The goddess dwells in the trees, their roots, trunk, branches, twigs, leaves, buds and all the creatures who depend on them. She connects the trees in the forest through the mycelial network. She IS the forest.
She is the mother tree, as are all mothers, grandmothers, wild women and crones. In her glorious decline and eventual death, she gives her essence to her sapling children. She teaches them what she knows, what she has learned the hard way, the only way.
I remember as a young woman walking in the woods, proud, strong, unafraid. There were no bogeymen or threat of snares wrapping around my ankles. I could leap fallen trees and wide brooks. The goddess stared at me through wide deer eyes, glinting fox eyes, unnerving raptor eyes, the bright eyes of mice, frogs, and little gray birds.
Later during my adventures with hallucinogenic drugs, I became the goddess of the woods able to grow tall as the tallest tree or take shelter underneath a mushroom cap. I did not try to hide my body or straighten its growing curves. I drank water and peed at the same time, certain that my body was a vehicle for moving water from one part of the forest to another. When the wind rose, my hands conducted a symphony of waving branches, and leaves blushed crimson and danced as they fell just to please me.
The goddess smiles through her tears as fears are dissolved and Henry embraces the nurse who finally gets my port to open. No need to stiffly hide behind the roles of Western medicine. The alchemy of the goddess opens us to other worlds.
I ponder the three fates, the spinner, the measurer, and the snipper. I wonder if they are bored, cynical, itchy for another job, tired of the endless procession of unfulfilled lives, or of lives dedicated to penance and remediation. Are they afraid to be hopeful for a bright light, an outsider, an awakened one? How do they bring to their work a sense of humor and compassion? Are they eager to break protocol by giving a juicy piece of advice?
My marble goddess bides her time and has bided her time but she is not locked in time. She is born of the time it takes for countless seashells to drift down to the seabed, to be compressed into limestone, folded under the mantle, kneaded, crushed, heated, and re-crystallized and then upthrust into a marble mountain in Italy where she yielded to the quarrymen’s chisel and wedge.
She did not want to be found. She did not want to be unEarthed. She did not want to be ripped from the bosom of Mother Earth but there she sat amidst other unEarthed stones, cold and lonely.
A goddess sculptor saw something in her, shipped her across the sea to California, sold her to a man goddess who sold her to another sculptor who returned to the goddess’s arms. This is when I found her and brought her to Colorado where she allowed me to find her essence biding her time within the stone. Ten years and counting. She did not want to move fast. She wanted only to move slowly, chip by chip.
I catch a glimpse of the calm goddess in the dark pool of Esperanza’s eye, a flash of hummingbird colors silked around my throat, my open eye reflecting the cerulean sky.
In another glimpse, I see the untamed goddess in the flashing eyes of wild horses living uncorralled, unfettered. They know the cost of freedom.
I hear the goddess in the wind, sometimes whispering, sometimes howling. I sense her presence in my beloved ghosts: my sisters, parents, friends, mentor. They witness and murmur and pick me up when I fall down.
I bathe in the goddess in Henry’s eyes when he looks at me with soul bared. Only once have I seen him shut down the goddess’s loving gaze, dim it, starve it of oxygen. It scared us both so bad, I realized my only choice was to let him go and hope that the goddess would return him to me.
I skate on the thin ice of the goddess when I imagine myself cancer free, poison free, able to transmute poison into life-giving substances, return from my hero’s journey through the grinding jaws of Western medicine and back into the compassionate lap of the goddess as she soothes with potions, balms, broths, tinctures, prayers, healing hands, wild medicine and love.