T’is the time in nature for potential to begin to find itself. Still at rest, but thinking and feeling about whether to sprout or not. In the northern hemisphere, still frozen in a lot of places, so, we seeds, we wait, except for some brave souls who send small scouts out to test the earliest of the longer days.
Here on Earth, the tilt of the planet creates seasons of rest and renewal. I love this time of year when things are just beginning, when weather is changeable, when many plants are still aslumber, but a few take this opportunity to do their thing, like the snow drop.
Everyone has their timing, though. I remember the first spring I spent in Houston after we’d planted a certain type of tree (can’t remember its name) in our back yard. We waited for it to leaf out. And we waited. And we waited. And we began to fret that the tree had died. But we waited. And sure enough, in May (now, down here in Texas, May is basically summer!), it finally leafed out! The life was always there, moving slowly from root to branch, resting, until that moment.
So, early or late, every potential has its trigger for growth.
Our lovely wrangler for this hop, Joy Vernon, gave us a grand description with multiple cards to explore the idea of this trigger, this awakening of life, of passion, of everything. She says that one of the cards associated with this time is the Six of Swords. A perfect analog for my theme of rest along the way.
The theme of resting while moving along the way to the next interesting thing is expressed in all kinds of subtleties in various artists’ depictions of this card. I always found it fascinating what sort of feeling each artist would give, because you can look at a rest after exertion from the point of view of “so glad that’s over” to “oh, dear, do I have the energy for what’s next?” And then there’s the idea of whether you are on your own or have help.
In the traditional RWS card, the figures in the boat have someone else pushing and steering for them, so there’s a sense of being helped, protected by the swords in front, but also of being exhausted and possibly feeling discouraged.
In Ciro Marchetti’s Gilded Tarot Royale, though, the young lady is definitely in charge of her own direction, alone, and looking quite determined and prepared to take on the next stage once her traveling break is done. Quite a different feeling in what amounts to the same card of the deck. But the basics are still the same. I always get the feeling of moving (through the water) and yet not moving (being still in the boat) at the same time.
I also take this symbolism as a signal for patience, and for not assuming that a pause is forever (like my tree story above, you never know what’s going on beneath the bark). There is a time and purpose for everything, both above and below, inside and outside.
I will leave you with this meditative poem from the tree’s view of being awake while seemingly asleep.
On the other side is serenity
I am a tree, growing by rings of the year,
losing a branch or twig now and then,
being bent and creaked by the wind.
But inside, deeply under scratchy bark,
my sap flows silently in the dark
to every twig and leaf, flower and fruit.
It takes time to find serenity’s root.
Time to stretch through the growing pains.
Time to feel the sun’s warmth.
Until I stand so tall and broad and still,
that wind can barely rustle my leaves.
And sap flows slowly from root to tip.
Rain drips quietly, one drop, two drops,
down through the leafy canopy.
Serenity inside, serenity outside.
A silent shelter for all who come
seeking respite from the storm of life.
Serenity nurtured over time.
Touch the roughness of the bark
that protects the sweet rivers of life within.
Feel the heart of me, the tree, beating.
On this side is serenity.
Now, breathe, because you can. And breathe again. Take up your oar and push on to my lovely neighbors, left or right (see the links below), it matters not which, for the blog hop is a circle and always comes ’round. 🙂