The Queen – Photo by Grace
“Can I have one of those?”
On the highest branches of a tree that grew along the walking path, I could see several large red fruit hung like Christmas ornaments. After weeks of gazing at them hungrily, I wanted one of my own. Not for food, mind you, although they are delicious, but for what they had come to mean to my Soul….and to the ongoing process of personal transformation I had been undergoing.
I’ll never forget the day I first became aware it. Nearly falling flat on my face, I had tripped over a mangy clump of seeds in the middle of the road. Who knows if it was tossed there by man or beast (although now I’m just as apt to believe it was the Tree Herself calling for my attention than anything else) but it definitely caught my attention and brought me to a dead stop.
A Pomengranate? Why would someone be eating a pomegranate out here in the middle of nowhere? The thought of trying to eat such a juicy, messy, seedy fruit while bouncing up and down the path was laughable. I could just see myself trying, only to end up with a ruby red river trailing down my chin, staining my white T-shirt, and fingers, and everything else it touched.
As I was standing there pondering the pile, something crept into my line of vision, up and to the right.
Barely discernable in the natural compost piles, I could just make out some pomegranates in various states of decay, scattered around the base of a wild looking tree. It was adorned with pomegranates in various stages of bud, bulb, and burst. Well, whatdoyaknow? Pomegranates. Out here! Having my intial question answered, I headed back down the trail taking my thoughts with me.
Back in those days, I was just embracing the idea that everything I “stumble” upon in my life has meaning – if I pay attention, and take the time to look it up. Hawk feathers at my feet. Monarch butterflies landing on me from out of nowhere. Dragonflies and hummingbirds buzzing me, demanding my attention. Even the trees that surrounded my home – Olive, Eucalyptus, Birch – were all rich in symbolic meaning. Now, I added the pomegranate.
The Pomegranate has held the imaginations of humans – of women – for thousands upon thousands of years. In art, literature, mythology, religion and handcrafts, the Pomegranate is as glorious in spiritual meaning as any other fruit – including the infamous Apple – and then some. I had no idea! But as I began to study the stories – especially that of Demeter and Persephone which speaks of the cyclical nature of life, death and rebirth – I could see the Handwriting of the Divine all over the Wall.
So, I asked for one from the Tree. I can’t tell you exactly why I asked (although speaking to plants and animals is something I do and they speak back, don’t cha know), but I did and then ran up the berm to gaze up into the low hanging branches. I was eyeballing all of the fruit looking for Just The Right One, and I found it – much higher than the rest, but perfectly formed and without injury from any creatures. I pulled down a couple of the branches, stretched my hand into her Depths, and captured my treasure.
Ahhh, the weight of it in my palm was magnificent. Not quite ripe on one side, as it turns out, I wondered at her perfect little crown and shape, and about how I might ripen it indoors. Oddly, as I continued down the path, I felt stronger with it in my hand – as if I were running with some Sacred Flame.
Then, I saw it.
Blood. There was blood dripping down my forearms from two scratches – two inches of bright crimson – one on each side. I had been marked by The Tree and before I had the chance to wipe away the blood, a powerful message struck me.
We were Bloodsisters – the Wild Pomegranate and I. The Queen had just cut a covenant with me – exchanging her gift for something from me.
We were now One.