Shape-shifting : Entering the Earth-Womb

Then and now….morning, 14 November 2014…a mirror to 11.14.2018

(Note for followers of these posts: the promised continuation of September’s “Entering Autumn…”, further tales of the Ghost Ranch gathering, will follow this post…..Life happens!)

…..but nonetheless, “The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. / Don’t go back to sleep” And the first secret of this morning’s November dawn is a sweet discovery: that the spiral of my Journey here at Lightspring Glen echoes in near-same detail the morning four years ago today in 2014. The pond is skimmed with ice from last night’s mid-20s and the pines and the frost-withered goldenrod are lightly draped in a snowy mantle.  Out for this morning’s wood’s ramble I needed my  warmest hat and gloves to enjoy the dancing swirl of snowflakes, and pleased to find myself warming up to the Season’s frosty delights. There’s always a spell of foot-dragging for me, so to speak, (and occasional heavy sighing) reluctantly accepting that barefoot pleasures need to be set aside for six months, and that pond-side Tai chi is now happening indoors looking out through the living room windows at the pond and hemlocks. :::sigh:::

Summer’s green-fire has subsided to just embers winking in the oaks’ burnished bronze leaves. These particular Standing Ones are loathe to part with their foliage for a few months more. And I am treated to the yearly pleasure of the trees’ beguiling strip-tease, the slow reveal of sturdy trunks in delightful hues of grays and browns all the way up to their crowns. Graceful patterns of sinuous limbs and branches come into sharp focus. The bare-treed woods opens itself like a stage curtain being gently pulled back revealing the outline of the hills rising beyond, the full backdrop of my woodsy neighborhood filled out and expansive once more.

We’ve just monkeyed with the clocks as we do every six months so that dark now descends a little past four. It’s a bit of heavy-handed shape-shifting, depending on whether you’re a morning- or night-person. As a happy early-riser, I’m glad for the brightness again at 6 AM. And for the darker end of the day I’ve laid in a supply of tea lights to cheer the evenings, their golden flicker a cozy addition to the seasonal scheme of things. 

So the citizenry of the Green World has drifted into needed slumber and hibernation’s secretive renewal. The Winter Solstice is five weeks away. The deepest dark of the Year’s Wheel approaches, its always mysterious reckoning and potent gifts offered to those who entertain its possibilities.  Even though there’s a certain reluctance, I turn myself toward the cold-edged beauties of the coming Season.  I have an ever-deepening appreciation for the gifts of these months. No one better than Mary Oliver to coach us in this. And so, on the occasion of the first snow here at Lightspring Glen, may you enjoy her earthy wisdom and joy shining in the images of the poem of that name. 

First Snow

The snow
began here
this morning and all day
continued, its white
rhetoric everywhere
calling us back to why, how,
whence such beauty and what
the meaning; such
an oracular fever! flowing
past windows, an energy it seemed
would never ebb, never settle
less than lovely! and only now,
deep into night,
it has finally ended.
The silence
is immense,
and the heavens still hold
a million candles; nowhere
the familiar things:
stars, the moon,
the darkness we expect
and nightly turn from. Trees
glitter like castles
of ribbons, the broad fields
smolder with light, a passing
creekbed lies
heaped with shining hills;
and though the questions
that have assailed us all day
remain - not a single
answer has been found -
walking out now
into the silence and the light
under the trees,
and through the fields,
feels like one

2 thoughts on “Shape-shifting : Entering the Earth-Womb

  1. Marilyn Moore

    We have no snow that has stayed very long, yet we have the ice covered pond. November almost over has been colder then normal. The year has moved fast in so many ways, now is a time of Thanksgiving and Gratitude as we wait for the coming of the Christ within. Melodys if this time of the year both nee and old bring forward the memories of growing up and to where we are today. Tears of joy and sadness came on to me today and then I remembered the goodness that comes from those tears and so the journey continues. Snow will come soon here and when it does, our hearts will be full of new beginnings that day. Lov Marilyn

    Liked by 1 person

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