I rediscovered that letting go is spoken of in the season of deepening autumn, the very season unfurling outside my house right now ... the month of April which is almost upon us ... the moon of sparrows. It always makes me smile when I realise yet again that I'm in a long quiet conversation with the blessed universe.
This is the brief description of Sparrow Moon, a late waymarker on the heroine's road ...
Change always brings inner consequences. The heroine must release her old wishes, accepting now that they will not come and the world is different from how she imagined it would be. She must also let go of all that is no longer needed, lay down her sword, and bury the dragon's bones so they may nurture future growth. It is like autumn leaves are falling, and she is a mature, if weary, middle-aged woman. Once again she is facing her grief, but more deeply, for she better appreciates now what she had truly sacrificed for the sake of a better future. This is the Sparrow Moon, when things get real.
For months now, I have been trying to draw the dragon from its lair. I am in love with the poetry etched on its great stone teeth. I dream of seeing its wings, gem-scabbed and pocked with gold, making new constellations as it flies. But my efforts have been continuously diverted by the various real life requirements. I have to decide now if I will let the dragon lie and turn instead to sparrows, moths, smaller magics. Even if just for a while.
There's a story going round that if you wish hard enough for something, you can make it happen. I don't believe that. Sometimes you can, but other times you can't, and that's just life. When a wish is not working, what helps is to accept that reality, and contemplate why exactly it isn't working, and learn what will work instead. Maybe you need to change your life so it better supports the wish. Maybe you could make the same wish only smaller - or an altogether different wish that will lead you down a path you never knew existed. Or maybe do no wishing at all for the moment, just resting, just peace.
After all, farmers don't seed every field every year. Some, they leave fallow.
Waymarkers along the road aren't there to tell us which way to go. They simply mark that there is a road. If you have to change your choices, that's not failure. It's seeing obstacles, mud puddles, briars, and doing what is needed to avoid them. Because although I'm talking myth and metaphor here, the fact is our actual lives are rife with obstacles, and we have to get real about them so we can keep moving. Cut through the briars by all means - they might be there to strengthen your determination. But if you can't get through, you just can't. Maybe the blessed universe put them there to protect you. Let go : release the old wish, move on.
illustrations by angela barrett