There’s Something About the Woods….

2015-01-04 00.55.24

 

You’ve changed.  You’re daring.

You’re different in the woods…

You’ve changed.  You’re thriving.

There’s something about the woods…

The past couple of weeks have been challenging around here.  I have had the flu, an upper respiratory infection, and a blocked salivary gland.  In that time, I have worked, I have traveled, and had the opportunity for far more activity than rest.

Friday, my body required me  to pause long enough to have to be checked out.  I woke up Friday with the left side of my face swollen so big that it actually scared me.  There was a tremendous amount of heat coming from it.  I texted my boss and headed to my doctor.  He looked at my jaw and put his fingers all in my mouth and told me that he was sending me to Emory for a CAT Scan and Kidney bloodwork.  I looked down at  the prescription he gave me to hand them with his instructions.  The first words I read:  Cancer Check.  My heart sunk as I read and I called my roommate to see if he would go with me.

We got there and spent a huge amount of time waiting.  I remained patient, knowing that the flu season had officially started in Atlanta.  I watched as a little grandma across from me wept and whispered how much she hurt.

When I was finally ushered into one of the rooms, I endured the smacking of fingers against veins and listened to the nurses tell me what I hear all the time, “You don’t have much in there as far as veins.  I am going to have to use the back of your hands, legs, tops of your feet.”  They all seemed amazed at the amount of swelling in my jaw and neck. “That just happened overnight?!?”  I would nod and smile.

2015-01-02 19.55.31

After the CAT Scan and bloodwork, the doctor seemed certain it was a blocked salivary gland.  She prescribed antibiotics and lots of sour candy to get the saliva flowing.  I promised as I left that I would check in with my own doctor yesterday morning.

I followed through and went to my doctor yesterday.  He was surprised that the swelling had not reduced much.  He brought up the fact that there had been a resurgence of mumps lately (which I, of course, had never had).  I went back home to my sour candy and antibiotics that would give an elephant diarrhea.

Late last night, I had been house bound as long as I could be.  I begged Jay for a trip to the movies.  We went to see “Into the Woods.”  This has always been one of my least favorite musicals, but I thought that it might make up for my having to be away from my woods for so long.

After the movie last night, I drifted to sleep.  In my dreams, I walked the woods over and over with Mama Crow and Wolf at my side.  I dreamed of Frisbee dancing alongside me.  Funny, I was never the baker, or Red Riding Hood, or Jack in my dreams….but always the witch…always searching for those perfect ingredients for healing.

I woke up this morning as the rain was still spitting and hissing through the clouds.  I couldn’t stay inside one more moment.  I had to be apart of the outdoors.  I had to be a part of that which I had been born of.  The elements called to me…I could hear the birds and the wind.  They longed to dance and play.

I pulled on my cloak and roused a wild little chihuahua.  We made our way through puddles and mud into a place where we feel more at home than on our own sofa.  I had brought a tarp and blanket.  I have found that after a good rain, it keeps us from being soaked but still allows us to feel the ground under our rumps.  As I closed my eyes and inhaled the smell of the damp outdoors, I could hear the sounds of nature around me.  I had the feeling that I would see the Green Wizard this morning…just one of those knowings that brew deep inside of you.

2014-12-19 08.21.19

Of course, his first words are, “Oh my gosh, what happened to your face?!”  I explained what had been going on.  He laughed and asked if I had dried arnica, dried calendula,  charcoal,  and lavender oil back at the condo.  I told him I did.  He told me to go get it.  He was already digging out red clay from an area behind us and getting handfuls of other things as I walked back to the condo.

I came back with the requested items and he added them to the clay mix.  After everything was mixed thoroughly, he plastered the muck behind my ear and down the side of my jaw and neck.  He told me to leave it on for a couple of hours and then I could wash it off.

Today was a singing day.  We would take turns breaking out in songs that just came to our heads…..some based in pure nonsense, some serious.  We took turns dancing with the dogs and the breeze.  When we collapsed on the blanket…laughing and breathing heavy…he smiled and told me that he could tell that the Weathered Wiseman needed time with himself in the woods and that he would give me my time.  Part of me wanted to object because we were having such a good time, but there was that part of me that knew he was more than right.  I rubbed Boomer under his chin as Friz did one more play pounce on him.  The Green Wizard picked Friz up and rubbed him on his neck and then put him down in my lap.

As I watched the Green Wizard walk off through the woods, I am sprawled out with that wild chihuahua bouncing on my belly.  I listened as Mama Crow crackled out her sounds of approval.  I speak out loud to her, “Mama Crow…what is coming?  Where will the magick take me?”  She laughed her course laugh again…in a way telling me that no matter what, I need to meet it with flexibility and all the magick I have in me.

I close my eyes and ponder over my dear friend Maluna’s words:

Cold, Wolf, Chaste, Ice Moon, Sunday at 11:53 pm. Looks like ice and cold are on tap here. Winter is about to descend on us with a vengeance….Things are bare…except for the evergreens, and the Ivy that surrounds our house….ever green…ever Goddess. It’s pouring rain…it will turn to ice tonight….the deadliest of the Water forms (in my book)…it shows no mercy. My thoughts and studies turn to Brigid….goddess of springs, holy wells…fire…and for me she represents the waters of our land right now. Old farmers are saying the water content is low….for the coming growth season we welcome the rains and snows…one of the reasons I don’t get depressed this time of year….what is happening now….will benefit the summer. This is the full moon before Imbolc….February 2nd…full Quickening Moon….the 3rd. I have a full month of workings before Imbolc….confused? It’s ok….this works for me…you’re welcome to try it if you like. I’ll work this Cold Moon for the abandoned and abused animals….wildlife has a tendency to survive Nature….or not….that is their law….humans and their cruelty kill more than the Elements…I provide as much food and shelter possible….opening myself to the fires of Brigid for warmth….protect them all…please. Deepen your winter journey….work to provide for others, help those in need, the elderly…use the warm and cleansing energies…If you focus positive energy on the future, understand what is happening in the coming months….(granted, we don’t LIKE it) but it’s much easier if you accept and acknowledge the flow of Nature. It’s challenging….and rewarding to work with the Elements….without Earth, Air, Fire, and Water….we would not be….I give thanks for their gifts…and survive. BB

That is the one thing about life and magick…it is always moving forward.  We have to choose whether we move with it or not.  Nature is always changing, as shown by the seasons.  The wheel doesn’t wait for us to catch up.

It is never more evident than when I am in the woods that I am a part of that.

Oh, and by the way, after two hours with that muddy salve on my neck, jaw and ear…the swelling had almost completely gone.

Blessed Be!2015-01-02 23.53.58

Advertisements

Spring Fever

Yesterday was so nice here.  It was like spring had come on full force.  I got up early and took a walk around the complex.  I was greeted by so many different plants raising their heads to the sun.  So many shoots are coming up.  Inside my own courtyard, there are hostas starting to show themselves.  Hydrangeas are beginning to green up.  On the outside of the courtyard, the daffodils and muscari are greeting spring full force.

daffodils_muscari_flowers_flowerbed_green_spring_36156_3500x2300

As I walked down by the pond, I could see a sea of daffodils springing up….dancing in the wind.  I looked over to a nearby tree and there sat Mama Crow.  The caw, this time, wasn’t a reprimand….wasn’t a warning….it sounded like the course laugh of an old aunt who had smoked way too much in her life. 

As I went back into the courtyard, all I could think of was sitting in the sun.  I had on a sweatshirt, which became way too hot, so I went inside to change into a lighter shirt and to get the fairy house I have been working on for weeks.  I still had some gluing to do and the fumes would have been way too noxious to stay indoors.  I loved feeling the textures in my hands.  I used natural items to decorate the house.  The stones, the sticks, the moss…..my roommate told me as I was working on it last week that he dreamed about the house one night.  In the dream, he said he kept hearing over and over again that I needed to bless it.  I told him that I didn’t think I needed to bless the fairy house because I wasn’t going to use it for magick.  He said, “But you are.  As you work on it, you are healing and centering yourself.  You are visualizing yourself there.  You are using it as a way of grounding yourself.  Now, I am not a witch, but that all sounds like magick to me.”  Who’d a thunk it?!??  I guess maybe a little witch has rubbed off on him!  LOL!!!

2013-03-16 14.04.31 HDR

This has been a hard and very rough winter for me.  I feel like I might have accomplished more by hibernating….but alas, humans aren’t allowed to do that.  We have our jobs, and families, and responsibilities.  This winter, it seems that I have been eaten up in so much sickness…whether it be a cold, a sinus infection, the flu, pneumonia, depression, and cancer scares.  I have a wonderful support system though.  When I am sick, I tend to isolate myself.  I just want to be left alone to hibernate.  I have friends who know me and refuse to let me brew and steep. 

I was told by friends, when I came down with the flu, that I needed to be up and moving….that I didn’t need to lie down constantly.  Instead of listening, I laid there….wallowing in the sickness.  It reminds me of watching yeast activate.  You add it to all the right conditions and ingredients and it bubbles and multiplies and that yeasty smell kind of overtakes everything.  I was bathing in that yeasty smell on a daily basis.  I did everything I shouldn’t have done and pneumonia bubbled up inside of me.  When the doctor discussed the lump on my chest with me, I decided that I wasn’t going to do the same with that.  I jumped at the chance to have it biopsied….started checking into natural anti-cancer agents.  Then when the report came back that no cancer cells were seen, I decided that I should still look for natural immune support….one of which is just getting out in the sunshine.

june13

After I finished working on the fairy house yesterday,  I took Friz for a walk.  He was a complete handful.  He loves the smell of flowers and digging in the dirt.  He danced, he pranced.  We can learn alot of lessons from our animals.  He did everything that I wanted to do, but tend to stifle because somebody might be looking.  I always did hate conforming.  As we walked,  I decided to do like Friz….so I danced and pranced and when he stopped to dig, I did too.  He thought it was grand fun.  He looked up at me as I was kneeling down in the dirt with him and I swear that pup was smiling as I put my hands in the dirt and started to dig.  It made him dig harder….which made me laugh.  When we got back to the courtyard, we were exhausted.  I sat on the patio sofa and he curled up on my lap.  We both dozed off.  I woke up to such a strong presence of the Goddess.  The breeze was caressing me…I could smell earth and fire and air and water.  I could sense the fae playing close by.

A friend said it best.  “You are healing….after a long…horrid winter….you are reborn!”

Blessed Be!

Pitching a Hissy-Fit When Things Don’t Go the Way We Planned

hissy-fit

I remember one thing I learned long ago in a little country town in North Carolina. It was a hard lesson that my grandma taught me. Temper tantrums accomplish absolutely nothing. For that matter, any type of “hissy-fit” as she called them accomplished zip…nada…not one damned thing.

I was six years old, and though I am sure that when I was younger I threw quite a few tantrums her way, but knowing her…she paid em no never-mind. I was told by a little boy in my first grade class that if I cried and screamed and kicked that I would get anything I wanted. He apparently didn’t know my grandma.

My grandma always babysat us after school and in the summer time. So we would go to her house (which was not laid out with all the most modern conveniences) and we would spend several hours or the whole day. She kept a huge garden in the back of acreage and would always haul us out there with her. We were too young to leave in the house and she would always hang blankets from the trees around and we would play under them. One particular day, we were going to pick up ‘taters as she dug them. I hated picking up taters. I will be honest. When I was young, I was a slug of a boy. I wanted to be in front of a fan watching tv. It wasn’t until a few years later that I learned to appreciate what nature had given us. It was on this day that I decided to try the wisdom of that other six year old boy in my class…so I sat down in the middle of the dirt and proceeded to “pitch a hissy-fit.” I wailed and I cried and I kicked and I stomped…just knowing that my grandma was going to crumble before my eyes and beg my forgiveness for expecting me to ever step away from in front of the tv.

In the middle of my hissy-fit, I hear something strange coming from my grandma. I stopped what I was doing and looked directly at her. She was laughing. Well, she was not just laughing….she was laughing at me. I stomped my foot at her and turned red. She stopped laughing. She cocked her left eyebrow, walked over to me, whomped me on the butt hard with her hand and told me, “Boy, if you ever do that again…you will see me pitch a hissy-fit, and I guarantee that you will not like it.” I never pitched another one.

Over the past month or so, I have had a few challenges rise up to meet me. I have dealt with the flu, pneumonia, and now another little issue. I had a biopsy done of a lump below my right pec on Friday. When this little lump showed up a few months back, I headed to the doctor and he stuck a needle in it and aspirated it and it looked like fat. When I went back for the pneumonia, the lump was firm and not moveable. He told me that he would feel better if we did a biopsy. I was ok with that.

When I first got the news that he wanted a biopsy, I was fine. Kinda numb actually….I mean I had an aunt die from cancer this past year, a grandma that was diagnosed with cancer on her kidneys right before she died, another aunt diagnosed with bone cancer…..hmmm seemed like cancer was running rampant through my family. Fear tried to kick in. Panic attacks started. I wrapped myself up so tightly in the fear of what could happen, that I pulled into myself and then proceeded to pitch my own little hissy-fit. I pissed and I moaned to the elements….to the Lord and Lady….to any of the natural elements that would listen. After all, I didn’t need to burden my friends, family and loved ones. I moved into my bitchy zone.

I really didn’t spend all that much time outside….I just kind of boarded up my own little pity house and moved in. I didn’t even realize that it had been a full week without any noise or sound from Mama Crow. A dear friend texted me one night after I had finally ‘come out’ with the news of the pending biopsy. “How are you?” “Fine….well, actually a little scared.” “You have to get control of yourself through this!” Huh?!? You mean she wasn’t going to join my ‘poor me’ party? All over again, I could hear my grandma telling me that if I didn’t stop it, that I was gonna see a hissy-fit like I had never seen….and I wouldn’t like it. It was just the smack I needed.

I walked out the next morning to take Friz to pee and I noticed that Mama Crow’s nest had been torn down from the telephone pole. In the complex, every so often, they try to keep the ‘scavenger’ animals out. So I am quite sure I know who took the nest down. Over the next few days, I noticed the silence in the air. No calls through the trees, no reminders of things to come. Silence. I was prepared to start the grieving process for a friend lost.

I came home from lunch on Wednesday of last week and heard a familiar sound. That harsh crackle of a voice ringing through the trees…I looked up and I see Mama Crow back on top of the phone pole. What is she doing? She is rebuilding her nest. I had to laugh. A setback did not eliminate her….it didn’t deter her….it only changed her path for a few days. 120401fi

My grandma was a lot like that old crow….and I should be too. When the wind changes, that crow doesn’t just stop flying. She just changes the position of her wings. She doesn’t piss and moan and curse the wind, she just makes the necessary changes in her….hmmm couldn’t we all learn a lesson here? I have purposed that no matter what the results of the biopsy are….I will not let my life be derailed. I will continue forward. Do I know where forward will take me? No. But I never did before either. I only need to continue moving.

Blessed Be!