“I want to be a mermaid. I’m half-mermaid already. The human half.” ~~my friend Liza
“I am always aware, when I am trailing an idea–it may be a god in disguise.” ~~Dr. Martin Shaw, Westcountry School of Myth
I have been thinking of shape-shifting lately, and of myth, and of magic. I have been pondering art and poetry and activism. Pondering hysteria and alarm, contemplation and calm. I have been considering how we can leave a trail for our children and grandchildren, so that when the people of the future look back upon us, they will be able to see the webs of resistance that we created against the tides of hate and insult and discrimination and injustice.
She appeared at dawn, her skin shining in the water, the color of the sun rising over the ridge, a tangerine carp-fish large as my thigh, her head breaking the surface for a hush of a moment. Bubbles broke the surface. Fish and womanfish, she spoke: “Leave a trail for them to follow.” And she was gone in a whisk of orange fin, water roiling behind her, the tiny sunfish and polliwogs scattering to the shallows.
A glinting of sunlight shafted through maples, and the air around the pond’s edge filled with sudden electricity. The pond waters boiled forth and a golden bird erupted from the surface. Sunlight lanced and ricocheted through the glade, and I lost the trail of shining feathers in the glare.
The surface of the pond became a still and silent mirror once again, a capricious breeze skuthered a cloud across the sun’s face, and a single golden feather floated lazily out of the hole of sky between treetops.
Later, I climbed the hill to the high fields, pausing to search the pathway for shining quartzite, or the gaze into the blue sky for signs of the bird. Reaching for a shining stone in the path, my fingers found a silky feather, one side golden, one side blue. My ears pricked at a whistle and a calling over the crest of the hill. I topped the ridge, and the golden bird fluttered out of the trees to earth before me. “Leave a trail,” she called. “Something for them to follow.”
Again, she was gone, this time a whisk of a tail into grasses and brambles, ginger-furred fox, fleetfoot. A phantom. Eyes could not avail, but for slight shimmering movements ahead in the meadow, yet scent drew me onward to follow her trail. Down the steep hill of the orchard she led me, up over the hill to the field of the winds.
Two trees stand at the field edge, one tall and graceful, losing its last leaves in the autumn wind, the other broken and twisted, dead for long years. The trees of life and death. Again the sun was shining, a shaft glowed between the trees, and for one brief moment I saw the pointed nose of the fox, and heard one last time, “Leave a trail for others to follow.”
1. The annual tree-hunt at McPherson’s Tree Farm. Setting up and decorating for the holidays.
2. Exploring the cycle of the coming year with a dear friend, an old soul with a young heart.
3. These webs–sometimes I read or hear a thing that resonates with what has been happening in my head, and suddenly, I see the webs of the idea everywhere. Mindweb synchronicity.
4. I really like our new neighbors.
5. Saturday evening games of Sorry and Farkle.
May we walk in Beauty!