Today chores were completed, family drew close and the world continued to spin in its ever seemingly frustrating circles of divisions. It was time to return to the Peace of her Elder Tree.
Today the Signs had all been about the number 4 as it jumped out at her at every chance it could. She thought upon how often we used this number. The four points of the compass, Four Elements. Four Cornerstones and more.
The four corners of the world were often spoken of, yet Mother Earth was round, a perfect circle as was the Moon and Sun to our eyes.
The woman smiled at how Mankind built his home in squares and angles, ridged blocks and sharp corners. And an image of the pyramids came to mind. She thought about his personality traits, not easily bending in the wind or flowing in the stream of life. He always appeared to be fighting it, wanting to shape nature to his design rather than living in co-operations with it.
Nature rarely followed a straight line for long. The Ivy she now painted wound its way around the bird’s nest. Birds knew the strength of the circle. The woman leaned back stretching as she turned over the record which had stopped playing on the turntable. Another circle as each thought went around and around in her head.
The Elder was taking shape now as she mixed some blues and reds in her dish for the berries. The Elder was silent again as she absorbed herself in her task of adding the Elderberries in their bunches to where she felt they needed to be. As her paintbrushes worked she followed her heart, her vision saw another world unfolding inside her mind as she settled deeper within the Elder’s Magic.
The Heart of the Elder.
Her mind flew back to her childhood to the happy times of her memory when she climbed trees and jumped brooks with her younger brother. Carefree days of long Summer Sun helping farmers harvest hay. She thought how she had gathered the Elderberries for her Aunt who would use their flowers in Spring to make sparkling wine, and make syrup and jams and delicious cordials from the Autumn berries. She loved being outdoors, it took her away from the fear of arguments and the responsibilities of watching over her four younger siblings.
She thought fondly of her Dad and the special times of walking the Dales and collecting the green Hazelnut cobs in the early months of September. Eating half before they got home with the nutcrackers tucked in his pocket to save their teeth. He’d always a sharp penknife and would often cut the Hazel rods to make walking sticks. It was the one thing she had wanted when he had passed, for he had made a special one with a ram horn on the top for a handle he used for walking. He had found the weathered skull upon one of his many lonely hill top walks much later in life.
Walking stick with Rams horn handle. My Father Made.
Around and around her thoughts went as each brush stroke filled in more leaves at the tip of the branches. Her mind thought of the overhanging branch of the large Beech tree in their childhood garden and how in winter storms her Dad had made them all sleep down stairs for fear of the big tree toppling over.
At the thought of the Beech tree she remembered the scars inflicted into its bark as her brother had calved his initials into its trunk. And how with a pellet gun he had aimed at it piercing it over and over in target practice.
Years later as an adult those same scars were still there to be seen. They were not as sharp to the eye, one had to lift their head higher to see them. But they were still visible to those who knew where to look.
But the scars had not prevented the Tree from growing. They were now part of the tree who had grown from the inside outwards.
The woman thought of all the layers which had gone into her own growth. She had no visible outward scars on her skin. Hers had been hidden within the circles of her own memories.
The Tribal Universe is a circle of learning, everything is related, the woman had long since understood this knowledge. Standing back from her painting, she saw how the snake had wound its way around the Elder and up into the branches. Each branch a different path. A road taken, each a journey of discovering who we are.
Branches of Life
We are each climbing our tree, stepping onto our various branches, hauling ourselves higher as we aim to reach the top. Some are sure footed, climbing easily, while others can slip back losing their footing falling on hard ground and they struggle to pick themselves back up to climb again. Some do not even have the courage to climb the tree for fearing they will fall.. Fear holding many back from exploring and testing one’s self to higher goals.
We are all upon the same Tree each holding onto our our particular pathway. Like leaves we may feel separate swaying in the breeze, yet each one is part of the cycle and each one is helping nourish the whole.
Everything has a time, an evolutionary path through their cycles. Like the Tree it had to shut down, pull back and have its periods of rest as well as growth. Throughout History the woman saw how Mankind had also gone through such cycles.
She thought upon the events in the world. How one thing affects another, each a piece within the whole. She put her brush down and stood up arching her aching back as she stepped back to see the whole of her painting.
Elder Tree Complete
When we stand back, we see the Earth is alive right from its centre, the womb with its red blood, hot liquid gushing through her arteries. Her veins of waterways merging into her vast oceans tides ebbing and flowing with the Moons Wax and Wane. While the hairs upon her outer skin are the billions of trees which hold her foundations together. Supporting both Great and Small, from Elephants to Insects, Whales to birds..
A Natural democracy prevails, all things having the right to exist, all things being equal. She thought back through her memories, her history. We all of us have our place in history, each of us shaping it, calving out our places within it. Even if we may not realise the scars we inflict or leave behind us. She saw how the circle of life repeats, and she knew deep down that we were reaping the consequences of neglect and greed. What seeds we had sown had to be reaped. What goes around comes around she thought.
The Elder had known no words were needed today, for all the work being done had to come from one’s own BE-ing. As one explored their own journey which took them deep into their roots, taking them both High and Low along the branches of memory. One had to go within themselves to expand and grow.
She sighed, as she finished what she had started, she also knew that no one, and nothing was ever lost as she gave thanks to the Elder, for all that it had given. For she knew she was just one among many who were travelling back home.
For All roads lead us home, and we were all part of the same Tree of Life.
The water-colour painting complete size is 10×07 inches 254 x 178mm on 100% cotton.
© Sue Dreamwalker 2017.