Saturday, October 13, 2012

Power Lines

For most of this year I’ve been working my way deeper into the woods, becoming more familiar with secret places. I usually clear paths and planting spots by hand or with a bow saw. I’ve laid down a short walking trail from the labyrinth in the west to a shrine under the cedars in the east. After leaf-fall I can glimpse the road from one or two places on the trail. From April through October, my network of shade gardens and tiny altars is completely hidden.

In the labyrinth

Last week the local power company came through with chainsaws and a mulcher to replace a precarious electric pole. Now there is space for a couple more parking places along the driveway and a clear corridor under the power line from the herb garden to the road. The guys were aware that I might be emotionally invested in my trees. They offered me a sensible choice of places to cut. They cleared a narrow swath about fifty yards long in less than an hour.

Under the power line

I go deep into the woods to draw from hidden sources of power and strength. Suddenly I’m facing a new direction, opening spaces that were not there before. I will continue the inner work: private contemplation, secret gardening. But now I’ll turn my attention outward as well. From the secluded places of power I’ve already found, I will connect with the wider world. The webs and knots of energy I’ve drawn among the trees and underbrush will flow into the corridor under the power line.

Colchicum with Pan
My woods are part of Gaia’s woods, burgeoning with zoë, infinite potential life. The power spots I’ve nurtured tap into the source of indestructible life in its myriad forms, the bios of Dionysus. My labyrinth is linked to a medicine wheel in the wetlands twenty miles away. My cedar shrine faces toward a nemeton in the next county. My power lines are part of the infinite web of life.

Kwan Yin shrine

New plants will grow in the cleared corridor. I’ll encourage the process this spring with wildflower seeds. Before the trees return, buckbrush and goldenrod and ragweed will sprout. Gooseberry and black raspberry and elder will colonize. Birds and raccoons and deer will come to feed. Cedars and redbuds will plant themselves. Gaia works with existing conditions. Every change is a new chance for Dionysus to display his flamboyant creativity.

"The forms pass, but the circle of life remains." *
* From "Blood of the Ancients" on Charlie Murphy and Jami Sieber's album, Canticles of Light.


  1. Oh my... I LOVE your Kwan Yin Shrine. All these are absolutely beautiful!

    Thank you for linking up to PPBH!


    1. Thanks, Kourtney. I've been enjoying the blogs at PPBH.