Circle of Life

Each December I feel as if I am participating in an ancient rite when I tip the aromatic branches of our native balsam tree to bag and bring home to make a wreath.

Each year as I cut the twigs I ask to be forgiven if this act hurts the tree.

Each year standing in front of the balsam I give thanks for all trees but especially for this one because of her fragrance…

I remember going into the forest with my mother as a child to gather princess pine, a ground loving creeper, to fashion into a wreath…

I remember my brother…

I remember taking my youngest son into the woods to gather balsam to make our wreaths…

I remember my grandchildren…

When I sit down on the floor I spread the branches of sweetly scented needles around me along with a pair of scissors for further trimming. I have already made the form for the wreath out of cardboard. The frame is woven with garden string.

As I trim the branches and gather them into clusters to fill out the ring I am alert to nuances. The air around me thickens in anticipation. Lily B, my dove coos. The presence of my two dogs reminds me that I am never without the dearest of friends…

As the wreath comes to life I create intentions for the coming year weaving the past and present into the future.

I breathe deeply inhaling the fragrance of balsam deep into my lungs.

Prayers for All Nature – animals, birds, trees, and people, rise out of each breath – forming a sphere of light that hovers above the wreath.

When the wreath is complete all boundaries dissolve.

The Circle of Life remains.


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