Frog Moon Meditation: Frog Woman Am I

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(Green frog in my little pond in Maine)

 

Tonight is full moon and in the northeast we call April’s full moon the “frog moon” because all the wood frogs and peepers are croaking and peeping, mating, and laying mounds of jellied eggs in vernal pools. In June, toads begin to trill laying their strings of eggs in ditches and ponds. Here in Abiquiu I am frog – less and toad –less, missing my amphibious friends mightily…

 

I associate frogs with resurrection – the awakening of Earth from her winter’s sleep – but here in the southwest this seasonal marker of spring is absent. My friend Iren tells me that there will surely be toads laying eggs down by the river’s rivulets, and last year there was a toad in her pond whose trill I recorded in late April. Around the same time I also found one dead toad on my road that someone had run over, a sight that grieved me greatly. This year – nothing. I have no way of knowing how much the drought may be affecting the appearance of toads but I know how much I miss them and long to hear just one sweet trill…

 

Last night we had a few drops of rain, just enough to moisten the ground and open a couple of bird cage primroses that hug the red earth with a tenacity that astounds me … but nary a toad song.

 

The drought drones on…

 

This year the Frog moon and May Day (only a couple of days apart) will pass without celebration because not only are toads absent, but so are most of the high desert wildflowers…

 

In myth frogs and toads are often portrayed as creatures who are shapeshifters. Thus, I usually associate a lack of clarity, understanding, or a disguised identity with these water loving amphibians who breathe through their skin and spend so much extended time underground, especially here in the southwest.

 

I notice that I too experience lack of clarity (froginess?) with respect to who I am and the direction I think I need to be taking in my life that comes with this seasonal shift that seems to be completely at odds with the Earth’s “waking up.” Each spring I have to remind myself that this state of fuzziness is part of my internal cyclic process. I live this season through my body.

 

More important I have to remember that the gift of life just is, and that there is “no way” to live beyond moving with the seasonal cycles. There is no direction home.

 

To combat the spring fog I used to take to the woodlands to search for wildflowers and frogs eggs while clearing and inspecting my flower gardens for new growth, spending each day living in the joyous moment like the birds do as they sing up each dawn while anticipating the arrival of much beloved black bears …

 

Here it is harder. I am out of synch with the season. The drought seems to have captured me internally although I begin each day at the river’s edge, giving thanks for this serpentine sea green body of water.

 

Yesterday I planted iris and two pots with seeds. Charcoaled clouds brought the hope of a soaking rain (which never came) … I awakened from an afternoon nap suddenly, having had a dream that told me I might lose my animals. Sharp images of both of my precious dogs griped me with raw fear, first for the lives of Hope and Lucy, but also because I know that dreaming about losing my animals could mean that I am losing touch with critical parts of myself. I always feel such helplessness in the face of such a message.

 

Soon I was on my way to my neighbor’s house to scatter wild grasses and seeds. Imagine my stunned shock when I was told casually that my two little Chihuahuas were eating ant poison that had been distributed around a new house without my knowledge. Because I am so vigilant with respect to my girls, they didn’t get a chance to ingest much of the poison but at 5 and 6 pounds I knew both were at risk.

 

Poison control did not reassure me. I had no choice but to wait and see… A sleepless night passed uneventfully. My little girls seem fine this morning, apparently having suffered no ill effects, but I am struck by the clarity of the dream message. My mind may be foggy, but my dreaming body is very much awake and warned me that my dogs were going to be threatened by something that hadn’t happened yet.

 

If a person doesn’t experience precognition (dreaming the future) then the possibility of it seems absurd. I, however, live in this watery place between worlds where dreams forecast reality – sometimes literally or figuratively. Often both, I never know. In this sense I am very frog or toad like inhabiting two worlds at once and crossing over from one to another through my dreaming body, through animal sightings/absences, tree conversations, or the presence/absence of earth, air, fire, and water.

 

I find it chilling that this year the frogs are coming to me with warnings. I do know that the ongoing absence of water has left me feeling more than uneasy about the future not just here in Abiquiu, but everywhere because every peep or trill speaks to the necessity of potable water for continued life on Earth.

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