A Charm For Joy (Poem)

A Charm For Joy

First, you will need to leave your home

and journey to the sea shore. Walk it, slowly,

as the tide slips in, draws back out, brings and leaves again,

takes away all pain and brings it back again, transformed. Watch

for starfish, tiny shells, and find

two things with holes in – stone washed by sea through time’s steady passing.

Gather them with tender fingers, and thank them sincerely.

When you return home, obtain two ribbons – one of sun, one of moon.

Thread silver ribbon through stone and

speak your sorrow, all your sadness and grief and melancholy.

Hang it from an apple tree as you pass, and

continue on your way, the other

suspended around your throat from sun’s rays.

Walk – endless steps, it may seem, one for each of your sorrows.

Greet the fox and the hare on your way, call a hello to the blackbird

singing a song in the nearby trees.

Watch for clusters of wild herbs – you are seeking

one kissed by the moon in her endless turnings, white blooms,

and a court of bees endlessly circling. Kneel –

touch the earth, thank her. Enquire after her health

most diligently, as you would a friend, and

gather the flowers, one at a time –

suck the sap from three of them

(one for times past, one for the moment, and one for the future)

and give these back to the earth. The rest

place in an envelope of pale fabric, before you turn homewards.

Entering your front door, return

to the heart of your home, and

boil water, prepare your most beautiful cup.

Steep thirteen flowers for thirteen minutes, and then

sip slowly, filling your mind with sunshine. Smile at nothing

and everything. Let your mind be silent. Let the sorrow slip away.

The remaining flowers may be dried, slowly,

alongside the sun threaded stone, and

when the sorrow returns (as it often does) the stone

may remind you of hope, and sun, and bees around flowers.

The dried blooms, a tea for winter’s rainy days.

Leave the silver hung stone in the apple tree for one waxing and waning of the moon –

let the rain wash it clean, sorrow transmuting to peace,

and rejoining the earth once more.

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