11-11-11: Sacred Groves & Bridges of Light
Although we had an event planned in the evening, outside around a big fire with old and new friends, I also wanted to pay some extra attention to the 11.11am time. So in the morning I thought about what I could do to celebrate that specific moment in time. I wanted to go outside, that was for sure, because the November sun was shining brightly. Perhaps I could meditate or perform a symbolic act maybe. While pondering the options I stood at the diner table and my eyes were attracted to a plastic bag with brownish things in it. Ah, yes! Those were the oak acorns that I had taken with me on the last Guided Tour to Dartmoor. Previous to that trip I had gathered the acorns from the ground underneath the oak trees here in the park opposite my former Dutch home, thinking they would fit nicely into a ritual in Whistman's Wood, the last remaining oak forest near Twobridges, Dartmoor. It is known as the 'Woods of the Wise Men' and through many legends connected with the Druids of ancient times. I thought it might be a lovely idea for our guests and us to plant some acorns there as an act to sustain the oak grove and honour the druid way. But for some reason this idea of planting the acorns didn't cross my mind while we wandered through the twisted oak wood. So these acorns had found their way back home with me, secretly hiding in my luggage and only to be found afterwards while unpacking.
Now I was staring at them on the table. Meanwhile an idea came to mind. I could take them outside and plant a 'sacred grove of oak' in the park. Much like a sacred circle around a centre (in this case a Fairy willow tree that I love so much). Yes! Brilliant idea. I started counting the acorns... 1, 2, 3...... 9, 10 and …...11 ! Of course. That was my cue.
Excited I walked outside, taking the dog, asking Mario if he wanted to accompany me. Carrying the acorns and armed with a spoon to dig little holes for the acorns, I approached the Fairy willow tree. Mario did come along but he was not in the best of moods and when asked if he wanted to join me in the act of creating the circle of oaks, he commented that it would be of no use to plant the acorns here because the grass around the Fairy willow is cut in the Summer months and so it will kill the young oak stems too. Darn, I felt hope leaking away! A dream shattered. He was right of course. With a troubled mind and bleeding heart I considered other options. Maybe other places where I could safely plant the oaks? Quickly processing and evaluating other spots in my mind, I could see no alternative. All the places in this park that would be large enough to create an Oak Grove are fields of grass and thus are cut regularly in the Summer. And the other spots already had enough trees. Darn again. Indecisive I stood there for a while.
And yet, some form of heartfelt determination, courage and renewed hope sipped into me. I decided to plant the acorns around the Fairy Tree anyway, regardless of any future danger! One might never know what happens, maybe they won't be cutting the grass next year! And if I didn't try, I would never know! I started digging little holes and asked the co-operation of the moles to take the acorns to a safe place in the earth where they could rest until Spring. Joy and hope filled my heart again, I smiled my way through planting the 11 acorns and after the last one I stopped to look at my work and closed my eyes. As a fast forwarded movie I started to 'see' how the young oaks bravely grew into large and thick wise oaks. A cathedral of oaks now surrounded my favourite willow and they became resting places for by-passers, a playground for laughing children and revered places of nature communion for modern day druids. I saw in my minds eye a beautiful and sparkling future for the acorns I had just planted. After all, I do create my own world! And all was good!
Regardless of what others say or think or believe, we are all creators. And there are no boundaries to what we can create. Even if it defies the logic mind. The only thing you need is a bit of faith and the courage to go against all odds. That is what I have learned from this special 11.11.11 11:11 am moment: magic of the heart exists when we create it !
In the afternoon we went to our horse field and prepared for the coming evening around the fire. Wood was being cut, chairs and tables arranged and ritual objects prepared. I brought some home-made chocolate chip muffins and a yummy plum spirit (liquor) to share. As the sun set, the colder air came in so we lit the fire quite early and the two of us sat around it, quietly enjoying the sounds, smells and patterns of the flames. People started flocking in and then there were 15 of us, young and old, and 3 dogs. The short but powerful ritual we created together was building a 'portal' of light with a fire at one end (the old world) and the dark open vastness of the night sky on the other end (the new world). Each held a candle representing their own inner light and the one spark that leads us through the dark, always. On a piece of paper we wrote down the things we wanted to leave in the old world, to be transformed in the fire before walking through the portal to the new world while holding the light of the candle in front of your heart, all the time creating the new world you wish to 'see'. Flanked by a bridge of people and lights, we shed our old skins like a snake and arrived reborn and renewed at the end of the light bridge. And so our ritual connected in with all the other lights in the world who were joining this special time's focus. There was oneness and a great sense of unity and peace. Gratitude for being alive and for being able to witness the birth of a new Golden Age, right now, right here, in our times!
Update: a year later, end of the Summer, none of the grass around the Fairy Willow Tree has been cut and the saplings thrive!
Walk in beauty