went to the well to drink the water,
And I went to the fire so that I could watch it burn.
I went to the Saint that I might be more holy,
She sent me to the Goddess so that I might learn.

And there under star and moon I lay down all the pieces that seemed to never fit:
This work and that wisdom,
This vision and that reality,
This art and that success.
She told me to go and gather wood:

Oak, Ash, and Thorn.
Wood to build a fire where I might stay with her awhile,
And sit with her a spell.

And so I did.

I found that Oak is the greatest tree,
And home to the smallest creatures.
Ash, so straight and proud, is the strongest wood,
Used to shield and protect the weakest ones.

Thorn bears the sharpest bough,
And that is where the fruit is sweetest.
Three branches, bound together, in red thread and white linen.

The lightness of the load surprised me.

A burden is always heavy, what does a burden know of being light?
What does art know of success?
What does vision know of reality?
What does work, any work, know of wisdom?

But the mighty Oak knows and loves the least of creatures.
And the victorious Ash is most blessed during peace.
Thorn holds out branches that are weapons to some, but to many more safety.
And I heard tell that the most blessed were so often those once most broken.

I fed them to the fire: the Oak, the Ash, the Thorn.
And it devoured my hesitations, my fears, my distractions.
While the flames lapped up my wrong headed sureness, and scorn.
That fire burned so very bright in gold and purple and blue ablaze.

Stay with me awhile.
Sit with me a spell.
If you dare, burn with me awhile.

Then we will take the ash of all these jagged pieces,
And we will spread it over the cold black ground.
We will water it from the well, we will water it with our tears,
Then sit back on our heels and wait.

Stay with me awhile.
Sit with me a spell.
Breathe with me awhile.

We will say a blessing over this body now,
This soft and dark, scarred and marked place.
And maybe you can hum a mourning song, a keening song, that becomes a growing song,
So that we see the tender shoots of a new life made whole from all of those pieces.

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