So speaking of fertility, I don't really plan to have children. I might change my mind, but for now-- I really like not being responsible for anyone but myself. And I like sleeping in on the days I don't work. And I like not smelling (or touching) someone else's bodily functions because they are in diapers. I like knowing that the folks who visit my home don't take a carrot to the dip, and lick the dip off, and put the carrot back in the dip again. Watch any kid under the age of about seven interact with a veggie tray, if you don't know what I mean.
Anyway, the vitality and the real beauty of fertility struck me right between the eyes yesterday. I was walking through a Garden. It was beautiful. It was magickal. There was reproduction, blooming, birds calling their mates, biology and botany, yin and yang. Here are some of the visions I encountered and stopped to breathe in:
Through the lower branches of this beautiful blooming magnolia, you can see the bright red berries of some sort of holly bush. The ripening of Spring.
This sweet bird spent about ten minutes singing his song over and over, while in the distance, I could hear his mate answering in a slightly different key. He knew I was watching, and it wasn't until I pulled out the camera that he turned away from me. I hope he wasn't offended.
Can you believe how delicate and wild these tree buds are? I can't wait to see the leaves they become! It feels as though a gentle wave of Spring is rolling through the air, and taking the branches of this tree with it.
These baby leaves were so glorious against the background of tall trees and green bushes! You could taste the energy of their laughter and zest for growth in the wind.
This is Trillium, sometimes known as "Wakerobin" for its tendency to bloom early in the Spring. It's wild, and endangered, and very sweet. Native Americans used some forms of Trillium root for medicinal purposes, and the leaves were eaten as salad greens. Unfortunately, Trillium is almost impossible to transplant, and picking the leaves will kill the plant. So please enjoy from a distance, or buy seeds for your own wildflower garden.
The leaves on this beautiful tree were a dusty red, like freckles in the sun. A couple of the leaves are just visible on the right, and a delightful purple flower just made it into the photo on the left. Happy Spring! By the way, March 20-23 was the Spring Equinox. A celebration of the moment when night and day-- light and dark-- are balanced in equal proportions. It is the celebration of the coming Spring, and of creativity at it's most inspired. It is about fertility, and regeneration. It is about Creation.
On April 30th (or May 1 in some traditions), we will celebrate Beltain-- also known as May Day, "Night of the Witches," and Walpurgisnacht. This is a very important time for witches and pagans. We celebrate the fullness of Spring, the fullness of passion. Traditionally, it was the night for young (and old) lovers to tryst in the woods and fields. The ribbons were wrapped round the Maypole in dancing celebration of the Great Rite, great bonfires are lit, and great enjoyment is had by all.
This does not mean that you must have sex to celebrate or participate in this festival. No. Instead, it means you must celebrate your sexuality and your passion-- in whatever form that takes for you. Safely, comfortably, with great enjoyment of your own experience. It could be a fantastic and wildly vibrant painting session in your back-yard studio. It could be a delicious bower of flowers, candles, and chocolate as you take a warm bath in the privacy of your own home. It could be passionate dancing in your favorite club, or a warm and well-loved group of friends laughing the night away under a wreath of colorful ribbons and colorful comments.
Whatever you do, remember... "An it harm none, do as ye will."