Each of the seasons corresponds to an element. Spring is the season of air, and today at the creek I can see why: cottonwood seeds drift like snowflakes. A couple of days ago, my barista told me that his Mother’s Day picnic was ruined by drifts of the downy stuff. Today, my son said to me, “Mom, right now I am sneezing big sneezes.” Yes. Everywhere, the air is seething, is positively thick with sex. And it’s not all invisible. The baby spiders, who are some of the best flyers in the world, decorate the new leaves of the snowberries with long silver strands, like vernal tinsel. And the roses and the rhodies are blooming. The columbines are hurling their scents to the wind, calling out to any hummingbird in range: I have deep spurs, full of nectar, come.
Really, in spring, every message is some version of this: Come.
I am thinking of Rhiannon’s three birds now. She is the Welsh Faerie queen and she is attended by – inspired by, supported by, expressed by? – three birds, whose songs heal the wounded and revive the despondent and, some say, sing the dead back to life. They are black, and golden, and green. I imagine them as they would be here, in my bio-region: A crow, perhaps… and a goldfinch who has just shed winter’s brown for spring’s bright yellow, and an Anna’s hummingbird, beak still wet with nectar...
All full of song.
This morning, I was writing from the island, trying to make sense of these long weeks without writing. So much has happened. This story is working me, this myth of Rhiannon. I said yes to teaching it, which meant yes to living it on some level for this year, and this has also been a year of coming back to life. After my long time in the dark forest, in the world of Baba Yaga and the deep night, and being willing to go down until the mystery was done, after all this, I am incarnate again. Making a living, dating a man who is slowly weaving into my actual life, recovering the full function and pleasure of my body and the pleasure of effort.
I am in the world again.
This is also Rhiannon’s story. This is the story of her using her voice, of coming out of the world of faerie and choosing to be here, in this flawed world, and still sing. As I am trying to do… Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think I am the faerie queen. But I do think that it is easier to sing when the threads of this world aren’t pulling on you, when there is only the perfect twilight of being in between. I do think that the work of my life now, and of this time, is to sing even when the threads of this world would weave me fast, pull with the warp of air and the weft of earth and bind me down. To know that the same threads that seem so tight- my to do list, the needs of this body, the bills to pay – these are also the stuff of which magic is made. Which feed me and feed the three. The black, the gold and the green. The three birds of Rhiannon, in this, the season of air.