Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Waxing Gibbous

It was early evening when Goody Prymm asked Remember to join her in the gardens...that she had some things she needed to share with her.  Given the seriousness of Imagination's tone, Remember, who had been stroking Nightfeather, gently put the crow back into his enclosure and promptly joined Goody Prymm outside.

It was a glorious Spring evening, later promising bright moonlight, as the Lady, Goody Prymm's special name for her, would be waxing gibbous, perfect, she said, for promoting strong leaf growth, and adding that a gibbous moon was one of love, friendship, and courage.  Remember always loved that about Goody Prymm...that she saw beyond the tangible.  They strolled around their gardens, acknowledging the fine progress, Goody Prymm speaking her quiet truths.  The yarrow was beginning to blossom fully now, the blooms excellent for inducing the sweats for breaking fever, and the chewed leaves helpful for alleviating the pain of toothache.  It was a wonderful plant for a healer to grow!  If applied as a poultice, or used in a bath, it would take away the discomfort of rash and heal broken skin.  Finely powdered and sprinkled on minor wounds, yarrow would staunch the bleeding.  Why, if added to a footbath, it chased away the chilblains of a winter's night, a truly remarkable plant.

Stopping to appreciate and touch the bright yellow flowerheads rocking gently with the breeze, Goody Prymm playfully shared an ancient superstition that, if thrown into the fire, the flames of the burning flower would reveal one's future husband! Together they laughed at such a foolish belief.  Then Goody Prymm added in a more sobering tone that people usually find what they are looking for...if it is witches they want to find, it is witches that will be found...but if one looks for beauty and truth, then that is what will be found.   She fervently hoped Remember always looked for truth and beauty in this world.

They ambled on, the crickets beginning their nightsong and the toads their mating croaks, whereupon they stopped to enjoy and taste the minty greenness of the catmint, which was growing profusely now.  Used to relieve chest congestion and phlegm, catmint also aided in reducing stress and anxiety,  Goody Prymm stating that one's mental and emotional state were often a precursor to some physical ailments...that it was always important to minister to the whole person when healing or otherwise, using not only knowledge and experience but also kindness and compassion, Remember picking a small bit and sticking it in her pocket for little Smoke's enjoyment later on.  And on they walked, Goody Prymm sharing basil's use for calming coughs...and the juice of rue to treat earaches.  Inhaling the sweet late spring scents on the wind, the old woman expressed how serene a garden was! That it was, in fact, more than a garden.  It was a teacher of patience, trust, and---here her words slowed---acceptance of those things that can't be changed.  Here she waxed about the essentialness of dormancy in plants...and, in fact, cycles---in plants, in the moon, in the seasons!  That they were indeed all necessary and all truth, Remember listening with great reverence but also with a touch of questioning alarm at Goody Prymm's seeming urgency to tell her these things.

At the mention yet again of truth, Remember summoned her courage and quietly confessed to Goody Prymm of her having read some of Imagination's writings she found in the old slope desk while Imagination was away that day...the very day that she was securing Remember's stay.  At this revelation, Imagination went quiet, and then expressed, soft and low, her deep disappointment in Remember.  If she were curious about the desk, why hadn't she simply asked about which, in her silence, Remember had no good answer.  Goody Prymm then proceeded to express again how a garden teaches trust...and that trust was essential for all things to grow and flourish.  They walked on, Goody Prymm continuing to share her lifetime of wisdom.

Soon the Lady was up in her starry realm, her moonbeams streaming down on the gardens, giving them another cast, an other-worldliness.  Goody Prymm was tiring and, sighing, expressed her desire to go in and have some tea, a nice lemon balm tea for healing.  Acquiescing to the old woman's need, Remember followed closely behind her down their garden path.  Before reaching their threshold, though, Goody Prymm turned, took Remember's hand and, looking directly and deeply into the young girl's eyes, stated that all Remember would ever really need was right here...that she should trust...that, just like for the birds and the beasts, and with resourcefulness and faith, life would provide. Seeming to understand, Remember nodded her head in earnest.  At that, they opened the door and went in to have their evening tea.

© 2017 Nancy Duncan

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