It is unseasonably hot today, and humid. More like late June than early May. And I have realized that it is the sugar maple that says “summer” to me. Now that the familiar shapes of sugar maples have taken back their female roundedness on the hillsides and edges of fields, my heart says it is summer. Even when the mercury drops again–as it surely will, as it always does in early May–I will be in summer now.
It is Beltane, and the woods are awake and full of life.
Walking in the woods today was like nothing so much as making love. Never mind the tracks and sounds and movements of animals, or the many small flowers on the forest floor, the smells of the woods were sensuously overwhelming. I kept opening my lungs as deep as I could, breathing in the scent of May woodland the way one can breathe in the scent of one’s beloved.
It made me remember the weekend, when Peter and I were in the first, utterly-stoned-on-love stage of our relationship, when we stayed at Temenos together. I remember being wrapped around each other, damp with sweat as I am tonight from the humidity, smelling the scents of the forest around us and hearing the rustling of the leaves overhead, tangled together on the small deck at Knoll Cabin.
Bursting with lazy delight, we invited in the God of the Greenwood.
Deep in our hearts, we heard him laugh. He was too big, he seemed to answer. (Of course, a god can be any size he wishes. Perhaps he meant, we were so in love, the size of the god we were reaching for was vast–as large as the forests of all the world.)
Images: Maple leaves, Bruce Marlin, Creative Commons License 2.5; Green Man, Sally Holmes, Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0