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  • Writer's pictureMj Pettengill

Marya of the Wood: The Hermit Thrush Calls My Name

Updated: May 17, 2022

Twilight    CCO
Twilight CCO

I stand at the edge of time—twilight—when there can be nothing but truth. The ancient ones walked in these wild places, imparting wisdom in each rock, tree, and stream. The intense stillness pauses long enough to allow the hermit thrush to call my name. Again, if I am careful, I may forget to breathe. I ask if there is a more beautiful song to fall upon my ear. I am told, not at that moment. I know that when the time is right, there are many songs and many voices, reminding me of this dream within a dream.

The land is quiet, absolute, and the pond without a ripple. A wise crow rustles, looking with one cautious eye, awaiting its turn to rise. Slightly bent trees whisper secrets told only by dark blue mountains—guardian spirits—that embrace us as a mother does to her breast. Long-forgotten stories are carried throughout by the rich moss and meandering lichen. Avoiding the sacred yarrow, I take another step in the damp grass. Remembering to breathe, I take a bow to the ghosts of the trees—stumps of what once was—admiring the myriad of colors in death, covering them like a well-woven cloak. As I continue to move towards the wood, I find solace in the cold, wet leaves stuck to the soles of my feet. Previously tucked into vague, silver, and purple clouds, the buried moon looks down on me. Smaller worlds held close within droplets that cling to the needles of the pines threaten to fall. First, I hesitate, but I know where to take the next step. It is in this moment of truth that I am shown that little has changed. It is knowing that deep within myself, with or without the light of the moon, there lies a map that will take me beyond the veil. We are always given a choice to follow our intuition, claim and reclaim the life-giving power of Our Mother. We need not vanish in pale shadows, alienated from our essence. To be silenced, overlooked, or crushed leads to an uncertain death. As I take the next step, I honor life and creation. I wait for the call of the hermit thrush to signal that it is best to celebrate a world in which we belong and to release any grieving for life lost. For it is in this rich land that I am rooted and where I will continue to grow. I know what life was, is, and will be. As I know what it is to carry life within the womb, I will honor and cherish our place in the great womb of Our Mother. May it not be broken. But instead, thrive and flourish again and again. Suddenly, the light of the moon surrenders to the birth of the sun, and the hermit thrush calls my name. The silence gives way to the waking of a new day—intimate and brimming with the promises held in all life and living. It is time to return to the fertile fields and collect herbs for my basket. It is time to celebrate healing, nourishment, and a life worth living. The link below is the beautiful song of the hermit thrush, in case you haven't heard it.

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