Saturday, March 23, 2013

I Thought It Was Simply Weed Pulling

A late winter snow followed by early spring 70 degree temperatures causes buds and bulbs and weeds to pop. Maybe it was that, weeds popping up which lured me out to the gardens early Friday morning. For days I intended to begin tiding up the gardens out front as they are areas I see with each coming and going. For whatever reason though I plopped out of my chair into the strawberry patch which, being on the north side of the house and behind the mulcher, is a spot I must wander out to see. Settling down where I didn’t intend should have been a clue I wasn’t simply going to be pulling weeds.
Oh it had been such a long time since I sat with Mother Earth but it only took a few minutes for me to be drawn into a meditative communion with her. I began pulling out the ground cover of fresh weeds, the 5 foot dried up stocks of deceased wild sunflowers, but it’s when I got to the wild mullein which had set up residence in the strawberry patch last summer that Mother began sharing her wisdom.
Strawberry leaves have begun to emerge from the core of their decay. The tendrils which had extended out last season are dry and brittle, no new life at the ends. But at mullein, even with dry, brittle tendrils, there is new strawberry plant life.

I had to explore mullein’s space. She had new beautiful leaves sprouting from her center. Her older leaves remained vibrant through Old Man Winter’s harsh cold temperatures, his pounding sleet, bitter winds, and frosty snows. In fact, enduring such, her thick, velvety, layered leaves reached out wide around her. Gently I lifted up her leaves. I brushed through them.
Unlike the ground surrounding her which was dry, cracked, and hard, beneath her the ground was moist, pliable, even somewhat warm. There I found deaths debris. Some of her blackened, withered leaves gave way, others were merging back into Mother Earth, while a few remained, tightly clinging to her.  I found a decaying mouse who must have sought shelter under her warm inviting blanket. I wonder if she made an effort to save him and if her heart broke when the tiny creature succumb to Winter’s doing.

I couldn’t bring myself to pull her out, remove her from the place she chose to set up home. So there she remains, in the center of my strawberry patch. She offers herself, welcoming, expanding, giving. Sitting next to Mullein, the sun in position, I look down and notice our shadows had merged. Together we were one, stretched out across Mother Earth being warmly kissed by Sun.
When I signed up for Jane Cunningham’s course, Facing the Minotaur, ( I didn’t fully understand that which we would be embarking on. I wasn’t sure I understood shadow and darkness beyond the literal sense. Not sure how to expose and greet mine. My life has been about overcoming the dark, scary parts. Through Mullein, Mother, Sun, Jane and our circle of sisters, I think I’m learning at a deeper, richer level that it is the merging, the coming together and the giving into, the need for balance of light and dark, and without death there is no life. The greeting of my shadows with a desire to know them, to hear their message, and receive their gifts, to experience living with my shadow self as a benevolent friend….

Events in my life are quickly occurring, stirring, requiring me to stretch beyond my comfort zone, out of the known light and into a dark unknown. Will I awaken to it? Am I ready to journey farther into the labyrinth of life? Will I panic, flee from the shadows which follow and those which lurk deeper in? Will I summons the courage to face Minotaur?....
I ventured out to strawberry patch. Today the Maiden of Spring is blowing a cold north wind. What does Mullein do? She simply dances with Spring. I notice the light shining into Mulleins velvet, sage colored leaves exposing her veins. She is alive at many levels. I turn to wheel back in and notice her shadow. It too is dancing with Spring; her shadow is simply dancing with her.


  1. my sister this is such a beautiful offering ... the way you are seeing shadow and death as part of the life death life cycle, how the regeneration, the transformation requires a passing and a quickening... and as you greet spring i am ushering in autumn here... knowing you are there to hold the balance brings me great joy... with so much love to you sister... j

  2. Julia, this is so beautiful and deep - I am holding the wisdom ("holding" isn't the right word --- I am standing here IN the wisdom, I am letting it fall gently on and into me, like standing in spring rain). Thank you so much for this!