these ancient gifts

1-Pics for Blog Edits216

I will whisper secrets in your ear
just nod yes and be silent.
A soul moon
appeared in the path of my heart.
How precious is this journey.

may the inspiration divined from our kindreds…..the animal spirits, the old ones, and the littles in our lives…….may it all fuel our tender growing…..


Do you remember
the swaying green curtains
down by the river…
their wet hems dragging this way,
then that way
in the edge currents,
a flower,
a bough,
a bottle,
an old feather nest
for a time, before shaking
them loose and letting them
jolt and joggle downstream
to The Wherever.

My grandmother called
the weeping willow trees,
‘the sorry leaves.’

She meant,
one could gaze
at their bowers
when in sympathy
with struggle,
and in so gazing,
from the willows–
how to proceed in
in a time of grieving.

For the willows
are dearly
committed to life;
with strong root jackets;
their wands easily woven
into vessels
without breaking;
green physicians
of medicine
for pain;
deep drinkers of water;
shaking and whipping
when wind–
calm and eddying
when not wind.

Never out of tune
with los vientos,
the winds…
and the waters
from above and below.
Constantly making
their medicines
under their skins.

My grandmother called
the weeping willows
‘the sorry leaves.’
She meant,
when in a ‘sorry state’
we ought sail
through willows’ dense drapes,
to feel their insistent sway,
their flexing and releasing–
rather than keeping
a hardened and
brittle strength,
and thereby breaking…
instead, becoming like
the willows’ millions
of ragged green flags
flying still strong
even though some few
had lost their grips.

To focus on the life-giving
millions and millions
of green spirits
that wave,
that remain fully wed
to their Source,
that will continue to stand
and move
both softly and in full strength.

There is such satisfaction
the sound of the heavy oars
dropped from your own hands
just right
into the steel locks
on the wooden sides
of a rowboat
still filled slightly
with tears, I mean,
with river water
from previous rowings…

And there is such satisfction
to rowing an old woman
who is wearing her tribal babushka
and her heavy winter wool coat
in the late springtime…
to row her,
across a dark green river,
to drive the oars deep
in order
to take her, the old one,
near the wall of moving
green willow curtains,
the fragrance of black iron earth
and green citrus all around us…

beholding those long willow wands,
I asked my grandmother in
the ancient
child-grandparent q & a,
what it might be like
to be a green curtain of green leaves,
and what might we learn to be such.

She smiled, her eyes suddenly
animal amber flashing…
She said,
We are not the willows.
We are the river.

Now, these many decades
later, I am near my grandmother’s age
and I can see, for so many souls,
the more years I’ve gathered,
how the intelligence delivered
long ago, is true:
That the river is the soul’s school–
of capture and release,
catch and shake loose.
We are snagged,
held against our wills
for a time, and
we learn to cut loose.
We are trapped,
and yet we learn
over time,
to sever clean
as possible.

We may be aggrivated,
feel incapacitated for a time,
but on the old woman river,
the currents
under everything topside,
are ever free–
ever flowing,
ever knowing where to go next
in the most necessary push-throughs,
the most able gathering of the
huge muscle
of the wave to shoot over obstacles,
and in and with the most grace

My grandmother called
the weeping willows
‘the sorry leaves’ –
Thus, there are Willows
on the Grandmother River.
this being but one lesson
on the Grandmother River.

But/And, the river,
and the old ones
who ride the river–
our lifelong school
of learning to love,
learning to be wise,
learning to turn tempests
to kindnesses whenever possible,
of wind turning the willows
to wave their magic wands
over our hearts,
as we pass by
on our ways to our own
and good and better
Whatever, Wherever.
I say unto you,
may it be so for thee,
may it be so, for me,
may it be so, for us all…
[and, a little woman]
….Clarissa Pinkola Estes

these kissing fields

To learn how to ask for what we need,

only to practice accepting what we’re given.

This is our journey on Earth.

….Mark Nepo

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