Leafing Out

I went to the creek this morning first time in maybe three or four days. The red flowering currants and the snowberries are leafing out. It was raining, though it’s been sunny for weeks. When the raindrops hit the tiny leaves on the tip of the Snowberry branches, they fly down and spring up. Spring up…

High above, the cottonwood trees are budding. I can't see this, they are 90 feet tall. In summer, they are covered with heart-shaped leaves, as if they had been clothed by the queen of spades. I know they are budding because the path is covered with tiny bud casings. They're brownish, about as long as my thumbnail. They are shaped like pointy teardrops, they are thin, hard and sticky. I never thought about forests making shells like the sea does but today the ground is covered with them. It's almost like Valentine's Day, rose petals making a trail towards the bed. 

How did I get here? That's the question I'm asking myself now. Last night I sat at my altar after a long and strangely peaceful day of taking care of Forest – considering that he had the stomach flu. I looked at the collage I've made of Brigid and Kali, of starry skies and spirals in the sand. I lit the candles and I sat. I don't sit for long – my hip won't bear it. Usually when I sit down at my altar there's a slight edge... Only slight! I do feel calmed there, and healed if I am in the practice of doing my tea ceremony.

But even then, I’m usually looking for something: guidance or understanding or confirmation that I'm on the path… even the answer to the question what do I do next? But last night I was so peaceful and I experienced a feeling of not knowing that was so easy and good. I think this is the first time it has occurred to me that I could go through my life not knowing, Not that I’ve known all that often so far… but as I sat at my altar, I felt held in unknowing. I wondered if this is what following intuition deep as blood feels like? And I had a sudden image of a woman with dark and silver hair, dark skin. Who is that?

Back along the creek, the nettles are coming up at the base of the willow tree. I should pick some for soup or tea. When I first started along the path this morning and I saw the shells from the buds of the Cottonwood trees, I imagined a troop of squirrels high in the branches, flinging from tip to tip, gnawing off the bud casings to get at the tenderness underneath. But there are so many littering the path and the branches are so high and so light… I don't think it's anything other than the leaves growing and bursting their shells.