Today we finished fencing much of the land my partner and I tend in order for the forest and the meadow to regenerate. Though rural, this area has a huge herd of deer that stay together and forage on all the green ones that try to rise. Only a few invasive species survive (autumn olive, multiflora rose, japanese barberry and stilt grass). Other than these non-natives that create unyielding monocultures, no saplings rise from the fertile earth.
I have known since 1995 that I stand for the trees–just like the Lorax. I recall the first Vermont (Reclaiming Tradition) Witchcamp where we worked with the story of the one-winged swan. At the closing ritual, Starhawk led a trance journey for us to find who/what we stand for that has no voice of its own. The trees! This came through loud and clear for me.
We lost dozens of large trees to Hurricane Sandy. I mourn the loss of the huge beech that stood in the ravine at the corner of our property overlooking the Delaware River way below. And the many mature maples, at least 80 years old, that fell across the path all in a row. And the huge ash trees that toppled, taking other trees with them. One just missed the house–thank Goddess!
One of the largest sassafras trees that graced this land is tilted at a 45 degree angle, leaning on a black birch. It still attempts to grow, though may yet topple the birch and several other trees before severing its roots from the ground.
Yet, no tree seeds turn to saplings to take the places of these tall and mighty ones.
And so we fenced the land. We know from fencing smaller patches that after more than a decade of deer browse, amazingly, the green ones will still rise. The native understory will regrow. The jack-in-the-pulpits, the May apples, the wild geraniums. The bloodroot, the Soloman’s seal, the ferns, and so many more. Though milkweed graces the meadow, it is the only native plant that survives.
Rainbow blessing the land
Now we’ll see other grasses and wildflowers rise! We hope that the natives will out-compete the stilt grass that is nearly impossible to eradicate (I won’t use poisons).
And by next Spring we’ll notice saplings dotting the land!
So did the spirits of the land agree with our choice to fence much of this property? To choose Flora over Fauna? See the photo taken just after we were finished. I take that as a Yes!
ps There is still time to come and play with BrightFlame at her NYC workshops. Next is May 8th, Walking the Pentacle. Final one on May 22nd includes magical activism and learning to shape energy effectively. [These were offered 2014. See BrightFlame’s website for newer classes here.]
pps I wrote the above in 2014. Three years later, the meadow has lots of natives flourishing, sassafras saplings and spring ephemerals dot the woods. I look forward to seeing maple, oak, hickory, beech, birch, walnut, ash seedlings rising.