Dogwood blooming in April in the Mountains of Tennessee and Virginia ... takes my breath away every single time. Natural beauty, the seasons and the cycles of my life and the world around me, perfectly pinched white blossoms, and the way those blossoms drift like the snow that dusted those limbs just a few weeks earlier ... all those thoughts and more.
The last couple of weeks have been full of amazing opportunities to bloom. While I didn't necessarily sleep away the winter - I was in the studio working hard on the music for the new CD "Solitaire" - I do feel as if I'm waking up, stretching my limbs, and abundance and beauty and new experiences are all around me. The Spring Tour is in full bloom!
Yup, new experience ... I was involved in my first vehicular accident EVER, and so grateful that the young man on the motorcycle was wearing body armor and a helmet! Grateful that neither of us were moving fast; grateful to everyone at the accident scene, from the police to the EMTs to everyone who stopped to help. Grateful to my friend who lived just a mile down the road and came to give me a big hug and help me stop shaking. Grateful to those who sent up great energy that all would be well.
In other news, I enjoyed some serious downtime with some beautiful women at a Goddess Retreat in Pinson, TN. Lots of time for deep conversation, healing, celebration, sharing stories and music, tasty meals, a meaningful kitchen witch ritual, and laughter ... LOTS of laughter. It was a delightful garden of daughters, mothers, sisters, and sisters in spirit.
I spent a few days at Haven in WV with Elspeth and Nybor ... soaking up their wisdom and warmth. Even had a couple of movie nights with Elspeth. We watched "Me and My Gal," "The Inspector General" and "Chicago." I highly recommend the comfort of hanging out with those you love, doing absolutely nothing important at all, and simply enjoying each other's company.
And, finally, I spent Beltane weekend with some spectacular folks at a Beltane retreat in Prince William Forest Park in Triangle, VA. The park is BEAUTIFUL ... there be fairies there. The first time I tried to take pictures, my phone went from 100% charged to 0% in seconds. I left a bit of fruit and honey, and the next day I got a few lovely pictures of the woods, including the dogwood blooms. Another wonderful weekend at a slower pace than the usual festival. From the moment I stepped on site, I felt like part of the family. Open hearts, intelligent conversation, challenging workshops, amazing FOOD made with love, accomplished authors and musicians, a concert experience that I still don't have words for, perfect ritual, and, again, humor and laughter that made light of everything. I learned soooo much this weekend, including a couple of very nifty odd-time signatures to practise on my little drum. Thank you.
A couple of recommendations:
Tales From the Wilder Forest by Cael Jacobs with illustrations by Corey Godbey
Marvelously crafted, imaginative, original stories. Just get it, read it, then share it. I read a LOT of fantasy and fiction - these stories are fresh and the prose is simply lovely. I generally recommend folks purchase downloadable books to save paper, but this slim collection is so beautiful, and the artwork is the perfect counterpoint to the stories, you'll want to hold it in your hands at night, curled up in your bed ... or in a cabin in the woods, tucked into your sleeping bag, praying the batteries in your flashlight last just a bit longer.
Norse Mythology ... According to Uncle Einar by J. T. Sibley
You've never read Norse myth like this ... oh, just get the book! 'Nuf said!
I'm home for a couple of days to recoup and repack, then back on the road for nine more weeks. So grateful to each and every one of you who support this crazy Bard.
Stay safe. Look out for motorcycles. If you ride a motorcycle, wear the safety gear .... you'll be glad you did ... and so will the Bard. Stop and listen to the world around you, and learn something new this week.
See you down the road!