May: Taking Heart

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” – W. B. Yeats

Along came May, the most heartening month, all greening boughs and burgeoning hedgerows dancing with new life under the Beltane milk moon. The alliums popped like fireworks in the garden and today, exactly today, my ‘moondance’ poppies shed their oval shells to reveal silken yellow petals to the sky.

The campanula is out: galaxies of five-pointed purple stars with little heart-shaped leaves pouring over the walls, growing quite implausibly out of cracks in the concrete and from the smidgens of earth which have found their way into the brickwork. I like how they represent resistance – a microcosmic reminder that life goes on surviving and thriving, even when the odds seem quite stacked against it.

My garden, like my daughter, reminds me to take heart. Usually I, ostrich-like, avoid the news, but lately I’ve been reading too much of it, mostly bad. I’ve been spending Myla’s nap times trying to write, and producing nothing, which leaves me frustrated and tired by the time she wakes up. The pots scattered around the yard are like my words: I go out and restlessly move them around a bit from time to time, but the effect is mostly the same, a scattered, hotch-potch mess, never finished, never good enough.

But nature does its work. Spring becomes summer. Seeds germinate and eventually, flowers burst into bloom. The mess turns into something beautiful beneath the blossoming umbrella of the elder tree and hopelessness is made to feel impossible, even ridiculous.

The wheel turns.

I’ve been heartened by having two more articles published recently on Elephant Journal:

At the same time, I’ve also had a couple of query emails met with silence by editors. But that’s going to happen. Even if I don’t know what it is I want to write about, it feels good to be writing something.

A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”

RIP Maya Angelou (1928 – 2014) who died this week; Poet, Dancer, Producer, Playwright, Director, Author.

To share the words of another great, soulful writer, Clarissa Pinkola Estes:

Mis estimados: Do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world right now… Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.

You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement…”

Please read the whole piece at It’s just beautiful.

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