Lupus Alae

Spiritflights, fledgling and ancient


My daughter, green-child

I've been musing lately on how quickly babyhood deserts children, how soon they grow past the extra-rich sweetness of those first-blooming stages. My third (and last) baby will be two before spring comes again, and I have been willing gentle Time to slacken and meander sideways a bit, that I might have every nuance of her baby ways indelibly imprinted on my heart twice over before the long pause between the tottering gleeful baby steps of children and those of grandchildren.

It occurs to me time and time again that our precious children are so much a part of this earth that I love so dearly and hold sacred...the two are not entirely separate or even dissimilar, and I'd like to explore that a bit here. And though I may focus on my smallest child, all three at every stage carry the resemblances and the kinships between themselves and the wondrous earth forward with them.

Adoration. Never was there a love so joyful, so all-consuming, as that of a parent for their precious child. One might argue that one's love for the Divine could be equally strong, and I have to say, that may well be true, but in my case, with my beliefs, the two are not at odds at all. And where better to see the work of -- the spark of! -- the Divine than in the living miracle of life itself all around us? The tenderest budding new shoots in springtime are precious and cause for celebration; so too and with resounding magnitudes of vibrant love, the birth of a child and the day-to-day beholding of this tiny new life's unfolding.

Though just three years ago, nothing yet existed of my daughter that I could discern in the cosmos (and truly, I believed I had already had my last child when my son was born, who stands today at three and a half years old as one of the most sensitive and beautiful souls on the planet, right along with my five year old elder daughter), I absolutely cannot conceive of a world without this radiant being. She is radiant, with light and love and happiness that flows freely from her to all around her. Asking nothing, giving everything she has, and not at all proportionate in personality size vs. her physical frame, she is a mentor to me in ways she'll never know. She shines like the sun in her brilliance and is perfect in my eyes.

So, too, the Divine...I ache with joy at loving this small person who for some unfathomable reason adores me right back, and I ache with joy at being a part of and a lifelong devotee to the Divine that surrounds us and is made manifest equally through my shining daughter and every glowing sunrise. I love my daughter with a fierceness that would see me lay my life down to keep her alive and whole without a second thought or a moment's regret; so too would I die for my beliefs.

Beauty. This living land and her inhabitants, the beauty of earth and sky and water, moves me to tears, and I am not one who cries often. From the last warm colors painted across the clouds in a lazy summer sunset to the crisp cold winter morning breaths when the air itself feels as though it anticipates glad tidings; from a blue swallowtail butterfly landing on my open palm to the scent of honeysuckle calling me home, I am continually in awe of this world and of being blessed to live in it for all of my days, however many they may be.

Likewise, when I behold my daughter, all of her small perfections rush at me and totally overwhelm my soul with awe and love and gladness. She touches my heart beyond any irritation or stresses of the day; the dust of such things falls away when she says with her wide blue eyes looking right at my soul, "Mommy, up! Up pease!"

I gently lift her into my lap (who could resist?) and brush her wispy flaxen hair behind one tiny perfect ear. Her little doll mouth with its pink lips and teeny white teeth always curves into a sweet smile at my touch, and sometimes deepens into impish grinning as she reaches out to tap my nose and make honking noises. Her small foot still fits easily in my palm, and my fingers curl around its pale warmth as she waits to see if I'm going to tickle her. I usually do, and I swear to you that the sound of that giggle could make a rose spring up in the most barren heart-soil in the dead of a soul's winter. Her spontaneous bear hugs (she leans in and squeezes and says "Mmmm" and everything!) make a person feel renewed from the inside out, and when she climbs into my arms without even asking, knowing with no doubts at all that she will be warmly received and safe there, I feel my worth redoubled yet again.

I am so, so head over heels for my daughter -- for all three of my children, as they grow strong and yet supple and flexible, like saplings in a newly planted grove -- and for this world, for the whole of the earth and the Divine within and keeping it all. This barely-more-than-a-baby holding my hand is Nature, and it her, and feeling the interconnectedness humming with light and life is pleasure beyond all counting of it.

Bright blessings from a richly blessed are we all, who ever take the time to see it.

Holiday healing

There is an abundance of peppermint in my house right now, far more than at most other times of the year. It makes me smile to myself, because peppermint is one of my favorite natural remedies for a lot of different things.

What's not to love about peppermint? It flavors things prettily and soothes gastrointestinal ills (especially handy at this time of year when so many people overindulge in various things that make our bodies groan); it eases breathing woes for those of us who don't escape all of the winter crud going around; it perks us up after holiday parties have left us drained, and it's a beautiful plant besides.

This site lists many more uses for peppermint, for anyone interested.

I don't know that it's my ultimate favorite 'healer plant;' different things are higher in my good graces depending on what I need at a particular time! I do favor aloe highly too for its soothing qualities; any smart cook would do well to have an aloe plant in the kitchen for burns!

I sometimes regret that I live in an era where most people know so little about common uses for plants; I myself know so little compared to what my ancestors must have understood! Nature supports us much better than we have supported her of late, that's for sure. It occurs to me that one small way to begin to re-forge that relationship that instills reverence (I don't mean necessarily religious/spiritual, but at least respect!) for the natural world, might be to teach people about these things that plants, the very earth, can do for us on an individual scale...thus fostering gratitude and respect, and perhaps a desire to see this amazing land healed. Thus are caretakers both cultivated and born.
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