With time's passing, we've noticed the little lump under the tree decreasing in size. Two weeks ago, I walked past and thought, 'This is exactly how it's suppose to be.' We come from earth, we return to earth. The little pile continued to diminish.
Yesterday I walked to the evergreen and was shocked to find the earth was flat. Only twigs and leaves remained, undisturbed, still as we had placed them. No sooner had I thought, 'The deer is gone,' I heard, "My body may be gone, but I am still here." Bending toward earth, I replied, "Hi, sweet spirit of the Deer." As sure as I stood there, the deer stood by me.
I paused taking in the satisfaction and gratitude of having stopped that first day to do what was important, to shed tears yet feel great peace in honoring and burying a life.
Walking back to the roadside, I noticed a nearby soft drink can. For the first time in months, I had tucked a plastic bag in my pocket before leaving to walk. I bagged the can, then a scrap of cardboard which was followed by fragments of what looked like a fender from a wreck months ago. Like Hansel and Gretel following bread crumbs, I picked up trash working my way into the little wooded area adjacent to a neighboring pond. This small area covered in fallen leaves and sticks was dotted with glass bottles, brown, clear and green many containing dirt. These were not 'modern' bottles but old ones thrown into the pond some time ago and washed to land by the recent rains and melting snows. As my bag filled, I made two piles to later retrieve.
Typically I would collect trash with a sense of disgust and judgment for whomever unthinkingly left such a mess. This day I was happy to be part of a process. Oddly as I contentedly collected, I came upon a rose, a white artifical rose buried in the dead leaves, limbs and trash. I thought of purity and innocence symbols of the white rose as well as the young deer.
I flashed on the Mother's Day ritual from childhood, in which my sister and I would wear red roses pinnned to our dresses for church as would our mother, symbolizing that our mothers were living. My grandmother would wear a white rose symbolizing her mother's death.
Picking up the white rose, I thought of Mother Earth. Mother Earth as she was known in her vast wildness before we came along is gone. That Mother Earth is dead. I did not like this thought.
Then I knew. Mother Earth isn't dead. As with the deer, She is very much alive. She lives in my blood and my bones. She lives on. Everything that has been, that once was, still is just in different form. Everything lives on without, within.
During yesterday's walk, I found myself. I found myself in the Deer. I found the Deer in me. During yesterday's walk, I found myself. I found myself in Earth and I found the Earth in me.
-Dawn! The Good News Muse, 2/10