths, seed feeders, nectar feeders, and fresh fruit stations….sometimes I feel that these themselves are like offerings to the Goddess, to help her take care of her other Children.)
I love the mystery of planting the seeds in my vegetable garden…. And the marvel of seeing the burgeoning seedlings, despite the competition from the birds, chipmunks, and other wildlife.
Some years, I am so content with all that I have in my own gardens, you would find it hard to get me out of the yard on a Saturday or Sunday, especially if there were still things on my “yard list”.
This year has been different. Oh, I still have things I want to do, beds to rearrange, more seeds to plant. But, I have had another calling, one so insistent, I could not fail to answer. I grew up as a tomboy, playing in the woods, building forts, exploring trails. I did a lot of hiking during college and when I was first married, but, exploring the woods is something I have not had much time to do in the past few years.
And that was the calling I felt – and answered - this spring. To go to the wild places near by, to follow the trails, to see where that path would lead me. To see the early growth of spring, the buds become baby leaves, the open bare spaces fill in with lush green – the pups and I have watched all of this. Every time we have gone somewhere, there is a bit of longing within that is satisfied. And what is that longing? I cannot help but believe that it is a calling from my Deities, during this phase where time for ritual on my part is lacking.
They have called me back to the wild places, that represent a time and space apart, where I can be with them in the most natural and easy way, a path I have known since childhood. Every week I plotted a new place to explore with the pups on the upcoming weekend, to answer that call.
So, what has brought me back to my blog? Sigh. I’ve been sidelined. Almost three weeks ago, on one of our jaunts, I fell and broke my fall… with my right hand. I have two fractured bones in my right wrist, and a lovely cast from mid palm almost up to my elbow. The first weekend post cast I spent practicing One Handed Weeding and One Handed Planting. The next weekend was Memorial Day, spent with family, One Handed Cooking etc. The arm is one thing, not alone enough to keep me down… (I’m getting awfully good with my left hand!). But since last the end of last week it’s been a rainy washout here.
I miss our woodland jaunts and am determined to get back to them. The rain has also brought a great crop of weeds that will need to be removed. Ever so much to do…will there ever be time for proper devotion to my deities?
Ah, but I am now being reminded of key phrases from the Call of the Goddess:
“For mine is the ecstasy of the spirit, and mine also is joy on Earth;
For my law is love unto all beings.”
“Let my worship be within the heart that rejoiceth; for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals.”
I have been worshipping all spring, not by lighting candles, but by putting my hands into the Earth. Not by saying prayers, or conducting ritual, but by simply following the tug on my heart and going into the woods. By feeding the birds, and enjoying the bright flash of wings of species only seen this special time of year. By training with my dogs, connecting with them, building that bond. By gathering with my family at our annual birthdays and holidays that fall this time of year, preparing those family dishes, setting the table. And every Monday, delving into those projects at work, that absorb my mind and use my talents, hopefully to serve in some way, my fellow man (my job is in healthcare).
So tonite, although I am still chafing against the restrictions my cast and the bad weather represent, I have lit my candles in reflection and thanksgiving. For all the blessings I have received this spring, even including this time of reduced activity….of redirection to the center.
Spring Blessings to all of you!