Allies

The three of us stood in Brandy Creek, periodically moving from one rock perch to another, sampling each new combination of sun and dappled shade. While our daughter played, Jeff and I staved off numbed silence by letting the almost too cold mountain water keep our feet awake. We had just gotten turned down for another house, and this time it came with a heavy reality that demanded to be reckoned with. If there was ever a place we should have gotten, it was this one. Comparable to our current rent, perfect for our needs, good location, it was a true find. My whole team of friends gave me outstanding references, I have a longstanding, positive relationship with my landlord of 17 years…and it turned out I know the owner’s oldest and best friend, for fuck’s sake. But she rented to someone else, because when it comes down to it, we look like a risk on paper. It doesn’t matter how we have defeated the numbers with our resourcefulness, our DIY abilities, our thrift luck. Our income to rent ratio is too low. We know we can do it, because we have been. I bet you even know it too. But in the Bay Area, where there is a plethora of yuppies who want to live rural and/or farm and can afford to pay for it, it turns out we’re the muck that gets left on the bottom of the barrel.

So we grappled with the meaning of all this while the Indian Rhubarb thrummed it’s low bass chorus and Fern counted Water Striders. I lept across to a boulder next to a flowering plant that I don’t know, drawn by an incredible diversity of pollinators humming around its blooms. Native honeys as well as european passed all kinds of bumbles and wasps, big and small, barely avoiding each other like teens in the school hallway in the last 30 seconds before the bell. Some flew towards me, hovering around my face to discern if I was friend or foe, and then got back to business. But one creature grabbed my full awareness, as if she had literally taken it in her brilliant golden legs. I marveled at her agility and grace, the way she moved without hesitation and her absolutely fierce determination. This ferocity is what captivated me the most. To move with such confidence in the world, commanding ownership of one’s birthright, to not wait to be given the crown, but rather to simply inhabit the throne as Queen.

The feeling she evoked in my chest pierced through the heavy dampness like a fiery spear. I leaned in, closer and closer, watching her probe the flowers, the way the antennaes moved in first, how her fine sensory ability was utilized to its full extent. I thought of what lay before me, the way I have to step up my game, the need to hone in on my path to being lucrative, the saturnian business demands that I MUST employ, even though the very idea of it makes me want to crawl under my bed…and everything else fell away around me. It was just me and Queen Wasp. Watch me, she said. Know me. Become me.

When we got back to SF, I identified her as a Great Golden Digger Wasp. I found a favorite portrait of her, to meditate on whenever I need to remember her medicine.

great_golden_digger_wasp___sphex_ichneumoneus_by_colinhuttonphoto-d67bctb
Great Golden Digger Wasp

I found many other beauties and thought I would share…

damsel_by_colinhuttonphoto-d5vpyon

insig_by_colinhuttonphoto-d63qtdv

horse_fly___hybomitra_sp__by_colinhuttonphoto-d5z6gtq

katydid_by_colinhuttonphoto-d6144lb

luna_moth___actias_luna_by_colinhuttonphoto-d616nt8

oak_treehopper___platycotis_vittata_by_colinhuttonphoto-d633xf1

soldier_bee_by_alhabshi-d4ts05w

I could never express my gratitude enough for the presence of so many allies in the world. You never know how, or when, they might show up, nor what mask they will wear. But it is a guiding star in times of stuckness, or even despair, to find and remember kinship with all things. Life loses its suck and begins to shine with sacredness, and the path is so much friendlier when you know you are not alone.

(We forgot our camera on our trip up to Shasta this past weekend, which actually was a nice break from toting it around. So I’d like to give thanks to Colin Hutton for most of these photos, and the rest can be found here, at deviantart.

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12 thoughts on “Allies

  1. seems like your persistence is already extremely Saturnian. of course never giving up never giving up never giving up can be a type of blindness. or a type of hopefulness. It depends what you must do. Need to do. that and also catch me before I move south.)) soon…

    1. you would know, mr. capricorn. not blindness, but my hope is certainly getting a run for its money. literally. we must move, we need to move, and we need a home with beauty and nature, and it doesn’t need to be perfect. thought of you this weekend, we had lots of family obligations. would love to see you soon and often. xo

  2. This just reminds me that it’s important to look deeper. To pay attention to each step..where we step and how we respond in our angst and times of “despair”. There is life all around us. Though we may try to contain it, these tiny creatures around us continue on with their daily routines, no matter what the obstacle and in a world of giants. Sure it’s easy to get caught up in the desire, the overwhelming need for a different way of life. I tend to hover on the side that is a little less optimistic. I wonder. I have so much. Enough. But satisfaction is a funny thing. It is defined by it’s maker, and we can be fickle ones. Thanks for sharing. Always a pleasure to read along. Enjoy the day.

  3. the queen.
    the queen.

    i feel for you so hard, the yuppies who want to farm and eat local

    and grow those brandywines but maybe make sure they have a wifi connection first.

    i’m so sorry.
    sometimes i feel like that yuppie. the yuppie who grew up country poor and wanted to shop at the mall but now reads barbara kingsolver and frequents farmer’s markets.

    really, we’re stuck in a house so removed from anything organic, my surroundings are synthetic, yet it’s the the fruit of my partner’s labors??? we try to use as little as we can.

    little true comfort does the comfort trap bring, another kind of hopelessness.

    the allies are there, there are allies every where. for me it’s the morning glories heralding blue every dawn on my neighbor’s hedge…

    i pray your prayers and wish your wishes
    and continue to day dream about the time we’ll split cost of that 3million $ chunk of land in marin and start a community farm.

    love you, and fern, and jeff.

  4. Oh Mary, that’s really shit about the house. What a pain. Sending you some extra hope vibes if yours are wearing thin. The right place will come at the right time. I admire you so much for how connected you are to the bigger picture – or the smaller picture, even. The world of untapped magic. You are magic, you can make it happen.

  5. Hey Mary, that stinks. I feel heavy for you. I want to stamp my feet and yell “THAT’s NOT FAIR! YOU’RE NOT BEING FAIR!” to the crappyness. I saved the life of a moth the other day, in the shower…one that I’d normally just help along down the shower drain, I picked out and put her up to dry. I really thought she’d die, and that I was prolonging her misery. Turned out a few hours later she had made it down to the floor, her wings a little crumply but dry. I took her outside with all the hope for her survival. That made me happy. xo love

  6. i have my own struggles you know, wildly different but just as heavy on my soul, i would surmise. the guiding allies i basically owe my life to them. i’m currently trying, intending, calling my self into the seat of the goddess. discerning the difference between her and the queen, and the princess even. it makes my belly open up and feel free when i tune into my own personal understanding of these differences. (i’m not saying goddess is what you need, i’m just relating with you, and my current process…goddess is my medicine now. i don’t doubt that queen, golden digger no less, is yours.) getting to know the energy of our current medicines feels like a blessing through and through. i am sorry it seems you are having to take set back after set back in the midst of your fierce intentions and prayers. what the fuck is all i can say. and i say it just once and then say, ok, i’m fierce in this intention and my faith, i know what i’m dreaming for and of and why. and if we could have coffee i’d relate to you my own personal wanderings around my body soul realm and how my getting aligned with the goddess is basically life and death. that’s really what it feels like. i like that you forgot your camera. your words are perfect.

  7. Glad you have your allies.
    Also, the house next door to us is up for rent. 3 bedrooms large yard, $950 a month. Being your neighbor would be a dream. Just saying. xo

  8. Mary, I am amazed at how, in front of such a dumb, unfair, money-oriented reality, you are still very much attuned to the natural world, grasping immediately the presence and message of the Great Golden Digger Wasp – and that you find such balanced, beautiful way to describe it all: your feelings, the world around you, human and wild.

    You should indeed have gotten that house, and there must still be landlords out there who would prefer having you as a tenant over any yuppie. I admire your resilience and fierce resolve, like the queen you are.

  9. girl, I know! damn damn DAMN those yuppies and their fat wads of $$$! It’s the same way here and it’s sooo frustrating. Rents just keep going up and up. I feel I am at a definite crossroads and asking for guidance and waiting for the proper path to be illuminated. I want simplicity, less bills, less things, country life… good luck on your house hunting journey! I know how awful it can be at times. sending tranquil and positive vibes into the rental world, you’ll find your gem!! xo m

  10. It’s odd, how sometimes these allies come and we can’t yet decipher their meaning, what they’re trying to say, but they are talking to us, they’re talking to you because you’re a special, magical person, you’re a talker to plants and animals and people and spirits (btw update on that pls;) and you will find your way. Your perfect house, place is waiting, I really believe that, patiently for your family to arrive.

    That’s. It.

  11. oh mary, i’m sorry. i understand what you’re going through all too well. but, like milla said i too believe your dream home is waiting for you. sending a hug your way.

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