Seeding up at the Turning By Sara Wright

The forest is bursting with berries, blue lily beads are just one of a multitude of seeds…Astonishing pearl bells adorn mounds of shining wintergreen that shimmer across the forest floor. Soon those berries will blush, bead up, cry scarlet. Three leaved trillium wear peaked red caps. Deep orange bunchberry clusters surprise the unwary -who is expecting this bountiful feast on a woodland floor? Partridgeberry beads are lime green except for those from last year. Soon too these will be adorned in flaming berries that will last all winter… I’m waiting for the cucumber plants to show their colors. Lemon lime whirls catch the slightest breeze. Cattails, and milkweed pods are sending puffs of cotton on the wings of the slightest breeze. Bull frogs call from the rushes; fish intent on the next meal, break the surface of the beaver pond creating a ripple that spreads across the still waters circles upon circles widening into blue glass. Blue headed vireos, red eyed vireos and the hermit thrush sing from green bowers hidden from sight. Hemlock cones have dropped their black microscopic eyes under each parent carrying the knowledge that kin will look after their own. Acorns are dropping a bit too early; their caps still green, but some creature will have a feast, or the microbes will devour these seeds enriching the soil for next year’s sprouting.

Seeding up…. Thousands of years ago women began gathering forest bounty – always asking for permission they took only what they needed. That the forest will return the favor is a given – gratitude the exchange – Seed Saving is an ancient practice that women originally learned from dreams, animals, and the trees that were their neighbors. At that time all were kin….

This year I collect hemlock seeds, the beaked hazelnuts that edge the forest are ripening – almost ready to split…I rattle wild columbine spires releasing the seeds, collect salmon rose hips for a nourishing tea… scatter wild poppy seeds. I am still waiting for elderberry to grace the ditches with deep purple berries. The birds and I keep an eye on ripening clusters and share the bounty between us.

My cultivated garden takes care of itself these days…. Planting vegetables gives me no pleasure – too many years of work, giving to others – too much work that restricted my freedom to come and go. The forest floor is medicine now. Appreciation of every gift grieved or given never goes unnoticed…but it is the joy of watching each plant offer its prayer for the future that keeps me returning … home.

My ritual is simple….

I write down and bury what I need to release under a beloved hemlock tree and bless us all with clear spring waters… Giving thanks for LIFE.

(After completion the river is flooded by blackbirds… nature is always listening)

This Turning
of the Wheel
brings both 
Light and Dark
golden light
creates patterns
on knotted floors
Hemlocks 
beech, pines
are still

Not one branch

beckoning.
Never mute
 arboreal lives
are ancient
their language
Mystery

their patience
their patterns
of being
slip through
my body…
Untangled
Unheard by most
 I am listening…
Measuring my life
against beings

who survived
five extinctions
I see a particle of dust
falling to ground
Becoming earthbound.
Perhaps through trees
I can glimpse
Pure light
See star showers
before they
Catch fire
catapult through

deep time
Billions of
Miles separate…
Is it even possible
that one star

 might reach me?
I am fragile
An aging leaf
rattling,
in the wind
When fall arrives
will I shrivel too?
Disappearing into
 winter white?
Alone except for fright
with change the only constant
the river flows
beneath my feet
leaving behind
broken
dreams
Lifetimes
Lost before
My time.

Birds sing on….

BIO: Sara Wright 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 Maine.



Categories: General, Gratitude, Nature

Tags: , , ,

3 replies

  1. Another amazing poem – your writing can stun me with how insightful and beautiful it is, how truthful and also caring for all living beings. I am doing the same in my garden – spreading seeds of those plants that have finished blooming or otherwise making seeds, making sure there is space for them to grow and protecting the ground so that they are not disturbed. My local library that has a seed library so that people can share the seeds that they save from their gardens. It’s just a box where people put labeled seeds and then take some for their gardens, but it always reminds me to remember how bountiful the Earth is if we will just be mindful of our interactions with her. We have so much to learn about recreating a positive relationship with the living beings – plants, animals, and birds – around us and I find your writing inspirational for doing that.

    Like

  2. We do have so much to learn Carolyn, and so that intention is behind all my writing along with learning to trust our senses…. Thank YOU!

    Like

  3. Your prose is poetry in itself! Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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