Thursday, February 24, 2005

Dormancy Has Broken

(to be hummed to the tune of Morning Has Broken)
like the first dormancy, blackbird has spoken, like the first crow . . .

We first really noticed it at the funeral Sunday last; green new growth. We always look. Usually the buds on the maples burst about Ground Hog’s Day and give the forest mountains a reddish tint. The crocuses bloom and daffodils (some of my veryvery favorites) emerge from the dirt. But this year it was a shrub at the cemetery we saw first.

Since then there were a couple days of very warm weather and there is noticeable green growth in the fescue grass in the field, which is one reason people planted fescue – because it stays green longer, grows sooner.

And the senecio is red. The folk name for senecio is ragwort because it is good for women on their periods. I love that. Ragwort. It is a beautiful little plant, heart-shaped leaves, growing in the swampy areas, the ditches, the transition edges, the waste areas. When it flowers it sends up a stalk with a spray of yellow flowers. And it flowers all summer long. When I mow it, it smells wonderful – I want to get an essential oil maker thingie and make an oil out of it and then make my body butters and solid perfumes scented with that.

And the bottom of those heart-shaped leaves is red. Bright red to almost purple sometimes. Those are the good leaves, the ones to make the tinctures good for women’s things from. In herbalism, in magic, there is a doctrine of like treats like, so red things are good for blood, that sort of thing.

And the senecio breaks dormancy early. And spring is coming. And the chickens are laying better. And the garden beds are largely turned over and beautiful, no longer ringing clay clods. And many plants are up in the hothouse. And the animals are starting to shed their winter coats. And the sun is up earlier and later, the work day longer. And our bodies warm and stretch and lean into the strenuousness of it.

Like the Green Man stretches as he awakens, toots a bit on his Pan Pipes, dances a little jig, looks around for a nice muse to have his way with.

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