Sunday, 21 June 2015

Sequoia Talking Stick & Summer Solstice Enchantments

It's the morning of the Solstice and I can hear a blackbird singing sweetly in a country garden as a cool, gentle breeze blows across my face. It's the longest day of the year and I'm enjoying this energy at the height of Summer and celebrating today as we circle back around the Sun.

Sunrise at Lanyon Quoit © Cat Athena Louise 

A few days ago, I had left a prayer and an offering, while holding out my hand and touching the beautiful Sequoia (Redwood) Tree in the centre of town. I sensed the warmth of its soft bark and the power of it grounded deeply into the Earth and reaching high, high up into the sky above me.  I asked the tree if it would please grant me the gift of a piece of its wood, a small branch perhaps, something I could use to make a talking stick for a community project I have in mind to develop here.

This morning while I was out walking down the street near to the tree again, I chanced upon a man out walking his dog. I was intrigued by the dog and how it had long, sparce silver hairs, amid the black, all over it… silver streaks like the kind you see more often on people rather than dogs.   

The man came by and suddenly began a conversation with me, completely out of the blue said he was leaving the town almost right away, moving to Poole in Dorset today. I told him I had just arrived.

He said his name was Gary and he asked if I "Could do him a favour and promise him something? look after his friend the Sequoia tree" he said, pointing across to the huge tree.

Giant Redwood (Sequoia) Tree © Cat Athena Louise
I had to lie on the grass on my belly, with my camera touching the ground and I still couldn't get far enough away to capture fully the height and magnificence of this tree. I needed to use a panorama feature instead and it still doesn't do it justice! 

I smiled as I told him I was certainly the right person to ask, how I adored the magical tree too, enjoyed being beside it and had only the other day been over with it asking for the gift of a branch to make a talking stick for a project I am involved in.

He said his dog Merlin had picked up a number of sticks from under the tree, "He always knows the ones I like," he said, and they had taken them all home.  If I would follow him, he would take me there right away to get one.  He chatted away happily about the tree as we walked, telling me the latin name for its genus and about the gentleman who had originally bought the tree over from America.

There at his front door he handed me a big branch he had varnished all ready to go!  I just love the red heartwood I can see at each end and the intriguing knots and markings on it. As I held it in my hands carrying it home, it reminded me of something …… and then suddenly an image flashed in my mind, of Kevin Costner as John Dunbar in the movie 'Dances With Wolves', fire dancing with a stick about the same size as my talking stick branch.   

And so I now have the Sequoia's gift, all ready to be decorated with feathers, beads and colored twine. A special delivery from the Tree by way of four-legged and two-legged friends. 

There is an enchantment in this place… I've felt it before in other spots I have lived where veils are thinner between worlds, when we lived near a Faerie Hill in the wilds of North Wales and in the shadow of the Tor at Glastonbury. Strange synchronistic happenings and chance encounters take place quite unexpectedly. 
And here it is again.   Magic is very much afoot! 

Wishing a very happy Mid-Summer Solstice to you all!

Blessings on the Beauty Way,
Catherine Athena xo

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