It began to snow heavily here within the last couple of hours and I've been out on the porch every couple of minutes, simply watching and being with the rapid transformation of the land. A really major part of my spiritual practice, and one that's pretty difficult to discuss, not because I'm unwilling, but because we simply seem -- at least I simply seem -- to lack the words, is simply "being" with my own bit of Earth, listening to it, trying to grock it, experiencing it in all of its moods and moments, and relating outwards from my tiny space to the larger landbase/watershed of the Goddess Columbia. For me, it's this incredible privilege, an unearned honor, grace.
Two things struck me, and maybe neither of them makes a lot of sense to anyone except this batty old woman.
First, just as the snow was beginning to get heavy, I snuck out onto the inner edge of the deck and put out a bit more birdseed. The community of birds that hang out in my euonymus bush took immediate notice. As is often the case, the first bird or two brave enough to come that close to the porch were tiny birds. Once the larger mama cardinals watching from the euonymus saw that the tiny birds were safely scarfing up seeds, they braved it themselves. What's up with that? Are the tiny ones just braver, more driven by a desperate metabolism, stupider, what? And what is it that is so elementally satisfying about seeing birds in the snow? Is it simply reassuring to our mammal natures to know that they're still out there?
Second, there was, for just the shortest moment, a deep revelation to me about the relationship between this kind of Winter snowstorm and what goes on in the land all Summer. That's it. Just a moment, and not anything that I'm at all able to put into words, beyond that. But one thing that I have learned over the years is to pay attention to these momentary knowings. I've also learned that this kind of revelation will come back, happen several times, and grow a little bit each time. And, over time, they'll enrich me and my practice, become a part of what I just "know."
Does that ever happen to you?
Photo (from last year) by the author; if you copy, please link back.
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 . . . ."