Three Sisters…Plus one

“Make deep connections, not deep attachments (Yung Pueblo),” jumped off the screen at me this morning in my Instagram feed. I’m feeling antsy and scattered.  My mind is full of “stuff”! I think it’s time to “take out the trash.” I want to do a meditation, write, get the day started…what to do first? I scribble some notes about this blog in a notebook, after placing this quote on a post-it.  The words connections and attachments swirl like the cream being poured into my coffee. And so it begins to flow…

While walking one morning as I do, I took the path along the field that borders the woods.  Some mornings I like the sound of my feet on the grass and seeing the dew on my boots. I’m pacing along, hidden from most, down in the gully, I’ve walked this path many times. As I come around a bend the words, or title, or introduction comes into my thoughts…Three Sisters. And, there they are three skinny black walnut trees on the edge of the field and the edge of the wood, belonging to neither. As I approach, I feel a shadow of unease, almost darkness, maybe sadness. I pause, I speak… “Hello, Sisters”, then I walk on. There was a loneliness there on the edge of between, or was it mine? Connection or attachment?

I can’t get “the sisters” out of my head, they keep swirling into my thoughts. What’s the medicine? What’s the symbol? I plan to take that path again the next day.  My morning routine arrives on time with coffee and pet duties. Daylight breaks and I’m off to the garden.  As I enter the formal garden to meander the maze to the meadow, a honk disturbs my thoughts. It’s an acquaintance I’ve met here.  Now my thoughts go to, “oh great! Now I’m going to be interrupted!” I quicken my steps and get to the sisters and we greet each other.  As I walk around them, stepping in places I’ve never trodden, for they are off the path, in the “in between”, the buffer, the fringe; I see another.  There she is, camouflaged on the trunks and weaving a web between the sisters like afghan stitching, Sister Ivy…Poison Ivy.  “Oh my, Sisters!”, I think, and I pause. Is this the darkness I felt yesterday? A whistle breaks my thought.  There they are the acquaintance and his dog! He asks, “what are you doing?” I reply with a bite, “Communing with the trees of course!” We chat a moment more, then I walk on shaking off the dark, for I have felt hunted by this “acquaintance” …that’s a story for another day!

Sister Ivy speaks to us about paying attention. She is a cunning teacher. If you have ever had poison ivy or tried to remove it from your garden, you know what I mean.  She is there woven between the three sisters with her leaves of three leafing out in disguise of Spring’s awakening. Once I made the connection of her in the trees, the darkness faded. I know to keep a safe distance from her.  Her message is always a clear warning, PAY ATTENTION. She will surprise you with a soft brush on your skin that erupts in oozing blisters of fire. “Now!”, she screeches, “I have your attention!!” She is a protector of borders, of the thicket,  the refuge of many creatures. What’s her connection to the sisters?

The Three Sisters have the feel of the Stygian Witches with the all-seeing-eye in the 1981 version of “Clash of the Titans.” Known to have eaten the ambassadors of Cassiopeia, there’s caution when journeying to the mountains of North Joppa!  This place I am in is not Joppa and these trees are not the Stygian Witches, yet a message they do hold.  The symbolism in poetry and lore of the black walnut is linked to finances and money worry.  Mary Oliver’s beautiful poem, The Black Walnut Tree, is one beautiful quandary of this.  Another is found with a quick google search on the page of Tree Spirit Wisdom:

“Message: The walnut spirit reminds us that during times of adversity we must rely on our inner ability to discern between the forces that will help us and those that will not. Right now, our focus is better spent on emotional and spiritual development versus power or financial gain. By improving our personal sense of worth and having faith in our self we will be better equipped to discern our next step.”

“Challenges: Neglecting our emotional and spiritual health by placing all our emphasis on financial gain, which ultimately leaves us feeling hollow.”

We certainly are in a time of adversity with this pandemic.  Personally, I am in a time of discernment and discovery of what is next, as I questions my call of the land and a more contemplative life, of this exploration of writing and blogging, and of the decrease in my income due to the pandemic. I do feel the challenge of finding balance between my spiritual seeking, emotions and desires for financial security.  I come back the question that stirs from the quote from Yung Pueblo, and I ponder… what is making deep connections, not deep attachments?

Blessings and Peace,

Blue Jean Oracle