Thursday, October 10, 2013


1. The Fall Garden
     You can never pin a garden down as being this or that. The moment you name it, it changes yet again. Growth, death, rebirth; the garden is never the same from one moment to the next. The fall garden, for instance, is different in September than in October, and November's a new story still.
     This past weekend, blessings of sunny, beautiful weather energized me to play goddess in the direction of the garden's transformation. Wild overgrowth that was, just a few weeks ago, green and vibrantly blooming, had turned frost-kissed and brown. Now the earth, once engulfed by a wild tangle of vegetation, has been cleared, expectant rows ready for a new cycle of creation. My ongoing canvas. As the energy begins its downward flow into the earth for winter's rest, I'm already looking ahead to the next growing season as I plant cover crops, garlic, and overwintering onions. The garden never ends. It simply transforms from one incarnation to the next.

2. I Will Be Turning 30
     At the beginning of the new year, I will enter the next decade of my life. I have never been very attached to age, but I must admit that 30 feels big: the official ending of one phase, the beginning of another. A landmark in the ongoing transformation of my Self. When I look at the 20 year old me and the me I am now, I laugh with wonder at the journey that has brought me here. On how many continents have my feet felt the earth, in how many languages have I said I love you? On how many beaches have I slept, under how many waterfalls have I swam? In how many arms have I danced, with how many sisters have I circled? How many places have I called home, how many gardens have I tended? And how did that girl, that me of once upon a time, travel so far that she found herself back in the woods and fields where she first started, no longer a girl, but a woman, a wife, a mother?
How many transformations have brought me closer to my soul, and how many more are to come? I remember once, back when I was a teenager, wondering how I could possibly mature and evolve beyond the point where I was at. Oh sweet girl. She had no idea.

3. Frida Kahlo
     Before I came inside to write, I was out caring for my extended family - the chickens, ducks, horses and goats: changing water, filling feeders, cleaning out old straw, laying down fresh beds. It is work I very much enjoy, out surrounded by beauty and God's creation. When I came back into the house, my old jeans were covered in mud and bits of straw, my hair frizzy from falling rain. I was in no shape to write.
     There is little I find more satisfying than changing into comfy clothes and making a cup of tea after working out in the cold and rain. But today, in order to write, I couldn't simply change into sweat pants and a tee shirt. Oh no. I needed a skirt, a pretty shirt, big earrings. A necklace and some rings. I smoothed my hair and braided it into two long braids. Looking in the mirror, I felt the inspiration of Frida Kahlo blessing me with a kiss.
     I have always loved Frida and her wild self-expression. Prints of her artwork adorn our home, while postcards of photographs capturing the beauty of her essence inhabit sacred spaces. My children also connect with her through a book of theirs called simply, Frida. Frida tells the story of her life through the magic and imagination she inspires. The book, written in Spanish, ends with these words:

Frida no imita el estilo de nadie. Sus pinturas son únicas. En los museos, cuando las personas ven sus cuadros, se echan a llorar, suspiran o sonríen. Y es que Frida convierte su dolor en algo maravilloso. Es como un milago. 
(Frida does not imitate anybody's style. Her paintings are unique. In the museums, when people see her paintings, they start to cry, sigh, or smile. And it's because Frida transforms her pain into something marvelous. It's like a miracle.)

     For some reason I always have to hold back tears when I read those words. If my children were to notice and ask me why I was crying, I would have to say because it's beautiful. 
     I have recently discovered an author I've fallen in love with, Alice Hoffman. I just finished reading her book The Foretelling, which is actually for young adults, but still thoroughly enjoyable for an old mama like me. (For an incredible journey into her writing, read The Dovekeepers. It's going down as one of my favorite books of all time).  The first line of The Foretelling is this:

I was born out of sorrow, so my mother named me Rain.

     The story continues with Rain, Queen-to-be of an ancient tribe of Amazonian women. It is a coming-of-age story, a story of spiritual quest as Rain seeks to bring peace to her people during a time of war and bloodshed. Towards the end of the book, Rain tells us this:

As for me, I was ready to return as the Queen. I had made something out of my sorrow. I had stitched it together with a rope made of hair from the tail of my mare; I had used bones of my grandmothers and my mother and my sister as needles. I chanted my gratitude all the way home. Thank you to my sister the bear, to my sister-horse, to the goddess above us, thank you for letting me be who I am, for letting me ride into whatever fortune we made together. Thank you for letting me be Rain and no one else.
It was the ending of something. It was the beginning of something.

4. Miracles  
     On many accounts we are living in a time of sorrow. Chaos and upheaval appear to reign. But from that chaos something new is born; we can, with the power of the feminine, transform our sorrow into the healing of our planet. A miracle for sure, but miracles are within reach.
     This is the end of something; it is also the beginning. We can begin with ourselves. Let's change out of our comfy clothes and put on that which speaks to our Soul. Looking in the mirror, we can honor all that came before us and, with gratitude, choose to create something different. We can look to the Earth for guidance, pulling our energy inwards to nourish ourselves as She does, releasing what's no longer needed as we prepare for rebirth. Transformation: let's tend the seeds of our new vision. This life is ours to create.    


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