Articles/Essays From Pagans
January 10th. 2017 ...
The Gray of 'Tween
Becoming a Sacred Dancer
Little Dog, Big Love
December 9th. 2016 ...
A Child's First Yule
November 10th. 2016 ...
What Exactly Is Witchcraft?
A Witch in the Bible Belt: Questions are Opportunities
On Death and Passing: Compassion Burnout in Healers and Shamans
What I Get from Cooking (And How it’s Part of My Path)
October 10th. 2016 ...
Witchcraft from the Outside
September 11th. 2016 ...
How Did I Get Here? (My Pagan Journey)
Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess
September 3rd. 2016 ...
Rethinking Heaven: What Happens When We Die?
What is Happening in My Psychic Reading?
August 12th. 2016 ...
When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch
Hungarian Belief in Fairies
Designing a Pagan Last Will and Testament
July 13th. 2016 ...
What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
An Open Mind and Heart
Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum
June 13th. 2016 ...
Pollyanna Propaganda: The Distressing Trend of Victim-Blaming in Spirituality
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
How to Bond with the Elements through Magick
Magical Household Cleaning
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
An Alternative Conception of Divine Reciprocity
Becoming Wiccan: What I Never Expected
The Fear of Witchcraft
Rebirth By Fire: A Love Letter to Mama Maui and Lady Pele
Magic in Sentences
Blowing Bubbles with the Goddess
The Evolution of Thought Forms
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
Lateral Transcendence: Toward Greater Compassion
Spring Has Sprung!
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
Energy and Karma
Community and Perception
December 20th. 2015 ...
Introduction to Tarot For the Novice
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
Native American Spirituality Myopia
A Dream Message
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?
Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
May 6th. 2015 ...
Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism
I Claim Cronehood
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
The Three Centers of Paganism
Magick is No Illusion
The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames
The Gods of My Heart
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
Broomstick to the Emerald City
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
The Gray of 'Tween
Article ID: 15937
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 13
Times Read: 765
RSS Views: 7,015
Author: Merideth Allyn [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: January 10th. 2017
Times Viewed: 765
It is gray. Everything is gray, and it feels a moody, heavy, wooden gray, and it is ice cold like gun metal inside and out. The white paper birches look misty gray, and old, and gray snow blankets the frozen grass, making it look leaden and colder than the twenty-three degrees it actually is during this late ‘tween time of day in the early ‘tween time of year. February. But no yellow crocus emerge from the frigid ground, regardless the fact that it is the birthing time that heralds spring.
Long, steel fingers reach out from the moist, wet mist as I shuffle-skate, almost falling, toward the holly bush that is my most ardent destination and my desire. The holly bush that is covered with honest to God/dess red berries…the color of blood and life. Oh, how I crave color. Red! It might have the power to shake this gray numbness from my icebound spirit.
The holly bush replete with red, ripe berries is a stark and deep, waxy green pitted against gray- shielded Grandfather Sun, and tinsel-colored Mother Earth. A cracked and ancient cemetery tries to break the monotony, alongside my gray fence. The nearby cemetery is littered with ancient rusted machines spread over a large expanse of muddied gray and dirty snow…mostly children and the elderly buried under those broken and sodden grave stones. Sad. I am getting weaker and can no longer stand without trembling minus the absent sun to brace-embrace me. The sun, too, it seems, abandons me to freeze without so much as a nod or a hey-la-day-dee-doe.
I step-stumble into a water hole of purgatory gray slush…another gray holdup to my reaching and manifesting the redness of life; the berries, the blood of creation and rebirth. As I stand there in the wet and cold, the holly bush seems farther and farther away. If I do not reach the holly bush with its gleaming red-with-life berries, I will surely succumb to the writhing of the misty gray wraiths peeking around every headstone in the graveyard torn asunder from stark blue lightning. No more to be seen again until spring springs. The dark green holly leaves and the scarlet berries are about as far away as my dull, gray-painted house…this, also, torn asunder by the tearing and wearing gray and ever encroaching elements. I am now in the middle…the gray, halfway point. To forge ahead, cold, wet, and freezing, or to return to the strangling, insidious, sullied warmth of the claustrophobic house with all its mildew, mold, and peeling paint is a decision I must now make. In truth, no matter how it seems, house and holly bush are quite equidistant. But, because I am soaked to my small bones, I see no option. I glance toward the house then turn toward it.
My feet feel heavy. I feel like I’m walking in snow up to my elbows…cement leaden feet; as lifeless as my dull, once blue, now gray, eyes are, I choose to follow the path of least resistance. I will freeze for certain if I do not return to what I once called a home. The path from where I step-shuffle-stumbled my way toward the holly bush is behind me, and already it is pulling more snow atop it. I sag further into my ash-like body. Just as quickly as possible I will change into warmer rags, and off to the holly bush I will trip-tramp again – as I still craved, must-have the blood of the berries. I want only the sweet color, not the toxic taste of death. I want to live, for why else would I seek the color so passionately in these times of the dull silver-gray ‘tween? I look over my shoulder to see the bare outline of the shimmering, now out-of-focus bright red berries to glean a little warrior courage and some repressed hope.
I make it back to the house in slow, cold, dreamtime. I drag myself in. I feel an invisible, soul-empty, appalling ghostly feeling not much more than thirty steps from the hearth-heart of the house. I had forgotten to stoke the fire. The dead-gray enmeshment was with me again. Apparitions…tin-colored and glinting wraiths swirl languidly around and through me. My heart cannot decide whether to stop beating or to continue playing its strange, syncopated dirge.
I have to…I must leave this bleak and even more deadly suffocation. No dry clothes for me. I would run, if only I could, just to get away from the insidious and mushroom-pigmented specters. Or, I will crawl if I have to. And, so I crawl. I make it. An hour it seems to take, but I reach my sacred blood-red berries of the holly just as the wan winter sun leaves the sky. Nightfall. Dark time. Night is the absence of all color, especially at the dark of the moon. I laugh a strange sound of hysteria. I grab the twisted and gnarled gray trunk of the holly bush and pull, with what little strength left to me, a branch full of the ruby-coated berries close to my breast. Oh, that I could suckle the red poisonous life from them and yet live.
No use. The sky is black. No moon. No stars. And – black is the absence of color. Black is the absence of color. Black is the absence of color. No lifeblood, no color for me. For the dark, moonless and starless night has covered and smothered the luscious red color just as a blanket shields a child’s countenance from mythical monsters. Mythical, hah!
I know now that I will die here, but it doesn’t matter. I, too, am old and gray. It won’t take long. I am more than just a little bitten from the frost. I cannot feel my hands or feet. I painfully stretch a smile across my parched, gray skin as I recall the cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth. I touch the berries and run my hand over that beautiful trunk holding the limbs of the holly berries closely. Tears rivulet down my wrinkled, sallow face as I say goodbye to this ‘tween world of gray, and hello to the Otherworld.
I hope holly bushes with plump, ruby-red, colored berries grow there. As above, so below. So, they should.
I smile as the final, frigid, silver-tin-gray breath leaves my ancient body. But, as breath leaves, I feel a foreign, balmy warmth reach for me with a gentleness long forgotten possible. I smile a different smile this time and willingly drop my tired and gray human overcoat and forget the holly bush of a past that no longer serves me. Another season is upon me. And, blessed it is.
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