Longing, we say, because desire is full
of endless distances.”

02 June 2012

Letters from the Outside, #59

 Hummingbirds in the Comfrey, at the feeder. Joy, pure and unalloyed. I dug weeds out of the corners and planted some Parsley by the rhubarb that has remained a poxy runt of itself since I planted it years ago. Set out some Zinnia, some Marigold, just for something to do. Realized the Trollius isnt coming back, and more needs to be acquired because the hodge-podge northern bed is starting to unnerve even me.

 What I really want is another Aconite, but where did I find the first one? Trollius, common and lovely, will raise the bar in that swath of flora, add a little vertical interest and unusual bright yolk yellow for the shade. If I dont get a handle on it, itll all go to Wild Violet and Lemon Balm. Persevere, Gentle Heart! Steward the Earth!

 The Lupine is blooming, and the haler of the two young Rhododendron sets out a respectable artichoke of a bud, revealing slowly, slowly, the brilliant edges of deep, wine colored blooms. I bought a single-flower “old-fashioned” Hollyhock (again) to set against the outhouse, where it belongs. By now, had things gone in my favor, there would be a great mass of them, taking turns to bear their blooms. But so.

  I sowed some Cleome seeds the other day, rather late in the game, and will see if I can get them to rise to their magnificent height by late summer. There are buds on the roses, and the white-petaled, five-pointed stars of strawberry blossoms are baskets for sunlight to fuel the berry beyond. Sowed corn and a companion row of Sunflower, double and mammoth varieties alternating, planted out the heartier Martian Tomatoes, the Zinnia here and there in the garden and among the perennial bed.

 Realized the place I set out Moonflower and Morning Glory seeds may not get the sun they need. But its all a grand experiment, one notch over from Play, which is the operative word in my life right now it would seem, the feeling I experienced sitting with a small circle of women last week seeking insight and guidance. Of swimming like an Otter in the perfectly cool water of an underground cavern, delighting in my body, and then the voice that said, “You cant swim like that with all the armor on.”

 A gift of hot, bright weather, and then respite of rain monday afternoon, likely to carry over into tuesday, but followed by more hot, bright weather, which is excellent for all the growing things. Balance is beautiful. And so follows a seemingly endless parade of cool, wet days, saturating the garden and keeping from the wee tomatoes that heat and light they need to rise. 
Now it is June.

 The roses flourish, and I think something in my rough handling of them returned them to their wild nature in order to survive; they grow in long, fine-spined boughs of wide open burgundy blooms instead of those thick, stiff stems with their huge thorns and densely doubled flowers. But what strange weather nonetheless, and the predicted (second) week of overcast, sixty-degree weather doesnt bode so well (as long as we can avoid a frost, however, I wont complain too loudly).

  Im learning slowly how to accept myself and turn, as ive been trying to for better than twenty years, to face myself, and see myself as I am, and not as I was taught to perceive me. I must be ready, for the Teachers have appeared, and what a huge and happy surprise. People who seem to actually see me and dont avert their gaze, and for me to leave hours of their company spent in intense emotional exchange feeling lighter and smiling, my shoulders a long way away from my ears, which is certainly not the norm for me. 
“Invite the Peace In.”

 These radical internal paradigm shifts are bound to manifest themselves in equally beautiful life changes, which I am most definitely looking forward to. This month sees me attending several rites of passage: girls celebrating their threshold-crossing into the sacred house of womanhood, a nieces grand celebration of her graduating high school, and a memorial service for a sad, beautiful man I met in first grade. Then comes the Solstice, the longest day, what ive always perceived to be the bloom of our sweet, brief acquaintance with summer here in the middle latitudes. A week ago I spied my first firefly right before a brief and sudden midnight storm, between the forks of lightning that clothed the dark in flashes of day.

  Cant imagine where im going to get another Aconite to mirror the one thats grown so grand over the years, and would help fill this lonely space taken over by Lemon Balm and Wild Violet. Aconite and a few more Rhododendron. Trollius, if she allows me to find her. Coneflowers beginning to craft their elaborate crowns, the Foxgloves draw down their spotted bells, the Peonies explode into remarkable heavy heads of pale scent, and the Comfrey sprawls on the lawn, unashamed.

 The preparations for your return shift up a gear. I can feel the waves begin to increase in frequency even from across the creek, the anticipation building, the joy rising. So soon now. 
We love you .

"And if the question were asked: What is more real, the mundane or the sublime? most would hesitate before they gave an answer. On the one side, details: say, the aftermath of a breakfast, dirty chipped plates in the sink, their rims encrusted with egg yolk. Against this, the unnameable: small aching heart with boasts, what can you know? Outside the cage of everything we ever heard or saw, beyond, outside, above, there lies the real, hiding as long as we shall live, there stretch and trail the millions of names of God burning across the eons. When all through this our end will come before we even know the names of us.

For many the egg yolk prevails." -L.M.

"Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well."

"The perfection of the Absolute where all Becoming stops and pure Being, immutable, timeless, unchanging, hangs forever like a ripe peach upon the bough." -E.A.

"...and the whole incident was incredibly frazzling and angst-rod and filled almost a whole mead notebook and is here recounted in only its barest psycho-skeletal outline." -D.F.W.

"At the top of the mountain, we are all snow leopards." -H.S.T.

"Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live." -D.T.
"Cometh a voice: My children, hear; From the crowded street and the close-packed mart I call you back with my message clear, back to my lap and my loving heart. Long have ye left me, journeying on by range and river and grassy plain, to the teeming towns where the rest have gone - come back, come back to my arms again. So shall ye lose the foolish needs that gnaw your souls; and my touch shall serve to heal the fretted nerve. Treading the turf that ye once loved well, instead of the stones of the city's street, ye shall hear nor din nor drunken yell, but the wind that croons in the ripening wheat. I that am old have seen long since ruin of palaces made with hands for the soldier-king and the priest and prince whose cities crumble in desert sands. But still the furrow in many a clime yields softly under the ploughman's feet; still there is seeding and harvest time, and the wind still croons in the ripening wheat. The works of man are but little worth; for a time they stand, for a space endure; but turn once more to your mother - Earth, my gifts are gracious, my works are sure. Instead of the strife and pain I give you peace, with its blessing sweet. Come back, come back to my arms again, for the wind still croons in the ripening wheat."
-John Sandes, The Earth-Mother (excerpt, 1918)