I am sitting in the courtyard this afternoon with a glass of Chardonnay in my hand. I have soft jazz music playing in the background as the soft cool breeze caresses the prickles of hair on my head. It is afternoons like this one that make me miss my family most.
I remember many an afternoon like this one…seventy degrees, breezy, the smell of flowers attempting to bloom for the first time. My whole family would gather in the backyard by the pasture and mama would make sweet tea. We must have emptied gallons of that syrupy strong brew as we rocked back and forth on the porch swing solving all of life’s problems. In many ways, life in that small town in North Carolina was very much like the Mayberry that Andy Griffith made famous.
We would sit there, guitar in hand…each member of the family adding their own harmony to one of the old songs as the bass-string strum provided the background music. The dogs would run through the pasture playing chase with the younger ones or with each other. It was in that place that the world couldn’t touch us. It was there that we didn’t care how much money we didn’t have or what we couldn’t afford. It was in that place that my granny used to say that she could hear the grass, trees and sky singing at the top of their lungs. Most of the ones who shared those front porch moments with me are gone now, but I can’t help but think that they are a part of the symphony I hear as I am captivated by the concert that only nature can give.
I have spent much of today out cleaning the winter debris from the courtyard…uncapping the pots from their toppings of leaves and old mulch. It is much like unwrapping a present. I get so excited to see the small shoots coming from my hostas, and the spindly little purple leaves from the spiderwort are already showing themselves. Even as near that half a century mark, I am still amazed at all the work that the Earth Mother still does in her sleep state.
This morning as Friz and I ventured toward the woods, the sun was already wide awake to greet us. I love watching that little blue chihuahua as the sun rays bathe his back. He stretches into it….just like he would if he were being rubbed from head to toe. This morning, he stretched his little face to the sun with his eyes closed and his teeth showing, almost like he was smiling. You could almost hear him telling the sun that he missed him and was glad to see him back. He walked over to one of the bunches of daffodils blooming by our neighbors door….just as I thought he was leaning in for a sniff, he raised his little leg and peed in them.
We took our time getting to the woods this morning. We spent the extra moments admiring the blooming tulip trees and weeping cherry trees. It has always been mesmerizing to me that, in Georgia, spring seems to come overnight. One week it is brutally cold, then the next week we are in the seventies with flowers and trees blooming all around.
Last night was spent with the New Moon. Even though much has happened over the past month, there are even more new beginnings looming in the horizon. For the first time in a long long time, I feel as if things are coming together for me. I am seeing more than the light at the end of the tunnel….I am seeing the smoke clear and the magick is now more vivid. Not only am I seeing spells taking shape quicker…I am also seeing prayers and whispers that I have only shared with the wind coming to fruition.
This mornings workings were orchestrated with the sun as an ally. The newness of the morning, the evidence of life abounding around me….we have now come out of the darkness and are given the promise that the sun and spring have spoken of all winter long. I started this mornings magick with a brightly colored thin blanket underneath me and Friz. I brought gifts of bread and cheese and fruit for the fae and the woodland elementals (Friz didn’t seem to mind a nibble here and there either). We could hear the birds singing all around us, the leaves rustling in the breeze…but there was one voice singing loudly that will never be ignored–Mama Crow. It seemed as if she was playing in the tops of the trees, dancing in the sunshine.
As I lay there sprawled out under the canopy of trees with the sunlight dappled all over me, Friz found that one spot that the sunlight never seemed to leave and settled into it. As he lay there warming himself, I could hear soft snores coming from that little blue heap. Underneath me, I could feel the vibration of the earth. Even with the chill left from the night-time air, I could feel the stirrings underneath me. It was almost like sitting through the warm up of the instruments from an orchestra…first, the strings, then the woodwinds, then the brass was added and finally percussion. With the percussion came the feeling of a heart being jump started once again.
I have found over the years that I never have to beg the Earth Mother for the ability to hear her heartbeat. I do, however, have to be willing to be still and quiet enough to listen. In the world outside our doors, we are expected to be businessmen and business women. We are expected to be husbands, wives, mothers and fathers. We listen to the world tell us over and over again that we don’t and never will measure up. It is in those moments that I make myself stop and listen to the heartbeat of the Earth Mother. I am not what the world thinks of as glamorous, fascinating or even beautiful….but when I am alone with the heartbeat of the Earth Mother in my ear, none of that really seems to be important at all.
As I finish writing this, I have turned off the music and am just sitting here snuggled into the cushions of the outdoor sofa listening to the sounds of the Earth Mother. I finished that glass of wine ages ago and decided to go for a nice cold glass of sweet tea. It’s funny, as I sit here humming along with nature, I can hear my granny and my two aunts harmonizing softly in the background. Funny, nothing ever truly leaves you…those things that mean the most to us come back to visit just at the right times. Come and sit down and pull up a cushion…here’s a glass of nice, cold sweet tea. Harmonize with me a bit as we listen to the sounds of the world stopping for a moment…if only to allow us a second or two to just breathe.