Seasonal Salon

Silver Threads II

The garden was ablaze with blooming spring flowers. The first roses of summer filled the day of Beltane with the sweetest of fragrances. The tiny white Spring Beauties and Snow Trillium had given way to the spunky Dutchmen's Breeches and the woods' floor lay carpeted in purple masses of Violets.

Maggie packed a lunch in honor of the holy day. The picnic basket, filled with freshly baked dill bread, grapes and apples and bananas, wedges of sharp cheddar and Havarti, and a chilled bottle of Chardonnay, was gaily adorned with satin ribbons of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. A tiny Maypole, Maggie had laughed to herself. She was as excited as a young girl as she awaited Tess' arrival. Oh Tess....Her heart vibrated with such pleasure and her entire body seemed to flush as she thought of her friend.

Theirs had been a gentle coming togetherónew old friends discovering, exploring, revealing. So many years, so many lifetimes, so many stories for sharing

Tess, taking an unprecedented day away from the shop, arrived in a rush, her presence filled the space with vigorous energy and vitality. Maggie continued to be astonished by the muchness of this woman who was beginning to take up more and more room in her life. Just the presence of this tall, big-boned woman quickly dispelled the gathering fears and doubts that still threatened Maggie's newly forged path.

The two women embraced happily as though reuniting for the first time in month; the few days' separation had seemed like a lifetime. Each began talking at once. All of existence had become so immediate, so vital: each moment spilled over into the next; life was filing up and overflowing and all time and space was exquisitely precious to them both.

Tugging at Tess' arm, Maggie playfully led her toward the woods. Like two young girls, they giggled and ran and skipped together down the path to Maggie's special creekside nook in the sycamore tree.

"I wanted you to see this, to be here with me." A sudden shyness had overcome Maggie. "I've never shared this with anyone."

Tess had fallen silent, instinctively knowing the sacredness of this place.

"And look, Tess," why was her heart pounding so? "This old sycamore has a yoni." Indeed, at the base of the gray/green trunk, beneath a triangle of soft velvety moss, had formed a vagina-shaped opening. "It's magical, isn't it?"

Tess pulled Maggie to her and kissed the top of her soft silver black hair. "Yes, it is magical."

They stood together embraced in their own warmth and in the beauty and wonder surrounding them. The sun dappled images through the young leaves. Tree frogs chirped their spring serenade; a pair of wood thrush gave forth with their crystal tone song. The damp, dark earth smelled of new birth while the two women simply breathed in the fragrance of hope and promise.

Retrieving the picnic basket, they followed a path beside the stream. The soothing sounds of water flowing over and among the rocks created a lyrical accompaniment to the cacophony of birdsongs filling the spring air.

"Seems we've interrupted some important work," Maggie noted. The telltale gnawings on a nearby sapling belied a beaver's project. She led Tess away from the stream along a dear trail deeper into the woods, acknowledging places along the way where those gentle creatures had recently bedded. She cautioned against stumbling into the great earth mounds that were home to the woodchucks. She pointed out squirrel nests lodged high in the walnut and cottonwood trees, wildflowers hidden amongst the moss, raccoon tracks, snake hole, and a fox's den. Clearly, she was at home in the woods and glowed in the sharing of her wisdom. She led Tess into a natural grove, a secret glen of green sprinkled with an abundance of wildflowers. Purple violets and rose shooting star, lavender field pansies and red wild columbine, bright yellow wood poppies and corydalis all bloomed merrily in the clearing. Truly the Mother had created her own May Day festival with this profusion of color.

Tess spread a well-worn and obviously well-loved old quilt upon the still cool ground. They lay together in an easy quiet simply absorbing the splash of sun falling through the circle of trees. The magic remained undisturbed when finally they began to speak in voices hushed in awe. A reverence of all that was known to them and unknown, spoken and unspoken embraced the two women. An unnamed and unleashed energy vibrated between them.

Leaning upon one elbow, Tess turned toward Maggie and simply gazed upon this diminutive and beautiful woman taking pleasure in the mellow softness of her beloved who in turn pulled her into her own heart. Silently and with exquisite tenderness, Tess brought Maggie into her arms and she knew the moment Maggie's body invited her into her own depths. In an instant, all harshness and fear, all questions and doubts were banished to the warm breezes. Their passion became one with the heat of the sun as Tess gently kissed the corners of Maggie's full mouth which opened softly, yielding, inviting willingly. Tess brushed her lips across the thick black lashes which framed Maggie's soft wise eyes. Slowly, gently, Tess joined with Maggies' increasing rhythm removing all barriers as she removed the light cotton shirt, revealing the woman's voluptuous breasts heaving with heated yearning. Fingers lightly brushing folds of textured, aging skin, smoothing wrinkles away, mouths touching untouched places, wetness blending with wetness. Sighs, sounds, cries, smells all merging with the wind and sun and birdsong,and watersounds and wildflowers and sky and clouds and trees and exploding into burst of color and sound and void and stillness and flying off the edges into each other.

The ravages of age and time lost all meaning as old bodies became new and surrendered to lifetimes of silent and unspent passion.

>>>

Tess shielded her eyes from the brilliant summer sun as she turned onto the country road leading her home. Home, she thought. Home to Maggie. It had not been an easy decision to give up her little bungalow in town, to relinquish her cherished independence. But she'd come to treasure her role as countrywoman, to value the changing seasons, to mark the growth of the bean fields, to savor the newly mown timothy, to watch old man Dutton (he must be 85!) disk the fields in early spring to marvel at the enormous combines lumbering through the fields. Indeed, the corn would surely be more than "knee-high by the 4th of July." She squinted into the sun and scanned the neighbors' fields. And to live among the creatures she loved so dearly: the owl and coyote, the fox and deer, the hawk and raccoon.

The longest day of the year, this was; the zenith of the cycle when all of life is lush and full. Yet tomorrow the days would begin to shorten and the year would begin to wane. For Tess, there was a bittersweetness to this time of Summer Solstice. In the fullness of summer, inevitably, she was reminded of the returning darkness. Light and dark, life and deathóall at once. Life was so full and yet so quick. Her love for Maggie filled her, grew more sweet, took her to heights and depths and edges of being in herself she'd never before known. Yet, what paradox this, that a love so profound would come to her so late in life; for in the loving, there would be losing; in the living there was dying. Much as she tried to push the thoughts away, she could no longer ignore her knowings. Yes, she loved more than she ever imagined was possible and yet within that exquisite love was the excruciating pain of lossóof herself in that love and of Maggie. She'd protected herself for more than 70 years from these feelings and now... Now what, you old fool! Give it up. You love this woman. Your life is full and happy, so just enjoy it!

She turned into the lane and slowed to a stop, breathing in the sweet smell of freshly cut grass. Will I ever allow myself to just be?

Later, as they lay bathed in the light of the full moon streaming through the south window, Tess talked of her earlier thoughts. "Please don't be scared, my love," she warned Maggie. "I still struggle with my demons."

"Oh, but my dear, of course you have such thoughts. I'd only be scared if you didn't talk with me about them."

They lay quietly for a few moments, each lost in her own thoughts. Finally Maggie said, "I got a call from Emily today." Her older daughter still had a way of unnerving her.

"Oh?"

Maggie took a deep breath. "She wanted to know if I'm a lesbian," she blurted.

Tess was unable to conceal her grin. "And what did you say, my dear?"

"Oh, I began in my old familiar defensive mode, dammitóyou know, sputtering and gasping as I'm wont to do with my kids." She laughed in spite of her exasperation. "Yet, somehow, your sweet old face floated into my head, and I just stopped myself. And then, as though my mouth were borrowed, I said ëYes, Emily, I am a lesbian!'" She was quite pleased with herself to be sure. "And do you know, that's the first time I've uttered that word aloud!"

"And what did Emily say to that?"

"Actually, she said nothing. So, I asked if she'd like to come out and talk about it. So she did." Maggie paused, reflecting on her afternoon visit with her eldest child. "You know how she knew?"

"Tell me, sweet woman."

"She said she could tell by watching us in the kitchen as we cook togetheróas though our movements are choreographed!"

"Our choreography is rather lovely, isn't it?" Tess' grin became a leer and threatened to spill into that endearing cackle of hers. Instead, she settled for an exaggerated wink.

Maggie ignored the teasing. "And she said she's never seen me so happyóor so strong."

Maggie remained thoughtful for a moment. How very different she felt! With Tess, she could be vulnerable and strong, sad and happyóthe woman of passion she knew herself to be! Yes, she had come to know herself, to have value for herself as a woman, as a mother, and now as a lesbian. She let the word roll around in her head and in her body. She inhaled deeply, her breath flowing fully and freely through her. A tingling, pulsing warmth spread throughout her body now vibrating with intense ardor. She looked into the sweet craggy old face of her beloved and simply surrendered to the depths of those warm dark brown eyes. She reached for Tess, savoring the softness of their lips joining, of one supple body folding so naturally into the other. Her hand ran lightly over her lover's face, caressing, celebrating the gentle furrows of Tess' deeply wrinkled skin.

"I want you." Maggie's voice was full and husky.

Misty hues of the moon's light cast a magical glow, making Tess' short curly hair more silver, the sweet drapes of aging skin more velvety, the moist textured bodies more sensuous. Their lovemaking was a gentle riteóa dance of passionóin honor of Aphrodite, goddess of love. And in those moments, each knew her own birth and death and the rebirth of merging into one another.

to be continued...

Category: Spring Equinox 2011