One of the things that I do consciously try to do is to help G/Son to appreciate nature. We went to a nearby nature center this weekend and it was nice: a little place in the woods with shells and animal bones and rocks and plants. Outside was a huge banner of the Earth and G/Son surprised me by pointing to it across the meadow and saying, "Look, Nonna! It's the Earth!"
But the most magical thing of all happened when we were leaving, just at dusk when the center closed and we started up the winding walk through the woods to our car. I could hear the rustling in the forest next to the road and stopped to look carefully, reaching for G/Son's hand in case what I heard was a buck about to come angrily out of the woods. But it wasn't. It was a lovely, graceful doe, white-tailed and grave, who came to the edge of her wood to stare at us across the three or four feet of road. I know: we're supposed to consider them pests and tick-carriers and blah blah blah. I love them. I can go years and not see one, but the times in my life when I've really needed reassurance about something important, they show up.
I became completely still and whispered, "Look, G/Son. A deer." We'd just seen pictures of deer inside the nature center and, when he turned, I think that's kind of what he was expecting to see, but he saw her, almost one with the dusk and the forest full of doe-colored leaves. He became completely still, too, expect for his eyes, which grew as wide as saucers. And then he whispered something to the deer that he's heard me whisper to squirrels and birds and butterflies: "I would never hurt you." And it had the same effect upon her that it often has on animals. She remained where she stood and simply watched us.
After a few minutes, we began to walk back up the path, still holding mittened hands and not speaking. She moved across the road, through the meadow on our side, and into the woods that border the meadow. When we got to our car, G/Son said to me, "That was Bambi. For real."
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."