It was a long weekend. I am no longer pregnant. Nature’s wisdom. I have to be okay with that. I will be okay with that, but still, sadness and sorrow is the prevailing feeling. However, at the edges of all of that is hope that this clearing out will be for some new delight.
I am grateful for the kindness and tenderness of friends, family and unknown friends out there in the world. May you all be blessed.
This being human is a guesthouse
Every morning a new arrival
A joy, a depression, a meanness
Some momentary awareness
Comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows
Who violently sweep your house
Empty its furniture
Still treat each guest honorably
He may be cleaning you out
For some new delight!
The dark thought, the shame, the malice
Meet them at the door laughing
And invite them in
Be grateful for whoever comes
Because each has been sent
As a guide from beyond.
It has been more than a month since I first found the shrine in the woods. More than 9 months since I first noticed the flowers spilling from a hole in the log. The shrine is no longer there. I don’t know what happened to it. Initially I was dissappointed, I had had visions of others adding their items and the shrine becoming a permanent fixture that honored whomever had placed the items there and caused others to pause with thoughtfulness. I am still a bit dissappointed but I like to believe that there is someone out there with two broken mexican primitives, some shells, and a bluebird who is making stories up about those items and the persons from whom they came. Either way it made not only that day more interesting but created a whole complex web of ideas, feelings and images to play with it.
I will keep my eyes open and hope that there will be another chapter to this story. A story – that I too am a part of, a story that links me to a shrine in the woods and a mystical stranger.
So, I don’t really know where this will go. It may end up being only a journal for myself. There is a good possibility that not a soul will be interested in sharing my growth journey or sharing with me a bit of their own growth journey. I hope that will not be the case. My journey will be so much richer and interesting if you are willing to share some of your tales with me.
I walk. I walk a lot. Typically I walk in the woods for one to two hours every morning before work. Many of these walks are in a preserve close to my work. About 6 months ago I came upon a strange sight. Two large tree stumps lay on their side spilling out rose petals. It was interesting. Who had put the roses there? What did it mean for them? Who else had seen them? It was just one moment in many I have on my walks. Three weeks ago I discovered a mexican primitive and two shells stuffed, hidden really, in a large log shell. I couldn’t resist I took all three items out and took them home. Wondering about who had placed them there and what they could possibly mean. I showed my 14 year old daughter and she said I needed to take them back. She believed that they were part of a shrine that someone had created. Other friends told me that I should take the figure back because it was possessed with an evil spirit and someone had placed it there because it had been haunting their home. Another friend reminded me of the Brady Bunch episode of the family in Hawaii and their discovery of a possessed figure that brought bad luck to whomever had it. Others wondered how many years it had been there. There were wonderful tales thought up about that figurine by friends who were as perplexed as I was about why it had been stashed in the tree log, who had put it there, where it had come from and who had put it there. It was so fun to contemplate.
I had just finished reading “The Good Earth” by Pearl Buck and finding the figure made me think of the two figures that were in a small earthen shrine on that land which he was dependent on for protection, food and shelter. It recognized that we are at the mercy of much big forces than what we alone can control. The farmer would light a candle and burn inscense in the shrine to acknowledge the blessings of the earth and to ask for protection. I needed to take this figure and her accompanying two shells back to the shrine. I do not know what meaning it had to the person who put them there but I realized it did feel like a shrine of sorts. I felt I had disturbed some larger force.
I returned the figure and the two shells. I also placed my own figure in the log. I too wanted to be part of this story and wanted to leave a bit of myself at the shrine for whomever else it might feel significant. I placed a small ceramic bird (my own totem) in the log and left a little note that said “May you have peace”. I wish I had had the good sense to burn some incense and ask for some blessing. I did not, but I nonetheless felt like I was connecting to something bigger than myself and giving something of myself over to that “larger” part of myself and to the world around me. I felt like I was placing myself in the tale. I thought of the roses spilling from the hole in the tree stump and hoped that whatever forces were out in the world they would smile on me.
I returned to the spot a week ago….