In the middle of last summer’s heat, the multi-year drought affecting my state wove it’s cyclical death spell deeper into our lives. My thriving garden suddenly turned brown, withered and died. This happened to my company’s flourishing garden as well. It felt like the dying happened overnight and I felt a horrible sense of dread and futility.
We had been religiously watering and then suddenly our world became scorched dead. I grew increasingly anxious and dis-heartened, unjoyful and full of dread. Our careful stewardship of the plants as we watched their seasonal lives transform seeds to roots, leaves to flowers creating food for all ended in apparent brown death. Our heartfelt tending to the plants and the ambient bird and insect life in our garden that thrived on them seemed for naught.
The bees died. I didn’t realize the extent of my heartbreak after watching them interact with my flowering plants and ensuring they were well watered in our bird bath, only to discover that suddenly they were gone. There were no more bees. Then the apple tree withdrew it’s life from it’s woody body. This loss of life in the garden depressed more than I realized.
This summer though, after a fantastical deluge of a rainy season this past winter, Wizard Husband said let’s try again. We returned to the garden, assessing what was salvageable, weeding, mourning losses of plants and jumping in surprised glee when a tenacious root survived.
We planted vegetables, lots of flowers and herbs and took on the sacred task of tending life. And it returned. The Earth responded and we have food for all again.
The bees returned! They came back to the bird bath where they spend summer days and got busy feasting from the flowers.
As an added blessing, they also flocked to the little jars of cuttings I put under the lemon tree for daily partial light. The bees believe this is their spa and so it is. I tend to them twice a day.
Unbelievably the apple tree began to return again. The top branches are dead but the birds like to alight in them so they remain a witchy silhouette against the sky, but runners rushed up from the bottom of her trunk so I am hopeful in all ways.
This surge of life also helped me walk through the heaviness of depression I experienced this year. I feel somewhat resurrected myself and hopeful as I more deeply embody the message of the solstices – there is always death in life and life in death. God our Pagan ancestors were so masterfully wise!
Keeping calm in this time of cultural drought knowing life returns when cared for. We all must tend to our own loving expressions in this world now. Blessings to all sentient beings, the ancestors and the relations. So must it be! Namaste!