Full Pink Moon

It’s the golden hour, and all the plants are glowing as I make my way up the hill.  The sky is shocking, pink and blue and purple, as if suddenly bruising from its collision with the earth.  I want to reach up and comfort its throbbing beauty.  The turning leaves soak up the last bits of sun and radiate as if they were autumnal lanterns.  They light my way as the air turns dark.

The turning of the season and my northern-hemisphere body are at odds.  It’s nearly Beltane.  My blood wants to dance around fires throwing the cozy scarves and mittens of hibernation wantonly to the wind.  My skin is expectant with the warmth of new beginnings, and yet the gusts here are becoming harsher.  I push on.  It’s not fall for me.

As the final rays of the day tuck themselves in behind clouds and hills, I reach the well.  The very sight of the clearing tugs at something inside me.  I finger the stones, making them melt and turn to sand, as if they were an old lover who’d been waiting for my touch.

In response, I remove my shoes and socks.  My toes dig into the dirt and rocks dig back into my soles.  The breeze lifts my shirt and grazes my belly.  It’s all the impetus I need.  The wind keeps nibbling at me, encouraging me, and so I tie my clothes to the hawthorn tree.

It’s cloudy tonight and I know it’s no accident.  The moon is hiding in the shadow of the earth, tucked in the darkness of her cave as if in hibernation.  She’s just waiting for her moment.  It’s an up-side-down celebration here.  The leaves are beginning to saunter away from their branches.   The night is still pregnant with the potential of sprouts and seedlings, even as Antarctic winds raise mountain ranges of goose bumps on my skin.

I start a fire and I know you will be here soon.  I wonder how many logs and how much kindling we will need to last through the night.  The moon is flush and full.  Beneath my feet, the phlox creep further and further from the well.  The pink moss stretches its feelers toward unknown lands, testing whether those grounds hold lives that it can live.  The dainty flowers look up to the moon and howl, reflecting her full, surprised face back in their flushed cheeks.  They beam on a night like tonight.  They gather in such numbers and their blushing blazes so brightly that even the moon blushes back.

You come with logs for the fire and no words.  Before long we have our own sun flickering before us. “Ne’er cast a cloot ‘til Mey’s oot,” they warned us.  It’s not quite May, but it is time to cast our clothes.  The cold of the April wind nibbles at our skin and makes it blush, in brazen mimicry of the pink moon.  The light is deafening, and I am exposed, as are you.  The heat of the fire makes my frontside glow.  The cold of the April wind turns my backside pink.  I am round and glowing, a perfect salmon moon.

We dance in circles, falling into orbit around the fire.  I am drunk on the pollen wafting through the air, and red, yellow, and brown leaves swirl around me.  I can no longer tell whether I am surrounded by flames or trees or both.  Stars leap from the fire, embers fall from the sky.  I collapse into the embrace of the infinite.

Lost in space like this, there is no north and south, no spring or fall, only the endless expanse of new fires being lit.

 

 

Creative Commons love to phil dokas from flickr for the stunning photo!

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Fall in the Long White Cloud

It’s a wet kind of cold, the kind that still allows things to grow.  The cloudy sky and diffused light makes the green of the plants more striking and they glisten with the drops of rain.  Actually, the rain doesn’t quite drop.  The air is so thick with water that it falls in a mist, mot even heavy enough to be a drizzle.  It makes me feel like I am walking through a long, white cloud, as if I am so far above the earth that I am inside the sky.  Only the moss reminds me that I am at sea level.

The tree outside my window has been dying all summer, but now, in the cold of the autumn rain it has begun again to grow.  It also seems confused by these antipodean seasons.  It lost its leaves in the shining sun of the summer drought, and now that it’s fall, it’s sprouting new life.

The koru seem unsure about whether or not to open.  I am sure I’ve seen the ferny tendrils on my path tentatively stretch open, and now they’ve closed again, as if pulling back from the abrupt, damp, winter.  Their spiral fractals seem to contract and breathe, opening timidly and closing again.

It’s on days like this I long to be outside, to feel the growth and life.  The plants and ground feel full with the potential that the rain brings, bursting with possibility and expectant growth.  I want that potential, that possibility, that growth.

 

 

This is a little birthday present from New Zealand for my awesome, amazing, inspiring cousin, Janelle.  

 

Also, Kiwi Creative Commons love to Brenda Anderson for the photo.  Thanks so much!

A Letter to My Muse

My dearest Fulgura,

As the red of the pohutukawa flowers gives way to the red of changing leaves, it becomes achingly clear how long it’s been.

Do you remember when we went to the Bahamas?  We sat by the water together and told story after story.   It was New Year and my birthday and you gave me present after present of sea glass and sand dollars and mermaid’s purses.  I carry them in my pocket still and think of you as my fingers toy with them.  That was over a year ago now.

So much has happened since then.  I’ve spent nearly a year under the long white cloud and I’ve been distracted.  The craft breweries and aerial circuses have drawn my attention away from you.  I think of you often, as I hike under tree ferns or explore kelpy tide pools, I wish you were there to share it with me.

I can sometimes feel you near me.  I wonder on misty nights if you are peeking through my windows.  You feel so close.  I can picture your wet, mist-laden hair sticking to your face, perfectly framing your Antarctic-nipped cheeks.  Do you see me drinking pinot gris and wonder why I don’t invite you in to share some?  I wonder why.  I imagine you cuddled up next to me, a wine glass in your hand and your lips become looser and looser, knowing you can tell me anything.  And I hang on to your every word, holding you close and letting you know how important you are to me.

It’s completely my fault, of course.  I’ve taken you for granted, assumed that you would just come when I called. I know we’ve always been close and I just expected it would always be that way.  But deep down I know, you are getting frustrated with me.  I know that this relationship needs to go both ways.  Something needs to change.  It’s time for me to take responsibility for this.

In light of that realization, I have some news for you.  I am moving to Alaska to be with you.  I can picture it already, the two of us cuddled up under northern lights, huddled together in amazement at the impossible cold.  With nothing to do but admire the snow and share our stories, we get closer and closer.  I capture your words, as they fly into the frozen air and crystallize like snowflakes, each one the delicate fossilization of an idea, a memory, made solid so that we can share it with each other.   Venturing out to glaciers on summer days that never end.  I can promise you this: in the coming years you will be my focus.  I will give you the time and energy and attention you deserve, if you just grant me your company in return.

I want to show you how much you mean to me, and I intend to start today.  I’ll wait for you tonight, under our usual starry night.  If you feel the inclination, you can slip in beside me.  If you feel so inclined, we can catch up.  Or we can sit together in silence and relearn what it feels like to be close to each other.  And if you don’t feel like it tonight, I’ll be waiting tomorrow night also, and the night after that and the night after that.

 

 

 

In response to revisiting Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED Talk on Genius.

 

Also, creative commons love to Brian @HKG for the photo!