June 16, 2012

Among the Galax

Galax in bloom

I’m entranced by the smell of boiled cabbage!
     or a mean old skunk, maybe,
     or some moldy old boots.
I’m standing thick in the Galax,
     blooming now in June,
     rain so plentiful the white noise of the branch
     fills my ears and carries me away.
I’m entranced among the Galax,
     enchanted really, as this thick abundance
     of shiny round greenness sings to me,
     standing here, wet, wet.
Yes!   It’s a rainforest, wet and cool,
     lichen and moss growing up the tree trunks,
     ferns growing from stones,
     magic, magic everywhere.
Who lives in that twig house atop the standing stone?
Who giggles at me from over my shoulder, entranced like me?
It’s June!  and the Galax is flowering,
     proud white candlesticks among the rounds of green,
     here in Gaia’s garden, so perfect, so huge,
     the rhododendron buds sticky and bright pink,
     opening to white,
     the leaves so pale green and new.
I’m entranced among the Galax, and it’s June,
     a wet one, a rightful rainy one,
     and the moss is green upon the stone.
White Indian Pipes, ancient as time,
     arise like magic among the Galax, hidden and shy.
Be still!  Receive what She has for you,
     all this, the wetness, the ancient ones,
     the skunky smells, the whispers.
You are in Sacred Time now.  Don’t go too fast.
She is here for you, in the Galax.
She is more than you or I will ever know.

Annelinde Metzner
Greybeard Mountain, NC

Twig house

Rhododendron bloom

Gnome tree

Indian Pipes

There is a great story about Indian Pipes told by Mary Chiltosky in the book, Cherokee Plants...
"Before selfishness came into the world-that was a long time ago- the Cherokee people were happy sharing the hunting and fishing places with their neighbors. All this changed when Selfishness came into the world and man began to quarrel. The Cherokee quarreled with tribes on the east. Finally the chiefs of several tribes met in council to try to settle the dispute. They smoked the pipe and continued to quarrel for seven days and seven nights. This displeased the Great Spirit because people are not supposed to smoke the pipe until they make peace. As he looked upon the old men with heads bowed, he decided to do something to remind people to smoke the pipe only at the time they make peace."
"The Great Spirit turned the old men into greyish flowers we now call "Indian Pipes" and he made them grow where friends and relatives have quarreled. He made the smoke hang over these mountains until all the people all over the world learn to live together in peace."