I live in a small oak grove, and tending that grove is part of the way that I observe the turning of the year. I spend a lot of time noting how the oaks impact my tiny world, here on the banks of the Potomac River.
And this, as most years, here at the place where the river runs past the marble city, the oaks are having sex. I mean, they are having mad, prolific, insane sex. Oak trees have the kind of sex that overwhelms the world. They literally cover my yard with the results of their sex, they cover the cars, they create huge piles of oak sex in the streets, they spend about four or five days having mad oak sex. I left this morning aware that it was happening and came home this evening to a carpet of oak sex all over my herb bed, my lawn, my woodland garden, my deck.
It happens every year, just before Beltane. I've yet to celebrate a Beltane here that didn't involve sweeping oak sex off my deck so that we could jump over candles. Tonight, after days of waiting, my woad has bloomed. The sage has blossoms all over it. Wisteria is blossoming all over the place. Violets are everywhere. The rosemary is blooming. Parsley is just sprouting.
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 . . . ."