Today I stepped onto the earth and instantly it awakened within me…
A fire ball of heat so strong my soul melted before the dawn.
Winter is a good time to die, I thought.
The end of a four-season cycle when all that thrived in this world had peaked, bloomed and faded into a crust that clung to the land desperate for the rains that spring would bring.
Only it wasn’t winter, not in my heart. My heart was already breathing the tears of spring, filled with fresh salt.
I don’t want to die, today.
Not in a fireball of hell and not without the first buds of spring pushing skyward from the ground.
But my wants are not mine to fulfil.
It is the earth that decides when I die, and I that decides when the earth heads to the same fate.
For years I have prodded, poked and wounded the mother. Torn trees from her ground, ripping tears that take time to heal and leave scars to remind me I was here.
I’ve thrown plastic at her oceans, shoving it down the throat of her beloved beasts that sail these waters beneath the earth.
I have torched her, burned her, set her a light, all the while scorning the men in India who do the same to their earthly mothers whose loins from which they sprang.
I have no right to say don’t let me die when I have sent the earth to the gallows with every choice I’ve made.
There was a time when our relationship could still be healed. When she cried out and said “feel your shame and do something, change.”
But my shame was too great, too deep set, too engrained in my gut where it sat in fear of accusation and revelation that it was my fault all along.
So I sit and I wait.
For the blanket of fire heading my way to consume me in it’s wake.
With every hour of this my final day, the fire gets closer, turning the green grass to black, leaving a blanket of noir that will become my shroud.
The swing seat upon which I sit rocks back and forth like a cradle and I remember my own mother’s arms, dewy with early life and wonder.
It wasn’t supposed to end like this in winter on a day that should have been spring.
Written by Rachael Oakes-Ash on Vernal Equinox Retreat 2019