Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Pool of tears – Finsbury Park

Saturday August 2, 2008:

That dull sky was sitting on my head again. I couldn’t decide whether to boil and be dry or to be cool and damp. The choice was taken from me as the skies suddenly opened and spat warm globules of rain all over me.

Diving for the trees, my companions and I sheltered under a tarp, our backs against a teenage oak tree. The Reclaiming Lamas ritual was in danger of being rained off. Perhaps we should retire to a leafy garden with access to cover?

I stepped into the garden. A cool and untidy tangle of trees held me and I was pulled on and on down to the secret circle at the bottom. No matter the chuntering of the occasional passing train down in the cutting below, the traffic could not be heard, the trees around us looked on and held the space.

Someone had created a magical circle of logs. At the centre, a small shrine scattered with stones, shells and other offerings held the space. We cast our circle and the spirits of the garden watched.

The insistent drum beat rocked the trees and challenged the magpies, who clattered back. “My intention is to journey to harvest my grain and let go of the chaff …” Three times, the journeyers spoke out their intension and then the drum beat pounded like the hooves of a cantering stag on the sloping meadow of a curving hillside.

I was in a cave. A fire danced bright. I stood by it but it offered nothing except a sense of enclosed comfort. I moved out into a green space, a leafy tree-lined glade with a carpet of mossy grass encircling a white stone clad pool.

Someone tenderly lowered me into it. I lay, bathed in the warm saltiness. Hands gently cupped water and dribbled it upon my head. Carefully I was turned and the water scooped up washing my skin clean. Overwhelmed with the tenderness of the act, I began to weep great hot salt tears of grief and sadness. Slowly the pool filled to brimming.

Soft firm hands took me and pulled me out. I lay on the grass in the sun, my fingers trailing in the warm salty water. There was nothing to do but be.

The sun shifted, slanted low across the clearing. I sat crouched behind a cool leafy bush, watching. In the warm orange glow, a small grey squirrel came running, sniffed at the water, turned on hind legs as though to survey the trees an then darted off. I sat still leaning into the shrub, my naked skin softly caressed by their cool gentle heart-shaped leaves. Oh if only I could stay here for ever.

I wondered what my chaff was, the thing that had served me and that I no longer needed? There was that white clad round still pool, the pool of my tears. Could I let go of that? If I could only spend more time sitting in bushes, resting in quiet and green spaces, listening to my heartbeat, listening to the birds and the animals and the very sighing of the grass, surely I could. Then I would feel renewed and could let go of the tears.

And the drum beat slowed to a heartbeat. And I found myself sitting on a log in a leafy cool and quiet North London garden playing a drum. A gust of wind blew the smoke from our fire around me. I breathed its evocative sweet yet pungent smell and sighed, feeling my heart revolve contentedly.


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