OF TRASH, TREASURE, AND BLUE MOONS

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Trash?

This morning dawns cool and foggy. In the distance, I can just barely make out the call of a rooster and the swooshing sound of morning traffic past our road. The lovely blue moon ushered in changes in our life. Most were expected, yet even in those things we anticipate, the energy that animates them remains dormant until the actual event occurs.

First things first: On the morning of the blue moon, our Indiana house finally closed escrow. The sale carried some burps and tumbles in its path, but it is all done now. Our realtor remarked casually that the new owners wanted to have my cherished bathtub pond hauled away to the dump, please, and told her that they also planned to mow down the garden and remove the planting beds and fencing. This news, so unassumingly relayed to me, hit me like a board across the face. I felt my heart lurch. The ponds and gardens were, to me, the heart and soul of the property. What they were calling trash was my deepest treasure.

My first thought went to the frogs who call that bathtub pond home. Of course, as you can imagine from my previous post, a giant wave of guilt washed over me. Somehow I believe it is all my fault that I didn’t anticipate this disaster, empty the bathtub, and move “my” frogs to safety before we left Bloomington. It is my fault for not thinking to digging up all the perennial garden plants and veggies and hurrying them off to gardeners who would receive them with appreciation and love.

And I feel guilty, too, for harboring a starp stab of resentment toward the new owners. In my subjective and very private universe, it is a crime to mow down food. A crime to remove habitat for our animal—and amphibian—relatives. My eyes narrow into mean slits. I feel the heat of self-righteousness boil in my stomach. And I will tell you truthfully that I wished instantly that our old septic system and old roof might go belly-up for these new owners come winter. I call this nasty thought The Revenge of the Frogs, but it really has nothing to do with the frogs, of course.

Up and coming Fairy Garden

Late afternoon of the blue moon, I walked silently into my newly crafted Fairly Garden, a small wedge of our property that I have filled with containers of flowers and vegetable and a long row of sunflowers. I carried my pipe, and all our many prayers for this moon. At my sides, flanking me, I could feel the magic and the love of She Who Heals and Becomes Her Vision, the two Clan Mothers I am honoring this month.

I set up the pipe and tobacco on an old braided rug in the Fairy Garden. At my feet snaked two wandering vines of cucumber and winter squash. Behind me was the wall of sunflowers.

Many prayers were sent this month. The pipe was overflowing with sacred tobacco, and the brisk, warm breeze that kicked up the moment I sat down in the garden grabbed the sparks from the match and sent the blue smoke up and curling in a thick billow from the bowl of the pipe. As I smoked, I continued praying, watching the breeze change its westerly breath and begin swirling all around me, even ground and skyward. Clearly, all of the spirits of the seven sacred directions showed me their presence and their agreement, catching the smoke and hurling it skyward to Grandfather and Mystery. I smoked for a very long time. The tobacco and the pipe did not want to stop. When they finally completed their last breath, my final prayer was for the healing of my own cranky and vengeful heart.

Garden Tower and tiny, would-be sunflowers in the background

“Daughter,” the spirits whispered on the warm afternoon wind, “Let go. Let go again and again and again. Let go to live. Let go and let change move and do its work. The magic of your forest lives whether you are there or not. The frogs will find new sanctuary. They are not yours to tend, nor to fret about. They have their own soul’s journey. Let go. And let go again. The bile in your stomach hurts no one but you. Bless the new owners of your old house, and reflect on the feelings that blossom in the spirit of blessing.”

What could I do but cry? So I bent over the pipe in tears, asking, begging the spirits to please show themselves to me so that I could find strength and forgiveness in my heart for a world gone mad with human folly and hard-heartedness. Just a tiny sign, I asked. I don’t need lightening bolts. Just a tiny sign.

With that, I carefully wrapped up the pipe and placed it back in the wolf bag that carries it. I went back into the house, my eyes glazed from tears and smoke, and then hurried back into the Fairly Garden to clip some herbs and chard for supper.

Spirit Frog

I have no adequate words for what happened next. It was too sweet, too tender, and too humbling: Spirit, quickly responding to my urgent request. Spirit sending me my tiny sign: Between my outstretched fingers, my hand reaching for a chard leaf, an emerald green peeper frog leaps and lands on a squash leaf next to my thumb. He turns and faces me, and I am so close I can see the brown, hair-thin eye-liner slanting back from his tiny golden eyes. “Frog Queen,” he calls me.

“Let change move and do its work,” spirit had said, and on Saturday afternoon, I let go and let go again as another big change surged through me. On this day, our 5th wedding anniversary, Carter’s son, daughter-in-law, and grandbaby rolled into our driveway with all their belongings plus Toby, the chi-wiener dog, to start their new life in Washington. They were the reason for our move to the Northwest, and now they are here, too, lock, stock, and barrel. Until they find work and a place to live, they will be staying with us in the tiny blue house that is now full to the rafters with people, dogs, and more activity than Carter and I have witnessed in our five years of marriage.

Yesterday evening, I went to the wall of blackberry vines that encircle our property. From the house came the sounds of basketballs bouncing, my granddaughter shouting and giggling, and dogs barking. There at the berry bushes, the sounds seemed far away and the black, heavy berries swayed in silence as I picked and picked. In a house filled with commotion, I am grateful for the silence of the berries, the silence of the trees, the quiet hissing of the pasture grasses as they bend in the evening breeze.

I am grateful for the sound of the one, lone coyote who sang outside my bedroom window late last night. I am grateful for the love of family, and for the new owners of my old house who have enabled me to severe the chord I still held to the past. The enchanted forest is in their hands now, or is it that they are in the hands of the forest? Yes, I think that is how it is, and I am in the hands of the berry bushes, the spirits, and one small, emerald-green frog.

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