I drove to an old orchard today to collect heritage apple, pear and plum shoots. It is located in a wildlife area managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The orchard was planted about 130 years ago when the area was first homesteaded. I have passed this Grove innumerable times on my way to view wildlife and migratory birds who come into the area… I have often stopped to sit under the shade of these grandmother trees and even pick their fruit on a hot Autumn day. I am committed to planting trees. My favorite venue is to plant trees for food and medicinal value to both wildlife and human beings. That impetus lead me to this Grove today. I plan to root and plant viable shoots from these Grandmother trees.
I am beginning to “age” in my own lifecycle now. I just turned 65 this month of March and am raising my eyes and my inner Vision to embrace this last quarter of my life. I am releasing objectives and ideas that no longer fit into my younger paradigm. Cultural norms that I no longer need to carry, dross paradigms of youth and beauty, social roles I no longer need to partake in. I entered the edge of the Grove in Song, with respect, honor and openness to their existence and their Medicine. I carried a pouch of tobacco, offering a good sized plug to the Grove at their perimeter. I spoke to them of my Intent, to harvest live twigs unadulterated by the fire blight which has hit our beloved Valley these last 2 years. I spoke of more children, their children, in the hope of sprouting roots to the twigs I collected…. I spoke of the Vision I have of growing food from their branches for other living Beings. The multitude of other Beings who may need their nourishment during migration in the surrounding Hills and Mountains long after even I am gone…
These “Women of the Grove” are some tough hombres, rooted to Stand as Witness to the changing times in which we live. They have Stood, neglected and un-tended for decades on end. Their bodies are torqued and twisted with branches that continue to reach up, throughout innumerable seasons, to the turning of the Sun and Moon and star studded skies. They have Watched and Witnessed thousands of birds winging overhead on their yearly migrations. They have talked and communed with the Eagle, Hawk, Wolf, Coyote, Badger, Bobcat, Mountain lion, Marmot and Skunk. Within their hollow trunks resounds the Sigh of all Living Things. Dead trunks embrace like thighs, bright strips of living cambium… Rising now in the colors of red and oranges which speak of Sunrises, Sunsets and Dragons…. They carry with them in their ancient age, the blood of Dragons.
I spoke to them of my own fears of aging… and then I wept. Uncertain of the future that stretches before me, of a World now Turning beneath my feet. I asked for their Blessings, their Medicine and Knowledge that will carry me into this next moment, and the next…They let me Sing to them, offer each one Sacred tobacco, and to caress their bodies. Gnarled boles with dead and dying tissues, hollowed centers used by small animals as nests…. They allowed me to touch the Fire that lay in shallow inclusions along their trunks, warmed by the Springtime sun and fed by the melting, receding snows. Sugars rushing from their deep roots to feed that which still lives…“You will also bend as we have,” they spoke to me, “used up by the Creative Vibration from which you were birthed. Bearing young, and Ripening from the force and heat that lies within your veins”. They added, “You Stand now, as Witness in a Time of great Shadow. Stand and Hold….Hold to what you find to be True. Stand and Hold….with all that is Good, All that Speaks of Balance and Wholeness. Do not fear the death that comes to Us all… rather, Rejoice. For your blood and your Life Force is of Dragons!”
Oh my….. Blessed Be Me, Blessed Be You, ….. Blessed Be …. Everything In Beauty. March 30th, 2019