The road to faery is lined with flowers and butterflies and paved with quartz-studded volcanic rocks. We (Rhiannon, student Stacey and I) hiked the arroyo today, up through the faery grounds and into the narrow, wetter paths where the Wild Valerian, Mountainspray and Gooseberries grow. Armloads of Beebalm were gathered and I plucked the last fresh Cherry flowers for one more tincture.
There’s something innately enchanted about climbing through a narrow channel worn through stone by rushing mountain water. The rocks here are rich shades of black, red, purple and cream and speckled with deep pockets of crystal quartz. Pools of water remain here nearly year round, providing much need moisture to the animals and insects. Shy coatimundi and elusive lions can sometimes be seen here, and all around the birdsong sweetens the air.
A Cherry tree erupting from itself, the main trunk dead and hollow, but the new shoots alive and well. There are stones cradled in the dangling tangle of roots, and the sun is just beginning to break over the canyon wall. If I were very small indeed I would curl up in this haven of wood, rock and the speeding thread of vital life emerging as leaf, flower, berry.
New Mexico Locust drooped in great billows of lavender pink across the stone path. Their thorns caught in our skirts and hair as we wound our way up the arroyo. Blue winged insects with bright black shells spun and buzzed against the flowers, whizzing through the air in their hurry to rush from one bud to the next.
The first of the Wild Roses, all thorns and sensual curves in the shadow of moist cliffs and towering Oaks. While Rose may sometimes be considered a minor remedy, this plant has provided me with profound medicine and is perhaps my most vital healing ally. The petals taste like the river swirling into herself, blooming against a wind swirled sky.
All photos (c)2008 Kiva Rose