The week’s stress comes to a head on Sundays, and the call from the forest is strongest then. Come dance with the trees! Come lose yourself in the quiet! Come heal! So I listen and go.
It snowed last night. Not a dusting but a proper, North Country snow. Everything was melting over the last couple days, but my trek to the forest once more found me knee-deep in cold, white dunes.
The forest welcomed me. It seems, whenever I reach the hedge and ask permission to enter, a great wind blows and beckons me further in. There was a stillness, but it was a comfortable stillness. An anticipation, really; a “let’s hunker down and weather this once more” sort of feeling. In the distance, returned song birds chirped, promising the green season to come.
An Cailleach has shaken her cloak once more so it felt right to visit an old tree in the woods that I have gone to for several years when I want to speak with her. There is definitely something of her about it. It is gnarled and full of holes. It is the hag tree in the woods. I made offerings – corn for her deer herds and a big, thick slice of homemade bread for the Goddess herself. Some UPG I’ve received repeatedly is that she loves homemade bread. I thanked her for the many lessons of winter. Once more, she has taught us that we are not in charge. The seasons shift when the spirits and the Natural World feel it is right. All we can do is adapt and be patient.
After giving the offerings, I stood and closed my eyes. I listened to the sounds of winter. The wind howling through the branches, the trees creaking… It’s the voice of An Cailleach. Soon she will quiet and I will have to wait to hear her whisper and shout again.