Last night I planted a tree. They say that we should all plant a tree, write a book, cook a storm (well, I say this last one, in any case). Not sure about having a child, although if I look at it in a metaphorical sense, I guess we all grow things throughout our lives – and many of us nurture other people, just not the “fruit of our loins”. So, in that sense, I guess I am ok with the idea of a child. Maybe my inner child? Rediscovering it and allowing it to bring its playfulness and carefree outlook into my reality?
Turns out that yesterday was new moon. New moon, new beginnings and the lunar gravitis pulling water up, which apparently makes for the best time to plant things. Or so I’ve read. And thus I went out in the middle of the night – must have been some 2 degrees Celsius out there – the kitchen door open as the backyard’s light is busted and, obviously, there was no bright moon in the sky lighting the night.
The cat followed me out, quite curious as to what I was up to.
I wore black marigolds. Not great for cold weather, I would say. A winter jacket over my PJs. That’s what comes of late night musings and internet explorations.
Carried out the 80L of potting soil the Amazon man so timely had delivered that same day.
Finally giving good use to one of those massively large pots Helen gave us several months back, tipping the bag of soil into it, just up to that line some 2 inches below the rim that I’ve recently decided must be there as a guide to how much dirt to put in.
In went the little tree I’d bought a couple of weeks ago and that had been waiting for a better home. And a little more soil on top, press it down, all sorted. We should have some nice fruit to pluck by late summer, so says the label. I wonder which summer? This year’s?
I also read that New moon is a perfect time to wish for those things you most want in life.
And so I stop, under the dark, starless sky, looking up whilst trying to figure out where the moon might be, and thinking of reading Marion Zimmer Bradley’s “The Mists of Avalon” as a child and forever feeling connected to the moon.
The cat curls around my legs and meow, walking back into the house. I don’t pay her much attention, rather keep gazing at the sky trying to feel some sort of connection to its supposed magical powers, to its ability to grant wishes. My hands are quite numb from handling the cold soil in the cold evening. I take the gloves out and tuck each hand under the opposite armpit, closed in fists, trying to get the body warmth to get the blood circulation going again.
I am becoming quite self-aware, standing in the middle of my backyard in the wee hours of the night, wearing bear-printed trousers and a waist-high blue jacket. But it is so quiet that I am confident no one is out there. Or so I wish to believe, in any case. It wouldn’t be the first time I find the next-door girl looking down from behind the window of her bedroom, lights off, her blond-hair shinning with the street lights and giving her away.
Not wanting to freeze outside I push all of that away from my thoughts and try to focus. I close my eyes.
“Ok. What do I want?”
Quick ideas come to mind – a bigger house, a winning lottery ticket?
“Go deeper. Let your heart speak” – I tell myself. “Let the feelings rise and express themselves.”.
For years now I have had this habit – whenever wishing for something I would not wish for a material thing, I would wish for a feeling, a state of mind that expresses having that something in my life – the warmth of a loving hug; the happiness of all being well with the world when you know that your loved ones are well and healthy; the heat of the sun, smell of the sea, roaring of the waves and the too-dried skin covered in salt bringing back a deep sense of peace and contentment.
I extend my senses out in the night, trying to feel the little tree I just moved to that large pot, hoping it will grow strong roots and have a good, fruitful life. I sense the cat standing just inside the kitchen, facing me whilst having a quick wash. The little critters that live in my plants, all the pets in the neighbouring houses and the humans they dwell with – some sleeping, some watching late night TV, some in front of their computers, others drunk. Some chatting, some shouting, some silently ignoring each other. Some making love, some dreaming of it. The father walking into his child’s bedroom to help them go back to sleep. The old woman lying awake in her bed, unable to sleep due to the pains and aches of old age, bitter and harsh against herself and her lost youth.
For a moment I can sense a little bit of every being on my road and just a little further afield, a myriad of emotions, fears, pleasures, desires rushing my inner-senses and threatening to drown me.
I recoil in fear, holding a hand to my chest as if I can slow down my racing heart, and steady myself against the brick wall that separates mine from the neighbour’s backyard. Touching my hand to the cold stone helps to ground me a little bit. I walk, shivering, to the tree, and dig my left fingers into its soil, my right hand lightly caressing its tiny, thin trunk.
I look back up at the sky, half-blaming the moon for its impish nature and the fright it gave me. Walking back into the house, giving the cat some food and putting the kettle on, wishing to get some warmth back into my bones, I wonder as to what just happened. Did I imagine it all? Did I actually extend my senses to the beings around me? I hunch down and stroke the cat whilst she is eating and, no questions about it, amongst her purring and the soft touch of her fur I can feel her contentment and joy at being well fed and warm, her happiness at sharing my home.
“Oh, shit” – I think.