Of Willow and Weeping


This drainage area in my apartment complex was guarded by a beautiful, haunting willow tree. Together, the drain and the tree marked a door into the Otherworld here in my little corner of the earth. Several days ago the willow tree was cut down by our landscapers. I was deeply saddened because its presence has been such a powerful blessing to me over the years that I have lived here. It’s grace and beauty will endure in my memory for many more years to come.

Thrifting and Remembering

My grandmother, my mother’s mother, absolutely loved thrift stores. If there are thrift stores on the Other Side, I have no doubt that grandma spent her two coins there, after talking Charon out of them of course. Did I mention grandma was Team Virgo? If anyone could have convinced Charon to surrender his due payment, it was her. At the time it would have seemed to him perfectly reasonable and good to let her have them. That was grandma’s gift. I was young when she passed away but I knew her as a woman of few words, until she had something to say. Then she was sharp and to the point, her words powered by an attempt to draw the most good out of the situation. The good was always for the benefit of those she loved and in service of what was right.

Grandma might have asked Charon for the coins so that she could purchase vases, bowls, cups – you name it – all made of green glass. The more peculiar the better. She lived with us until she passed away and our china cabinet was filled with green glass and other unique thrifted kitchenware. Grandma would have probably told Charon that her purchases at Five Rivers Thrift & Discount would help her to connect with her youngest daughter, my mother, who got her love of thrifting from grandma. Her argument would seem reasonable and good. No manipulation. No BS. Just the truth. How could Charon say no? He’d abandon millennia of duty to help out the nice lady who wanted to use the last two coins she’ll ever see to basically buy a phone call to her daughter.

IMG_3680For the last roughly two months, my ma has been visiting with me in the freaking freezing Midwest! She returned home yesterday. During her time in town with me, we visited thrift stores together when we could. We saw some of the coolest stuff. My mom was used to the great deals and finds, but it was new to me. I found a ton of stuff! Kitchenware is my favorite. Wine glasses, a small pitcher, teapots, teacups, saucers, and dessert plates all leaped into my hands.

As my mom and I shopped, we talked about grandma. We remembered family visits to downtown restaurants and candy shops. We remembered her polka dot dresses and fancy hats. We remembered her Sanka coffee and cigarettes. We remembered her daily soap operas. We remembered her love and her give ’em hell attitude when people threatened her family.

Through the process, I prayed for grandma. I bowed my head in front of every rack of green glass and I remembered her. I invited her to feast on the energy of my and mom’s search for cool kitchenware. I hailed her with each noteworthy find.

Long may my mother’s mother be remembered. May she be ever blessed among those who have gone before. What is remembered lives!

Memory, Prophecy, and Social Justice


Would you know yet more? Check out my most recent guest contribution to The Wild Hunt!