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!