This morning after I fed the horses, I stood at Silk’s stall door and felt Spring in the air. It reminded me of the story of Demeter, the Greek goddess of fertility, whose beautiful daughter, Persephone, was stolen by Hades and taken to the Underworld. Demeter was devastated, and the world lost all hope for the future, as everything turned dark, frozen and barren. Demeter was able to strike a deal with Hades so that every Spring, Persephone would return to her mother, and the world would be reborn with joy and playfulness and new green sprouts. Throughout the summer, flowers and fruits would flourish and the warmth and love would flow so that there would be a boutiful harvest. Then, in the fall, it would be time for Persephone to return to Hades, and her mother would fall into despair and lose her will to create. The world would be cold and harsh until it was time for Persephone to appear again.
As I looked out at the bare cedar trees on the tired, snow covered hill above the frozen, dirty corral, I could feel that Persephone had left the Underworld and that in a week or two, she would reach her mother, and we would be given the gift of renewal again. Softly, my horse nudged my shoulder with her sweet, velvet nose and breathed on my neck. My mama horse, my spirit guide, reassuring me that when I feel like I’ve lost my creativity or my only daughter leaves for college or the world turns bleak and heartless, this too shall pass.
I was reminded of one of my favorite passages from Sue Monk Kidd’s book, “The Secret Life of Bees”: “You have to find a mother inside yourself. We all do. Even if we already have a mother, we still have to find this part of ourselves inside... When you’re unsure of yourself, when you start pulling back into doubt and small living, she’s the one inside saying, ‘ Get up from there and live like the glorious girl you are.’ She’s the power inside you, you understand?”
It has taken me many years to understand that life is full of cycles, and that the path is a spiral not a straight line.