Moles … Again!

There are grass verges in front of most houses at the outskirts of our village, a legacy of Edwardian planning, setting the houses back from the road. Most of the verges are neat, mown regularly by the council, though occasionally covered in wheel tracks or removed altogether where space is needed for parking. Ours currently is not neat or tidy. Ours is completely covered in little brown molehills, where a small, black creature has evidently been digging in circles.

When I started this blog, I asked which animals would like to help me and offer their support. The result is the sketch I made at the top of the page. One of these animals was the mole, who made himself known to me in the same way as he is now, by making molehills all over the place. And then disappeared as silently and completely as he had appeared.

So now he is back, I felt he had a message for me.

Unfortunately with the holidays my meditation time was massively reduced, my focus has been elsewhere, and I never made the time to simply ask Mole what he had to say. Instead I spent three weeks being puzzled. Not annoyed with the destruction of the otherwise perfect lawn – it is winter and no one is harmed by a few molehills, but it is so extreme as to be very odd. And then suddenly the penny dropped.

Molehills on the grass verge.

I have been working with the elements individually, something I do every so often in a cyclical way, deepening my connections each time, and this time started with Earth knowing I find that element hardest. It is also the element of the North, and of Winter. A good time of year for working with rocks, crystals and other gemstones indoors, and going for (short) walks on Derbyshire gritstone, but not for gardening and connecting directly to soil with my hands. The ground in my garden has alternated between frozen or waterlogged for the past three weeks and certainly wouldn’t be helped by digging or compacting right now. But then I looked again at the molehills. Perfect soil, not frozen, not waterlogged, already loosened for me. Created by an animal of the Earth. So obvious in retrospect.

My original intention had been to try meditating with some soil indoors, just as I had done with different types of rock – one from my pond, another I brought back from Wales last summer, etc. Soil is after all the basis for trees, which I have never had a problem connecting with! But when I got outside I realised I had already done all the indoor work I needed to, exploring loam, sand, silt, clay etc. and how they relate to different types of trees growing, and if I did any more was in danger of becoming so Earthed that all would reach a standstill. I needed to be active, practical. So instead I had a really enjoyable time raking all the little heaps level, seeing the various qualities and ingredients in the soil that help plants to grow and moles to feed, and marveling at how much the soil can vary in colour and texture even over quite a small area. Not only that, but I managed to do it in the only hour of sunshine for about three days. A really lovely working meditation. So thank you mole, and I expect it is goodbye again for now.

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Crafting a blog…

You will see that my blog finally has its own picture. I said a month ago that I couldn’t really draw… Well it is amazing what you can do with a pile of photos of animals off the internet, some celtic knotwork to link them together, and a lot of help from my spirit allies!

This idea has been a little while in the making, ever since my original photograph plan was scuppered by the Rowan trees back in May. (See Best Laid Plans, May 23.) I said then that various animals asked to be included – I had moles jumping up and down in front of me making little piles of soil all over our grass verge until I added them in. After that they vanished again… Last year I watched a young badger rooting around the undergrowth for ten minutes or so in mid-afternoon, from a distance of 4 feet. It was my birthday and while I have always had a soft spot for badgers, it seems we go forwards together. Blackbirds are the only birds I have ever seen learning to fly; just like the crazy pair in the Peanuts cartoons! They nest in our hedge ever year without fail.

Not all of the animals wish to be discussed here, so I won’t, and my main power animal did not wish to be included at all. But I must explain that the drawing of Dragon is as I first saw him, curled up in a cave and peering at me out of half an eye. I sketched him out, and then seemed to be guided towards the necessary corrections over a period of a few days. He is a truly magnificent creature, who I do not feel I am able to do justice to, but he says it will do for now. (He is the most wonderful steely-blue colour, and is covered with metallic scales.)

This is not intended to be the final version – I would like to do it as a lino print, but so far am having a steep learning curve! However, I decided that as this blog is about crafting, then this rough sketch was one step along the way of my path. At some point it will be replaced, but until then it can remind me of the process I have been through.