Fresh Starts and New Beginnings

 

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East. Sunrise. As part of my morning rituals, I thank it for fresh starts and new beginnings. It’s at the top of the wheel of the year, signifying spring.

Which arrived, finally, this week. We had a beautiful Monday and Tuesday wasn’t bad. Yesterday and today have been cooler and rainy, but no complaints will be issued after this winter.

Winter is in the west position on the wheel. It is to be thanked as well for the times of rest and stillness. Growth can be forced, as with amaryllis bulbs, but going against nature’s rhythms and cycles has always felt wrong to me.

When the time to break through the ground or wiggle out of the cocoon comes, it comes at its own pace. The need for changes acts as the catalyst for the process just as the alchemy of sunlight and enzymes spur plants to break through the surface of the soil.

For humans, that might mean a change to one’s appearance. I had my hair cut last week. I just couldn’t do long hair anymore. It’s grown finer as I’ve aged and snarls no matter how much conditioner I use. Pulling it up and back made me look older. It’s in a just below chin length bob now with lots of layers to accommodate the natural curl. Even though there’s more silver and grey than brown showing now, I think I look younger, or at least feel that way. If I blow dry it and use a half-tube of product, I can look sleek and sophisticated. If I just scrunch in a dab of curl cream and let it air dry, it springs into its natural ringlets and waves. Hubby said I look like a mad scientist. I will take that as a compliment. Anyway, it’s lovely to run a brush through my hair and not feel like I’m picking apart a piece of felt when I reach the ends.

The other seedling coming to fruition involved buying a ten-pack of classes at a yoga studio in the town where we do our big shops. After a month of arguing with myself about it–ruminating about the 30+minute commute, distance, hassles with parking, weather issues–I just did it. Since the teacher I had studied with decided to move on to other things last year (and the fact that I was the only student showing up most of the time), I had fallen off the yoga wagon. I don’t have the discipline to keep going solo with the YouTube videos. Neither studio here in town is a good fit for me. When I remind myself that it’s an investment in myself, it goes a little easier. Plus I can see a couple of close friends for tea or lunch as a reward. I went to my first class this past Monday. The teacher greeted me warmly and went on to lead one of the best classes I’ve ever taken. I’ve made reservations for two more classes this coming week. I already feel more grounded, centered, and inspired than I have in quite a while.

We worked on tree pose during class. Tree involves balancing on one foot while placing the other foot on the ankle, calf, or thigh of the active leg. You may hold your hands in prayer position at heart level, or reach them towards the sky.

As I wobbled like a willow in the wind storm with my weight on the right foot and left foot on my ankle, I kept reaching for the sky.

 

 

 

 

 

The Tasks at Hand

No, Gentle Reader, it’s not you. We have a full moon coming in this weekend. Good to set aside a few hours to do some decluttering. I’m intending to clean out a couple of cabinets and make a run to Goodwill. Good to recharge your crystals, too. Also optimal to do releasing ceremonies–my personal favorite is to write letters to release toxic feelings, then burn them with sage. Or write them on toilet paper and flush away.

It will also be good to start getting the garden going. At least getting things staked out, or containers lined up to welcome their occupants. Mothers’ Day, the second Sunday in May in the US, is generally considered the safe date to start planting. Any earlier and frost may prove an unwanted visitor.

At the very least, I’ll get some planters for the back step and front porch. I love gardens. I’ve had some luck with indestructible vegetables like zucchini, but with flowers, not so much.

Walks and time at the park with Oakley take the top spot on the list. It has a special urgency this spring. He’s fine. However, Precious, the neighbor dog, is not. When I stopped over earlier this week, she looked as if she didn’t know which side of the veil she was on, and instead of her usual exuberant barking and tail waving, she sat motionless. She’s either developed diabetes or kidney failure in these her later years. She’s lost her vision and most of her hearing. In the last few weeks, her decline has sped up exponentially. Precious was three when they moved in ten years ago. Her humans will be walking her to the Bridge this weekend.

I issued the standard “I’ll be thinking of you” sentiment. If I offered to do what I really want to do (be present, crystal grid, sage, Reiki), there would likely be much consternation. She has her spiritual path, I have mine, and we value the common spaces too much to impose our beliefs on one another.

So I will quietly send Reiki, light some sage, and lay out a grid in my own home. And make a cake.

Believe me, we agree on cake.

Candles at Dusk

In someways, today has been another wonderfully mundane Monday. Warm-ish, and Oaks and I will head out for another walk in the not too distant future if he’s past being annoyed with me. This morning, I streamed Native American music. One of the tracks featured a coyote chorus. Oakley stopped in the middle of breakfast and stared out the back window, then went to the family room and stared at the speakers. I laughed; I couldn’t help it. 

Later this morning, I was running Oakley through his paces. He was in process of a sit when he, uh, passed gas. He whipped around, unsure of the noise’s origin with a confused look on his face. I started laughing uncontrollably. Hubby came downstairs to see what was happening. Oakley gave me a dirty look and crated himself. 

I don’t blame him. I apologized and gave him some extra goat keifer on his lunch. He’ll get some chicken tonight and another apology with extra snuggles. 

In other ways, the fabric of the day has a few dark threads. My thoughts have been with three friends. One has surgery scheduled later this week to repair damage done in a couple of freak falls; one’s mother is in the hospital; one has an elderly dog with pain issues that required stronger analgesics this week. Outside of my immediate circles, there’s the mess in West Virginia with the contamination of the Elk River and the greedy gutlessness that made the company responsible for it declare bankruptcy to avoid having to pay for damages. 

I can’t make the doggy stop hurting. I can’t teleport myself to the hospitals in question to do what I could to offer comfort and solace. I can’t, even though The Great Mystery knows I would love to, make the suits from the mess at the coal washing plant go for a swim in the fouled water or drink it to show how safe it is. 

So I will light a candle at dusk. I hold the match in my fingers–a wooden one. As I hold it, I set the intention that all will be resolved for the highest good of everyone concerned. Then I light it, and the candle, and imagine the light pushing back the darkness.

Is it a prayer, an intention, an incantation? I don’t know what it’s called, but I feel more peaceful when I’m done.