Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time in the transition grounds. Tonight the night was the darkest – then no darker.
My father’s body lies in ice, waiting for the fire, then the sea. I watch my mother sleep at last, and slowly pick up the threads I’ve let fall to my feet.
My cauldron’s filled up with stillness, with “don’t fix it just be there”, cooking for one who doesn’t eat, being calm for one who cannot rest. Playing music for the living and the dying. The woods feel bare and still, like we do. The birdsong is louder when it colors the silence.
My fingers have bent branches of spruce and cedar into a crown. The ruffled spiral of green and red stands guard on the front door, attempting to ward off the well-meaning, empty words of neighbours.
“Do not intrude. Birth in progress.”
The doorstep sees gifts pile up. Soup, chocolate, tangerines, roses of every color, more than we can count, spilling out of every vase in the house swamped in mourning mess. Like the offerings left to Santa, the gods and all those who walk between the worlds.
This morning I watch the sun come up, and I know the light is growing.