R Let the Yellow ribbon bring me home
Saturday April 27, 2013:
Reclaiming London Beltane Ritual
My mind is wandering. I'm so glad to be here but I don't want to do the
work. I just want to be. It's impolite not to emotionally show up, so I do,
commanding myself to be present in mind as well as body.
The air is cool. Small drops of rain texture the space between the newly
budding trees. The woods echoe with the shouts of children across the way
enjoying a noisy party. I tune them out and listen to the vibration of the
watching trees. .
A presence, horned like the jagged leafless oaks comes striding through the
woods. My drum stick, like hooves beat the skin as his feet dance the earth.
The soft breath of a horse vibrates my right eardrum and in my mind's eye, I
see the white horse goddess unbidden but none the less very welcome, also
flitting through the trees.
Damp earth, dry leaves, living trees perfume the air between the spiraling
incense. I breathe and receive the unfurling life of the earth growing
Somewhere else someone has a fire. I can smell the sweet pungent smoke on
the air. I feel irrationally rather resentful and very envious of the fire
owner for *we* will have to make do with incense and candles.
We set out our space using incense as fire. Smoke curls through the air,
spiraling around us as we move through it. It's sweet, savory soft and
strong. My mind dissects the smell, identifying and labeling each pungent
contingent. Frankincense, sage and what else? Leaf mould and damp earth and
- what, what is that smell?
What do I want to let go of? Indecision, depression, fear, illness, - which!
Oh all of them and none. I twirl in the smoke, a silly smile on my face.
I'm playing again, but it's not happiness, its distraction.
I think of the friends whose lives are threatened as cancer claims parts of
their bodies. There's a lot of it around. O that's ridiculous. What are
the chances of *not* knowing people with cancer at my age, and yes knowing
one or two who have even died as a result? This is life, I castigate
myself. And lest I feel too sorry for myself, I remind myself that my own
non-threatening but disruptive tumour is also life. Get used to it!
This doesn't bring me to the work I'm meant to be doing here! What am I
doing here? Oh yes, letting go. Letting go of what? I Dunno - I've
forgotten. Well that's one way to let go!
We circle the well. It's a bowl of water surrounded by spring flowers. I
sink down on the ground. Last year's dry leaves are scattered, beneath
them; the earth is still full of a year of heavy rain that it will take many
hot days to dry.
Silence all around holds me. I lean forward and dip my fingers into the
"well". The water is cool. I am still.
What do I want to weave into my future, I wonder: I commit the sensation of
sitting on the earth in a spring wood, for future reference. Do I want the
political sphere? What is the lure? Is it purely, a desire to make the world
a better place or is it about my power and influence?
Could I make the world a better place by sitting under a tree - the thought
is tempting. Can I find time to allow my voice to sing to whoever will
listen, through my writings, song and pagan practices? Is that enough? Can I
do that and politics?
Back to the here and now, I think, catching the drift of incense arriving on
the tongue of a nippy little wind. What do I want to weave into the summer
to come? My mind drifts again. I think of sick friends and my yearning to
help them and my helplessness to actually do so. What is life like for them
with such a precarious future? Mine too is precarious, but at least the
tumour won't kill me, even if it bends my mind somewhat.
If I can stay in the here and now, I can find peace to help me deal with the
difficult things I am driven to do. So I'll weave finding moments of
peace and stillness that bring respite, and build my resilience into my
life. And I can spin the energy to do what I feel must be done.
A cloud moves. A shaft of sunlight beams down between the trees and touches
my cool cheek with its warmth. How simple; one touch warms my body and
lifts my spirits. A little effort can reap great rewards.
We dance, weaving our desires into fruition. My wide long sunny yellow
ribbon makes its way between the other colours, like shafts of sunlight
edging round objects. It moves round the shadows, lightening all it touches.
The song, "Tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree" comes into my mind.
Annoyingly, it plays itself over and over again, creating an earworm which
sits wriggling repetitiously in my ear. Maybe I can come home to myself so
that I can go out stronger to the world, I think?
Birds sing above us. We share blessings and then clear up. Walking through
the woods, I notice how my body feels. I'm tired, I need the loo, but I can
feel my energy shifting and the muscles moving efficiently enough to get me
up the steep hill and on to whatever else I am concerned with.