converse with one another
on the steely silver edge
of Truth and
clumps of dirt,
the two carve out
an underground story.
Mythic toads instruct them
about the Ground Way
sweet summer rain
through leaf and root,
We are all related.
Sing to the Earth
And S/he will comfort you.
When I saw this picture that my friend Iren took of herself I knew that a poem would be forthcoming because I was struck by meaning at least for me. Iren sits amongst tree roots. I catch toads. We are both dealing with uncertainty, transitions, and deaths of one sort or another.
Trees are, above all, protectors sheltering the living from storms; even when uprooted they provide protection. Under their gracious canopies new life begins…
In myth toads are almost always associated with women, older women in particular. Sometimes wise woman. Neolithic toad images are associated with death and signify the capacity for new birth. Toads live on the edge.
Toads shed many skins during one lifetime ingesting them in the process. This peculiar toad habit of eating one’s one skin after shedding it suggests to me the wisdom of not trying to escape one’s past. Being able to let go while incorporating what was into the present as part of the whole is a paradox, but one worthy of our attention.
The key to moving through transitions is to breathe through them, to stay as much in the present as possible, to be flexible, to know when to hide out, “to bend like a willow and flow like a river” (the latter phrase belongs to Iren).
I capitalize the word Nature to emphasize the importance of allowing the natural world to teach us how to become more human. We are the youngest species on the planet and definitely the one most lacking in wisdom.
Sara is a naturalist, ethologist ( a person who studies animals in their natural habitats) (former) Jungian Pattern Analyst, and a writer. She publishes her work regularly in a number of different venues and is presently living in Northern New Mexico.