The Fox, I have already shared. Yesterday, as I walked Jumble down the track, instinct drew me to the gate at the end (two down from the Fox Gate). I stopped. A deer stood before me, delicate and beautiful in long green grass, powered by sunlight. The Hart. So apt. Another, and indeed the first, of Sir Gawain’s hunting trials as set by the mysterious Sir Bertilak, the fox being the final one. In the context of the poem, the archetypal fairy tale game of three, chivalry and, from another source, love.
As I walked on, I began to free-associate: Thoughts of the rut, of stags fighting, of the Young Stag battling the King Stag for the good of the Land; of the White Hart, the Wasteland and Grail question; the fact that even prey animals can inflict damage; the whole essence of flight (both needful and needless) and the fact that this deer, which must have heard the van of my farmer friend trundling by moments before, stood still for my arrival and let me see it, the way the fox did, and in almost the exact same spot, before leaping for the tree line. It wanted to be seen, as Running Elk pointed out to me with regard to the fox. I felt his words, and this truth, very strongly.
My third spirit animals appeared quite suddenly, a bronze tangle, shining like freshly-spilled entrails, almost hidden by rapidly-growing grass: Two of the colony of slow worms which have honoured me with their presence, jaws hinged on one another’s tails, a living ouroboros mating in the sun. Tender and touching, it was.
They didn’t scurry away or seem disturbed, put off, by my presence, though I got within centimetres of them, just gripped one another and, I am hoping (for I have become fond of these beautiful creatures), planted seeds for the next generation.
There are many messages I could glean from them (and some I have written down in my journal), but one stood out as such a healing one after my earlier plunge back into 1988 and the world of sexual assault and non-consensual sex. It was this: Eros. Trusting, consensual, loving, equal sex.
But as another layer to this, I felt they were, in a lovely way, sanctifying my garden with their love-making, both fertilising and hallowing it. Making it safe for all manner of other creatures – and, sure enough, later, I stumbled upon two big frogs and saw many slugs and snails slithering, and undulating, in the green.
The haiku I posted yesterday came spontaneously.
A great deal to think about – but strange, is it not, that the echoes of ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’ (poem loved since I was at university) keep falling, like patches of sun, into the deep pool of my subconscious?