Vernal Equinox

Vernal Equinox

The earth in its journey
tilts back and forth,
tipping its hat to the sun,

only twice on its path
standing straight in salute,
the time of equal night.

Autumn — harbinger of dark,
shortened days, a time of pulling in,
settling homeward, sleeping.

But Spring — Spring heralds
the coming of the light,
new hope and life renewed.

The festival of colors begins:
green shoots, purple crocus,
brilliant dance of daffodils,

dogwood buds bursting open,
leaving showers of petals
both pink and white on softened ground.

And in the rustic barn
with its sweet smell of hay,
sheep go about their lambing.

Olga Hebert
2017

Hope for a New Year

2016.  What can I say?

You reminded of the myth of Pandora, who in the view of the ancient, misogynistic Greeks, unleashed all that ails and pesters the human condition through her unchecked feminine propensity  to poke around where she was expressly forbidden to do so.

Well, after all the evils, sins, diseases and pain escaped and flew off to plague the world, Pandora heard a faint little knocking and a pitiful cry inside the box she had slammed shut a bit too late.  She tried to ignore it.  After all, she had caused enough harm.  Still the crying continued until Pandora opened the box once again.  This time HOPE flew out.

One little fluttering sprite meant to go out into the whole wide world and help humans endure their suffering.  With HOPE, they would manage.

220px-opened_up_a_pandoras_boxImage from Wikipedia, based on painting by F.S.Church

Personally, I am thinking we need more hopefulness.  It is surely time for the divine feminine to step up.  I wrote this poem several years ago.

The Gift Giver

In a swirl of dust, she arrived

bearing an earthen jar,

worn to a soft, coppery luster

that gleamed in the sun.

A maiden formed of clay and water,

from the earth she rose.

GIver of all gifts,

she was called Pandora.

“Come closer,” she waved,

and the people drew near

in both fear and wonder,

drawn by her gentle smile.

When the hill around her

was crowded with the women

who were in search of bits of

food to bring to their families,

Pandora opened the lid

of her ancient jar

and lifted out a pomegranate,

red skin split by the seeds within.

“Mothers, you are the givers of life.

I bring these gifts to you.

May you have abundant blessings

from wombs as fertile as my fruit.”

Once again, she reached into the jar,

then held aloft a grape vine,

heavy with ripened clusters

of its sweet purple orbs.

“Mothers, you are the tenders

of family and home fires.

May these grapes sustain you

so no one shall want.”

Then she lifted out a tree,

branches, twisted and gnarled,

thickly laden with olives,

green and spice-scented.

“Mothers, you are the keepers

of memories.  I anoint you

with the oil of wisdom, that

you may nurture a just peace.”

Pandora lifted her heavy jar

and shook out all the seeds

to dance in the arms of the wind,

then settle in hearts, open and pure.

Love, acceptance, courage, faith.

Mercy, strength, wisdom–

all these seeds and more–

Pandora’s gifts to the earth.

“O, women, keep these seeds

alive and growing. Let them thrive

through all who follow.

O, mothers. lead the way.”

Crows and a Poem

Living  for a number of years wi.th a bird and animal lover, I learned to appreciate the nature show available around the bird feeders — a show that was a delight for the grandchildren and free entertainment for me.

After my husband died, though, bird feeding ceased to be free entertainment.  It required regular cleaning and filling of the feeders and daily hosing down of the deck.  Since neighbors to either side of my house had bird feeders, I decided this was a job I could let go of.  My bird feeding reduced to throwing out table scraps for the crows who roosted in the tree line just up hill.  They never pooped on the deck and they reliably cleaned up the scraps every morning.

I thought I might miss the crows when I moved into town.  Ha! Maybe they decided to follow me to my new place?  Crows are intelligent.  You can see how intelligent HERE.  Bernd Heinrich’s Mind of the Raven (1999)  is also a fascinating read about bird brains.

american_crow_8-2
 Crow

Dark shadow passes by my window
pulling my gaze with magnetic force
toward a gray lit morning sky.

I scan the early stillness, slow
to readjust my inner gaze,
searching for what passes by.

My heart knots near my throat.
The shadow condenses.
Upper branch of a dying pine
bows low then rises, as if in wind,
comes to stillness.

And there it is — the crow, shiny and black,
imperially perched at the tree top.
I watch her survey the world:

Head sweeping left and right, left and back,
her voice a raucous portending.
I let my fear release its hold.

Her magic comes from a higher view,
winged totem of knowing and change.
Even at this distance, her eyes pierce mine.
I accept her measured counsel
with open heart.

Olga Hebert
November 9, 2016

If you would like to befriend a crow or two of your own, they really, really like unsalted peanuts in the shell.  They won’t turn their beaks up at grains, seeds and nuts of any kind, egg yolks, pasta — pretty much anything.  Just don’t be so generous they forget how to forage.