Butterflies Swarm on a New Moon.

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Mrs Miggins (aka, The Moo) reclining in the garden.

It’s been an extraordinary few days here on’t mountain. New Moon days. But before all that…this is a post with a split personality. Actually, it’s all over the show. It kind of demonstrates where I’m at with things. Being involved in the wider world, feeling vigilant; but also focusing deeply on domestic and creative rhythms.

In fact, I wrote about three posts. But I realise it’s not always a good thing to speak of All of the Things, all at once. Ahem. And part of it was a rather grim, political diatribe that’s been racing around my head. I decided not to do that here, just now, (well, ok – just a bit).

Because although the world’s stage is grim, (beyond grim – we don’t need the shifting hands on the Doomsday Clock to alert us to that). The news of the past few days has been nothing short of heartbreaking.*

Yet on this mountainside, the days have also been beautiful. Made more beautiful, perhaps, with the knowledge of just how fragile and interconnected we are. That we can take nothing for granted – freedom, peace, fundamental human rights. We can’t stay silent when there are so many  innocents, (muslims especially, but so many others) being actively persecuted.

And thankyou Monsieur Trudeau for giving such a damn about refugees right now. I could hug that man so hard. And I do so love Canada and its moral courage. But I’m currently horrified, and so terribly sorry for what has just occurred in Quebec.

Also, to be truthful, I can’t focus exclusively on my little world when Rome is burning. I get it though – the desire not to get mired in the horror. But that in itself in an extraordinary privilege, really.

And at this moment, just for me here today, it feels callous, or just feckless and delusional at best to be distant, vague, and genteel about it all. I know people care deeply about events, and are righteously furious too. I want to say here, that I care too. That when I write about flowers and cats and domesticity, I haven’t forgotten. I’m not ignoring the plight of others.

You’re not invisible. I care. Even if that counts for not much at all in tangible ways.

Because sometimes, I find myself unable to write altogether. There’s a heaviness and silence that settles on me when I don’t feel I’m being honest.

And I do think this is a different thing to simply remaining positive. Remaining positive is crucial, but for me, it’s also a matter of remaining awake, informed, and engaged.

But this is my quiet, domestic space, (like I said, I get why people don’t write about it all, because there’s so much media saturation). The domestic remains my main focus, (or purpose) for this blog.

And it’s not a blog about writing either, because I prefer to write the stories, rather than write about writing the stories, (even though there’s certainly a place for the latter in this world). This is the space for spillage. This is where the selvages, cut away from the larger, more intricate patterns and seams come to rest.

In a little pile of random scraps ; )

In truth, there’s lots and lots of things happening behind the scenes chez Rapunzel’s, (this year is going to be HUGE, friends, and it’s already super-busy. Can you hear the whir of pulleys and wheels?). There’s loads I don’t chat about here, the wider world I encounter beyond here, as well as things I like to remain private.**

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The honesty (lunaria) seeds I sowed last Autumn are thriving. Flowering, even, (I didn’t expect them to because they’re a biennial and unlikely to flower in their first year). This rather homely little flower (looks a bit like a wallflower) will later become silvery paper moons when they turn to seed. Worthy of the fae. They make for gorgeous dried arrangements. Particularly in Winter when there’s hardly a thing to be plucked for vases.

 

 

My words here reflect that space of dwelling in between, carefully contained by boundaries. And within those boundaries, in the home of my heart, lies a secret garden of stories, wherein I pour all of the unsayable. All of the things that urge to be transformed into character and colour.

We all have to save something for ourselves, don’t we?

And we can be our own alchemists, transforming the everyday bric-a-brac of our lives into something less recognisable, perhaps more other-worldy, but still true. To me, a life is never dull. But when we create a story out of it all, it can be easier to see our own magic, and a beauty we can pass over too easily in the throes of living. The poetry that’s nestled inside our lives. Even as the cat coughs up a giant fur-ball, (overshare), and the washing machine is eaten by a rat, (oh yes, that would be my next post).

***

New Moon Stories

 Let me just say that it’s nothing short of glorious on this wee hillside, right now.  Truthfully, I’ve never seen it so spun with enchantments.

And then there’s this…

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Because I’ve always wanted to…and now is as good a time as any : )

In the early hours of yesterday morning, (around 5am) I was unable to sleep with the light, (and also a rowdy kookaburra outside my window). I wandered about my home, lighting incense and candles; watering pot plants on my balcony, crushing herbs in my hands. The scent of thyme and oregano was pungent in the warm air. I put coffee on the stove to brew, as well as some tea, (because some mornings, why choose?).

I guerilla-tackled my unsuspecting (but grateful to see me up so early) dog for a cuddle, and concocted an enormous fruit salad composed of cantaloupe, watermelon, blueberries, and grapes. Especially helpful to have in the fridge when there are going to be teenagers (plural) roaming through the house like a small pack of ravenous wolves.

I also made a batch of fresh almond pesto, from the largest fistfuls of basil I could hold, (stuffed unceremoniously in my blender);*** and a large batch of green tea and rose petal kombucha.

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Random messy courtyard picture.

There were endless phone calls, made more pleasant by the guzzling of fresh strawberries, whilst I waded through endless paper-work (always, January, your mountains of paperwork!). And whilst I was kept on hold for an eternity, I window-shopped beautiful handmade things on etsy, (I’ve managed to save an awful lot of witchy things to my favourites). I do believe etsy is outdoing itself, these days.

And when I stepped outside again in the afternoon, I wish I’d managed to capture on film the butterflies swarming (yes, actually swarming – lots and lots of different kinds of butterflies!) in my garden.

But I couldn’t move. I just stared. And then I stared some more, wondering if it was just my addled imaginings. The air was quite literally sparkling with light, and pollen, and insects.

It was all distinctly strange and beautiful. And the Old Ones were afoot. I could feel their enchantments. And now, I want to grab hold of you, and sit you down in my garden, and say, “see? Can you feel that…it’s here”.

Not only the butterflies, but the parrot that landed upon my shoulder, (arrrrr). And the kookaburra that swooped right by my ear. The currawong that called from the fence, peering in at the back door, staring at me with its viciously intelligent amber eye for the longest moment.

And then there was the spider, finicky with her home-making, arching her spindly limbs appearing just before me, mere inches away from my eyes as I sat on the seat beneath her tree. Weaving the threads, staring at me with wide, multiple onyx eyes.

Rainbows flitted across the leaves of the rhododendron, and the bees – a carpet of them – lolloped drunkenly on the clover. One such bee landed on my hand, paralytic from the nectar. She sat there a while, resting, her saddlebags dusty, and glinting with pollen.

I sank down amongst it all, and lay like a starfish among the dandelions, and I could only be overwhelmed by gratitude. I don’t even care how cheesy that sounds. Gratitude is a powerful portal, I’ve found.

How did I land here, amidst all this astonishing beauty and fertility? In a home that continues to hold and welcome me. But one that has transformed since I was first here into a place that feels suspended in time, voluptuous and seamed with more life than I thought possible.

And I was also grateful for the tremendous kindness of friends, (thankyou, truly for being who you are).****

Grateful for the ineffable that has somehow gathered flesh and bone, and made its way through from somewhere merely imagined. Something I’ve become woven with, in a moste surprising way.

Blood and memory, and antedeluvial land stories, lodged in loam, roots, weeds, and seeds. It’s held me close these past (nearly) two years; and holds me ever closer. And today I felt absorbed into that hugeness in this small patch of the world. But it was I who was made smaller by the Intelligence that cradles the nature of all that breathes and pulses Here.

Perhaps it’s the New Moon/Dark Moon. The phase of my own birth. But in radical, freedom-loving, unconventional, subversive, and egalitarian Aquarius. Aquarius is hugely significant in my own life-path.

The New Moon in Aquarius felt like a quiet rebirth and reconnection.

So, I rose from my bed of bright weeds, and I accepted a challenge. A challenge that asserted itself to me loudly, brazenly in fact, as I lay on the earth amidst the cacophony of insects and birds.

I leaned in and listened, against all reason, to the whispers behind the air’s sunlit music.

And I wondered if I would dare take up such a challenge. If I was equal to the task. And the whispers grew louder. Because it was only a reminder of what I already know. To keep going. To keep accepting that challenge. That it’s no different now. That I know one of my strengths is a stoic dedication to consistently taking action.

BI still feel the pull and imperative to be there. To show up to the work that calls me, year after year. Despite everything. Because of everything. Because nothing has changed, and everything has changed. And that’s pretty exciting too.

And I had the temerity to shake in my boots when I heard that insistent voice as challenge, as well as feeling an immense relief. Because there’s no easy slide through existence.

Because we have to be consistent, and show up for the plodding, everyday stuff. The work. Even when we shake in our boots, and wonder if we can.

We have to take the dare.

So I’ll keep on keeping with these quiet dreams, because I don’t ask as much of them as they ask of me. And I do believe that’s the way it really should be. That you show up for the love rather than the result.

xxx

 

*Surely there’s grounds for the 25th Amendment at this point? Not that I’m an expert on US Constitutional Law. But anyone else behaving as monstrously as that person is would have been thrown into an asylum for the criminally insane by now. He shames our species. Enough!

**It is the interwebs, after all – so although I’m all for transparency, obviously what I write here is the tip of the iceberg. And there’s someone I can “see” who frequently lurks here, and who after 5 years, (that’s half a decade, folks), just really needs to move on. For their own sake. But whatever, it’s their time and energy.

***Later I used it to cook up some green bean and pesto risotto. Unbelievably good stuff. Because comfort food is good in Summer too : )

****No words, really. I am utterly undone.

12 thoughts on “Butterflies Swarm on a New Moon.

  1. So wonderful. All of it. Every bit. I love that your land is claiming you – and why WOULDN’T it?!n- and that you are hearing whispered challenges. I’m hearing one of my own. Again. For the fifty sixth hundredth time, and thinking that perhaps this time I should just take it up and be done with it. Because if it matters to us, we need to be living it, right? Much love. x

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    1. “Because if it matters to us, we need to be living it…”. Yes. Oh so very. That’s it entirely. And it becomes an ever greater wave over time, I find. This wave has nigh on dumped me and left me upside-down and spluttering. So, yes. Much love to you also, lovely Jo. xx

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  2. ooooh, challenges terrify me. i’m only good at things that involve a sort of daily putting-others’-needs -above-one’s-own kind of challenge. or emergencies…i’m surprisingly ok with those. everything else just fries me. so kudos to you! also, i’m always so impressed when people know what their work in the world is meant to be. i’ve never been able to pin down mine. other than raising my bee-girl, of course.

    your garden looks so welcoming. and a swarm of butterflies—be still, my heart!

    here in the newly fascist amerika, people ARE talking about the insanity of trump. i can only hope that it will gain some traction and ultimately result in his removal. there is a good amount of resistance to him at many levels, which i would like to see echoed more by elected officials. there’s bernie, of course, bless him; but he can’t do it all alone. and elizabeth warren—she’s been a voice of sanity all along. honestly, being in the women’s march in DC was the happiest i’ve felt in quite a while…largely because for one day i was not surrounded by people who voted for that orange pile of poo.

    your pesto sounds divine. it’s one of my favorite summer foods. i’ve not used it in risotto—must give that a try! my usual is gnocchi with green beans and pesto. i do a spaghetti and pesto with lemon juice and zest that is served room temperature too, which is nice on hot days. (heaven with a bottle of souave, if you can get the real thing. i can’t, here. sigh.)

    “show up for the love, rather than the result.” oh, yes, yes. that pretty much sums up my approach to life.

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    1. Oh challenges terrify me too! Perhaps I like to be a bit terrified, (well, not actually, but you know?). I’m not 100% sure of my work in the world, I must say. I just know where 99% of the pull is.

      Reading your comment about gnocchi has me craving some! I love it with pesto, but haven’t had it for ages. So then, this must be remedied forthwith!

      Love and pesto to you my friend. xx

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  3. oh my word. this entire post is so very happy-making. well, mention of the orange apocalypse notwithstanding. i’m bewildered at the way people will fight tooth and nail, brandishing the Constitution like an invisible shield to keep their effing guns, and yet…..?!?! wtf?!?!? no words, really.

    and yes, Mr. Trudeau did us proud. i only hope he’s strong enough to stand against the shit-storm that’s inevitable, being *this* close to a fascist regime.

    but gardens and dreams and land-whispering….and rising to the challenges, and a butterfly chorus….oh, be still my enraptured heart.

    so much love for you….so very much. xoxoxoxoxoxo

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    1. “…but gardens and dreams and land-whispering….and rising to the challenges, and a butterfly chorus”. I know you get this. Sinking into the land and its stories. I often think of you as I cultivate, (and re-wild) this little patch of home.

      Much love to you, and also excellent cake! xx

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  4. Yes, this is how life goes: beauty and horror in the same breath …. it’s all about balance, right? I mean, in our daily lives and interactions, in our writing and artwork and gardens and so on: pull the weeds, plant new seeds …. pray, and do the hard work. That’s what I keep saying to myself and my teens anyway.

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    1. Ellie – oh absolutely, yes. And moving it all through – all the pain and sadness. The hard work, prayer, dancing, planting – whatever it takes to keep feeling, but also keep loving. Love and light. xx

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  5. You enchant me. I am also grateful for Mr Trudeau, although I keep in mind how he has allowed the ravishment of so much sacred land …And I believe DT would be impeached, imprisoned, except for the Vichy government … er, I mean the GOP. I also remember that DT is only the mouthpiece for a cabal of people who would probably still rule over Pence if he was made president. Thank heavens for flowers and good earth.

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    1. Yes, Sarah. It’s exactly as you say, (Pence etc). I think many of us have an instinct to create safe havens – little patches of earth as acts of love and sanity. So yes! Thank heaven indeed for flowers and good earth! Hugs. xx

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  6. I love your post. I love your descriptions of the nature around you, and eating strawberries! I too feel grateful for the place I am right now, to be able to be near mountains and rivers and trees. No strawberries, though. But soon, maybe?

    I also found it inspiring about the work that calls you, whispering to you. I feel something similar I think, and it scares me somewhat. I’m not sure I have the right to work so much on a dream, when there is so much else to be done also. And what I’m mistaken in what I hear? But as I write this, I feel I’m not.

    I’m also concerned about what is happening in the US. But I get tired reading about it. Maybe I should, though, but it always leaves me slightly depressed. My husband and I always end up discussing it every day. He is from the US, and we lived there for five years. I felt I was given a gap of a somewhat quiet time to enjoy my time there. I’m not sure if we’ll ever go back. Things are too crazy now.

    I wonder if prayer would be helpful.

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    1. Hello Anne, and my apologies – I didn’t see your comment until just now, for some reason.

      Anyway, thankyou for your lovely comment. I love that something whispers to you as well – a dream. There have been long years when I couldn’t give those whispers my time and attention, but even during those times, I kept the little spark alive in there somewhere. Reminding me of something deeper that was a part of me. Whatever else is happening.

      Your home sounds utterly magical! It’s quite something to wake up every day and still feel such gratitude for where we are : )

      Blessings to you. xx

      Like

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