December in Montana gave me a chance to renew a brotherhood and walk some remarkable country. The snowfall was significant and taught me new ways of walking. Returning to Georgia in January, the rivers run high and the land saturated from frequent rains; its a different sort of cold here.
Water, encountered in so many forms, has dominated my Winter, seeping even into imagination––into dreamtime.
In stillness reflecting light, in motion reflecting the creatures of light, water seems warmly engaged in a grand affair. With whom I cannot say, but an intimate devotion carries it through every conceivable state of being, or perhaps better said, that for this intimacy water conceives every state of being. Tomorrow I’ll bring this up with our Yellow-Bellied Alchemist, if he can spare the time, busy as he is, tapping the giant athanors we’ve been calling trees.
The sweetness of this past lunar cycle is unmistakeable, evinced by the crowd of birds that return each morning to pick dark ripe berries of the old Mulberry tree; her’s an abundant generosity extended new-moon to new––a marathon runner in the world of fruitful Georgia trees.
There’s a strong alchemy operating through the brief, Lightening-Bug-Nights of May and June, which enchant bitter ‘n red to sweet ‘n black––its a taste of gold (but for taste) in the early moons of summer.O, to know the spell!But this particular grade of knowledge is privileged to an understood rectitude in the patience of rhythm and in the ripening of need.Accolades to you, fine Mulberry tree! When your fruiting is finally done, you’ll return to the brooding posture of your own deep mystery.
Speaking of sweet abundance in peculiar & prickly places, an eruption of applause greets the Blackberry Moon now ascending our stage; she’s got a tough act to follow.
From the ancient lore comes a tradition of stepping across doorway thresholds with a deliberate mind. The forefoot advances with unformed anticipation, while the aft briefly lingers with grateful regard. Grace resides in the pause between, a blessing from an unseen source.
Solstice is our planetary threshold, spacious enough for all to freely cross; the southern legions come north––come they must, and go we will. In the intimacies of this grand affair––pole to pole––secrets are sometimes revealed, although usually overlooked for their subtleties. If you were otherwise engaged to notice our recent global passage––sun to sun––take heedful comfort in knowing that a solstice resides in the center of every breath. The lore instructs the attentive further, with an injunction to keep the door-stoop and threshold clear––a practice which speaks for itself.
On the archer’s range we deal with innumerable thresholds, one of the more apparent occurs at anchor-point, where/when a well drawn arrow reaches the nexus of tension between effort and surrender, time’s threshold otherwise called the present moment. If the archer eludes the hazard of hesitation and the temptation of haste, the “still” arrow ripens into a shot that falls from a bow like an apple from a tree.
Tended by a devotional heart
Your tender-strong hands
Wrestle beauty from
The blistered earth
A Joseph lifted from
The deep well of knowing
Set dancing as leaf and petal
Pollen-drift and broken stone
Hear the spectral banners snap
In the wind
Merciful green to the gold ‘n red
Your fierce eye keen
To the indivisible moment
Generous hands provoke
Fragrance and fruit
But in the deep harvest
At your alchemical touch
And our quicksilver is found.
Leaving shoes behind, dervish-like
You step through the hidden gate
Of your garden
Into the secret one, nearer still
Where everything is
And everyone will be…
Hear the tattered banners snap
In the autumn wind
Hear the birdsong you alone
You will entirely know yourself
As lover and beloved.
Summer’s spell is nearly broken, as the northern earth gives up another sun. Golden Rod bids a silent farewell, while our overturned shadows trace the polar paths of winter. The Horned Owl is already making plans with the full moon, disturbing the sleep of Hummingbirds that still linger. The treasury of green is sealed in wooden attic vaults, stored in cooling root cellars, and opened only with hunger’s master key.
Capricorn will greet the sun in Madagascar, they’ll swim together in Shark Bay then dance in Rio, before tiring of each other’s company. Till then, we’ll fix an arrow on the string of the waning moons, and bust the seals of chestnuts where winter’s sun hides.
The drawn bow opens a threshold held between left hand and right; where potential trembles, an arrow rests. Can the archer hold the patient ground as the tension ripens to that undivided moment of surrender? Will he loose himself into the dynamic stillness of being from whence the art emerges? The unwavering eye looks ahead.
The humid and hot breath of Summer is trailing south, as the nightlong cool-downs, and the pensive Bush Crickets with their Autumn song, ignite old memories of childhood poets, river bluffs & travel. Even now, Yellow Poplar leaves have begun the turning; in their golden conclusions they fall, lighting up the forest floor.
Spiny green husks swell between the serrated leaves of a big Chestnut standing deep-rooted before our home. Her kind were brought from Asia to soften the sad loss of our own in-kind native. She’s preparing a big feast this year, and the impatient squirrels can’t help but sample the season filled nuts, “green” as they still are.