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  • Mj Pettengill

Fragments of Hope


Crocuses in a Time of Need

Nothing has changed, in that the wild woman who lives inside of me longs to be outside. It’s how I find freedom and peace, where answers lie in wait. It’s the way of my world. The changes are so profound, where I seek counsel from the elders—the Great White Pines—in remnants of an ancient pine grove. Yet, I hesitate.

I looked out over the trees that I know so well, as we age in unison. I listen to their cries, their grief of losing brother, sister, and parent trees during the great clearing. As long-standing witnesses, they hear my song of sorrow and the pain of an overburdened world. They sway in the wind, nodding approval as I plant a seed and scramble to save what would be lost.

This is the place where my spirit wanders now, in the past, and future. There is no such thing as time when it comes to this wild and quiet place where harmonies resonate between earth and skies.

What did I seek on this different day? Nourishment from the intimate spaces between winter and spring—life and death. That was it. New life challenges us as we navigate a world that is passionately wounded and falling apart. It is time to reawaken all that is imaginable and buried deep in the bones of the land. Now that we have the shovel, the time, and the strength, it is time to dig. Transformation is inevitable.

How do I know this? I pay attention to my instincts. You know that I will tell you, they never lie. I walked along the uneven path—a blend of mud, snow, and skeletons of plants from the previous season—that winds around the sloping hill. The fresh, green mullein calls out from a patch of tangled, brown grass that hasn’t had a chance to catch up.

With each step, I rallied. I gained strength. I know that I often mention chickadees, but they are present. I have no choice. We acknowledge each other. One fluttered away from the feeder, perched on a branch, and thanked me for caring. As long as I draw a breath, I will continue to do so.

Then, it happened. The moment that joy poured into all of my heart and filled every part of my soul. There, in a quiet corner, where faeries frequent and dragonflies stop to rest, was what brought me to my senses. In the middle of that bright spot, was a patch of crocuses feeding on fragments of snow and hope that we can sense but cannot see. I am humbled and take a deep bow to Our Mother. Thank you.

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