In the Fencerow: The space where wildness meets the everyday.
A fencerow is the uncultivated land on each side and below a fence, or even an uncultivated strip of land found dividing fields without the presence of an actual fence. Join me as we explore the spiritual fencerows and beyond. We will discuss lessons and observations from the countryside including herbs and herbal lore, relationship with environment and nature, finding Goddess in all Her aspects, and so much more.
Weeds inside & out!
Summer is well into full-swing this first week of August. In this part of Illinois, August is usually very hot and miserable. Even so, the first slight signs of Autumn can be detected. The sun is setting earlier and sometimes a cool breeze filters through the window at night. First harvests have been happening in actuality for a while The gardens and fields have been planted, fertilized and in way too many cases fumigated with pesticides to keep out the weeds and pests. Wheat has been harvested for over a month and those fields are currently planted in soybeans to get a second harvest before winter hits. Corn is in full tassel which means that the grain is now being formed. In the gardens, tomatoes, peppers, green beans and other summer crops are in full production. Soon, I will be planting a fall garden to get a new supply of greens and other vegetables that prefer the cool nights. Now is the time to go venturing into the uncultivated acres to gather milk thistle seed and goldenrod for the herb cabinet.
This is also the time of year that the weeds in the garden and along the fencerows are coming into full maturity. It becomes obvious that I have not been diligent about keeping the weeds out of the places where I would prefer they do not grow. Well, isn't that the real definition of a weed? A weed is simply a plant growing where you do not want it. I have an overabundance of foxtail grass, lambs quarters and ragweed where the abundance is supposed to be blackberries, tomatoes and melons.
In old agrarian societies, it was very important to be prepared for the long winter months. All throughout the growing season, tending the crops and removing the weeds was a daily activity. Getting the prime yield was essential as was harvesting and storing up of the harvest. At the end of the growing season taking stock of what had been harvested and stored was absolutely necessary. If it appeared that there was a shortage of a particular item, trading with others would fill in those holes of the winter storage. A family's very life may be in danger if there was not enough food put away. This isn't so common in our modern era of strawberries from the other side of the world in January. I dare say that the majority of people give little thought to the concept of harvesting and storing up of food and supplies to last the long months until the next spring. I consider myself fortunate to live on a farm and surrounded with the obvious natural cycle of the agricultural year.
In the goddess-centric path I currently explore, we observe and work with a cyclical pattern in our spiritual, mental and emotional self. The cycle is repeated over and over throughout one's life. There are correspondences to the seasons, the moon phases, and different aspects of the Goddess as she is represented in Welsh tradition. This being said, sometimes one person might find herself in a certain station of the cycle that has nothing to do with the correspondences. Even so, the cycle may be timing itself differently but the wheel still turns.
Late summer/early fall is the time of fulfillment and integration of what has been planted and experienced throughout the year. This is a time for taking account of what has been brought forth to fruition and assessing how it will be made useful.
"They" say that our personal outer environments reflect our inner lives. Clutter in a particular area of the home, for example, reflect clutter in some area of our inner self. So what does a weedy garden have to say about my inner life? I cultivated the soil and I planted good seed in the spring. I had intention of maintaining the garden and reaping a robust harvest. Things got in the way. Too much rain, too much heat, too many little ones to watch, no help....the reasons excuses are many. The truth is that I really didn't want to go out everyday and pull weeds for a couple hours. I may not have been able to do that every single day, but I could have way more often than I did.
As I look at the past year or so in my spiritual work, I realize that I allowed weeds to grow there as well. I cultivated the mind and seeded it with study and ritual for a start. However, I have not been consistent with the maintenance work. I have, instead, spent time dilly-dallying around watching TV or wasting time with some other frivolous distractions when I could have been doing something to feed my soul. As a result, the 'weeds' of anxiety, worry and disconnection from the Divine have grown up.
Not all is a loss. There have been some good things grow up in the garden of my soul in spite of the weeds that try to take complete control. I make notes of the positive growth as well as the not so positive. A good thing about this sort of gardening of the soul is that one can make some changes in daily practice and get those weeds under control even if not entirely eliminated.
How is your "garden of the soul?" Do you have some weeds to deal with as well?
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