Dreams in mother night
On this Winter Solstice morning, I awaken with the trees and plants whispering in my ear. What has happened to our lovely fall dresses? They've fallen to the ground, I say, painting neutral, subtle patterns under foot. Your entwining shapes cast shadows, overlaying them, adding interest to the groundscape as I stroll with big, black Stony in stark, dark contrast. The rain drips quietly, rhythmical music for my soul. The wind plays a bass lion roar out of the Northwest prickling my exposed skin with fog.
What do you think about biding there in the wind and rain? Under the ground your roots are dormant, I am told, asleep. Do you dream of summers past with warm breezes caressing your crowns, coaxing more leaves and flowers from saying shoots? Do you hear me sing a Christmas Hymn as I wander and wonder in your midst? Do you feel my footsteps on the mosaic of the browning leaves? Are there other sounds floating into your dreams--of grubs going through metamorphism in their cocoons, of the field mice and moles snoring in their dens and of even bigger things? Is a bear enfolded in your roots in winter repose barely breathing? Or of foxes with red tails curled over damp black noses dreaming too of summers past and springs to come? There is birth there in your underground embrace as nests aloft are blown from summer thrones to join the patchwork quilt of earth.
Birth unseen, unheard by deer and turkey browsing and pecking above. They wear dark coats blending with your dark trunks and lifeless stems. They pluck your seeds and nibble your summer tendered shoots to snatch a living out of winter darkness. A symphony of gobbles, a stomp of warning reveals a presence in the drizzle and mist.
You rouse a moment, the dreams turns to longing for the soft warm caress of spring, and sunshine to spark your sap to push relentlessly upward, prompting bud and bloom, shoot and stem to push through the wet red earth to breathe again the glory of growth. Sleep well, my friends, encircled in peace, promise and hope.
I find joy in the Lord.
Carol Balaun, Headwater Master Gardener