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Mountain Lessons

The mountains are slow to let go of the winter,
Like old men gathered outside a store they conspire about the days to come.
The protection of darkness, snow, and ice has become comfortable in a familiar and lonesome way.
I sense the bargaining process is much the same with land and sky,
humans and relationships, heart and home.
It is the small place between ending and beginning that I have trouble understanding,
It is the place between the cycles of earth, before my moontime, before someone makes a decision, before life fades, before I have time to show my feelings and I sense my spirit clench and tighten with fear.
I cling to this place of time immemorial where there is no time, no release, no reprieve, and no answers, yet I wait.
The grief of too many things never done, too many people never honored, too much life in just one lifetime.
I no longer anticipate the spring the way I did in my youth.
I know it will come and I do not have the yearning or hope that spring will bring new clothes, less body weight, or being the most popular girl at school.
I too have laid under a blanket of darkness of long nights, my grandmothers worn out quilt, soft sheets and old pajamas.
I will watch the dahlias return this spring and know that last year I covered the dahlia bed with mulch, nurturing what I could not see, faith in the unknown and watching as the earth gives birth.
The darkness of the winter has allowed me to face the places that are hard to see in the light.
It is in this place of consciousness that will surely bring me growth.
I too am slow to let go of the winters of my life.

by Sharon Oxendine

Western North Carolina Woman
WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA WOMAN
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