The Gate

The Gate

Unaccustomed to joy

his kindness

barely torched

 her cells still

under fierce attack

from too

many anti –bodies.

What registered was

quick – silver shining

a clasp so easily undone…

  A golden sun

illuminated two

 leaf strewn paths

 gilded in bronze.

  Welcomed by Hemlocks

  at Mary’s House ,

 she conjured

 a creeping vine

of partridgeberry 

 hugging

    mossy granite boulders,

    crimson berries on display.

partridgeberry a true creeper

He couldn’t know that 

his act of

generosity

opened a floodgate

  to hope.

 Below, the river eyed

an orange clad hunter

stalking his prey

with outright suspicion.

 The stars that night

 repeat the story…

Orion pursues the Great Bear

on her Spiral Journey

 until he slips beneath

the horizon

for another year.

In many ancient and some extant traditions November is considered to be “the space in between”.  In the Celtic tradition the old year comes to a close with All Hallows and the Feast of the Dead a three day festival that ends with All Souls day on November 2nd. The new year doesn’t begin until winter solstice…During this dark month a starry firmament cloaks us in darkness. This is a time to reflect and dream, to create intentions, to let go of what is no longer needed. It is a time to acknowledge and deal with rage and sorrow, limitations, aging, the loss of family and friends – I could go on and on here. If we can lean into this month with an open yet wary heart new insights illuminate the night and this is my intention for this month. Not to get caught by extremes, or to act out dark feelings, but to own and take responsibility for them as best as I can. 

November is also a double-edged month. Hunters abound. Stars spiral around the night sky telling an ancient story of the hunter and his prey, perhaps highlighting that relationship between the two is part of ‘all there is’. The fact that humans project this story onto the stars suggests this pattern has persisted for millennia and involves all life, and all species, at least those on earth. I am so grateful to be learning to accept this cycle for what it is.

When I wrote this poem it was to honor the kindness of one man who literally created a gate through which I could pass. It wasn’t until afterwards that it occurred to me that this incident occurred during the first week of November just after All Soul’s day. Or that in more than one sense a gate had become permeable, and I had been invited to come and go at will physically and psychically… What I know is that I must stay awake to what is; awareness is key. I must lean into the darkness with gratitude and hopefulness, taking deep pleasure in the low light and long shadows, the slow rise of the sun…and I do.

Postscript:

The reference to anti-bodies is an important one. November 1st I had a Covid booster and this third shot made me very ill. My body was screaming “you are poisoning me” and I believed her. Although I think Covid shots are critically important much more research needs to be done to determine whether or not a person actually needs a booster. We have been told that having a reaction means the shot is working. Right from the beginning I did not believe this, knowing it was a lie. When an immunization is working correctly there is no reaction.

I am fortunate, oh so fortunate to have a holistic vet who is also my beloved friend of thirty years. When Hope went in for her rabies shot my vet tested to see if she really needed one by giving her a titer – she did not; she still had adequate antibodies. Had Hope been given that shot she would have had a severe reaction…

After I became so ill I realized that I too had developed adequate antibodies and did not need this booster. Having it made me very sick with the flu -like symptoms that lasted for days.

Why do I have the necessary antibodies I wondered? – could it be because I have been using Elderberry tincture for the last year and a half? Although considered to be folk medicine the World Health Organization in Europe is presently doing research on the efficacy of Elderberry. A few studies have already shown that this herbal remedy inhibits some viruses from entering the cells of our bodies. We, of course do not know how it works with Covid, if at all. My point here is that the use of Elderberry may help develop immunity to this virus as well, and may have helped me develop enough anti-bodies so that a booster was unnecessary.

Or it simply may be that I did not need a third booster shot because I had developed the necessary immunity from the other two. What I want to know is why we can test animals with a titer to determine whether or not they need injections and yet we are not offering this choice to humans. (The differences between the DNA structures of humans and other living beings are much less than we once thought). We need to be asking this kind of question.