On Tuesday, after we voted, Fern and I drove to one of my favorite little trails in Marin.
It was still mid-morning when we arrived, having taken flight directly from the polling place. I had participated in the society of men, and I felt the need to take my real vote out into the forest, to the falling leaves and browning brambles.
And we were greeted by a different kind of masculine. Usnea, also known as Old Man’s Beard. A magical and medicinal lichen.
Fern is a connoisseur of buckets, and she brought her new favorite.
We were in search of Bay nuts (inspired by Missa who regaled me with stories from the Women’s Herbal Symposium while I prayed to the goddess of parking during our outing last Friday.) and I had chosen this trail after it had appeared in my mind’s eye while considering where to go.
We found very few Bay nuts however, most having dropped to the ground perhaps two weeks before. At first Fern was disappointed, but cheered considerably when we found another dear friend.
This wild rose bush stood by herself in a small meadow, bedecked with nothing but her crown jewels.
Fern nibbled on an over ripe hip, savoring the tang. Remnants on her chin, we stopped to make wishes. I make an effort not to spread the seeds of enthusiastic species in the wild…with the exception of dandelion and thistles. Eeyores and Scots descendants everywhere are grateful.
As we walked on, the cobwebs of politics and personal concern were wiped from my eyes, and everything became crystalline. With quiet mind, I was able to encourage Fern to walk the whole trail, despite intermittent whining. The shy woods began to reveal its magic to our gentle presence, and tired feet were rewarded around each corner with new subtle wonders.
Attuned to place, veils were lifted aside by fae folk, and I was blessed to meet an ally whose acquaintance I have desired to make.
The front pockets in a new bag from a friend were the receptacle for handfuls of thanks.
Towards the end of the trail, we were rewarded by one of my favorite occurrences. A proliferation of buckeyes.
Full of tannins like acorns, they require a lot of processing to eat, and were a last resort staple food for north coast indigenous folks. Only that scout of the woodland, the squirrel, will eat them.
But no matter. They just feel so good in the hand, and you can’t help but collect a skirt full.
They hum with possibility, teasing the imagination to invent playful usefulness.
We walked back to the car with quiet and satisfied hearts. We had marked the ballot in favor of life, of love, of earthly belonging.
Have a good weekend.
P.S. Anne’s post about our time together is a beauty.