Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sweating for Akidalia

Last Friday evening, Glaux and I headed to Our Haven for some retreat time. She had some serious inner work that she wanted to contemplate, and I had some serious physical plane work that needed tending. (Well, my inner work was going to happen while I did physical toil, so I got a double-header.) Specifically, I absolutely HAD to pull weeds from Aphrodite's shrine and re-set the arbor that we had put in place for her. (It had fallen in the wind and storms, mainly because it needed to be affixed more permanently to the land.)

Glaux and I are among a smallish group of people that I would call "stewards" of Our Haven. Our spouse, Iron Dragon, is definitely on that list, as well. In fact, there is hardly a structure, a standing stone or any major project that he wasn't involved in building/placing. Minimal though that stewardship core is, I had anticipated more help in keeping the weeds out of the Great Rite Spiral in which Aphrodite's shrine sits. But ... people are busy, and the folks who live on the land are over-extended in all their maintenance duties. So, my beloved space looked like this after just two months of my time away.

I could practically hear Aphrodite admonishing me that she is not Aphrodite of Jungle or the Lady of Weeds. Gardens are great, and some wild spaces can be nice from time to time. But this was ridiculous. At least her roses were thriving. Can you see the little pinpoints of scarlet that she seems to be gazing upon?

So I tended what was supposed to be her garden. There are Chinese hedgerows planted in a large spiral that encompass the entire space. They were overgrown to the point that nobody but someone very familiar with the space could mow it for fear of running over the smaller of those hedges. My first task, then, was to unbury the boundary hedges. Then, I focused on the shrine surrounding the Goddess. I pulled weeds for seven hours the first night, but I made progress. And Glaux took pictures when she joined me later in the evening. =)

Venus was riding toward the horizon and the sky was dark when I stopped for the night, but I got up early enough the next morning to see that shining morning star at its zenith, and I went back to pulling weeds, dancing in my lady's garden, and getting the arbor back in place. (The posts are in deep and surrounded in concrete this time. It isn't going anywhere.) The work was hot and long, though, and I sweated more than I ever have before. I found that I was useless at manipulating the post-hole diggers. (Too short, I am.) So I made better use of them by pairing them with my umbrella as a shady refuge while I dug the post holes by hand.

When enough of the weeds we cleared out, one of the Elders of Our Haven (Manelqua) came to my rescue -- riding his trusty lawn tractor and making quick business of the remainder of the weeds. I poured a libation of strawberry mead.

There is more work yet to be done. I'll be out to visit and do maintenance weeding about every two weeks between now and October. Then, I think Iron Dragon, Glaux and I will be putting down some ground cloth and more mulch. (Just the hedgerows have mulch right now.) I'd like to see more flowers. There are irises in the spring, planted by a sister-priestess. they bloomed for the first time this year and were stunning. But I was thinking maybe some day lilies to add bright summery color. And I *think* we have some morning glories that are weaving themselves in among the more established hedges -- particularly right behind the altar.

In any case, it is beautiful, and I thank the foam-born Kyprian who delights in her bath, for giving me the chance to get sweaty and dirty as I worked and danced in her garden.


Glaux said...

Beautiful work, sweetheart. I look forward to going out there again soon.

Moonlight said...

All the hard, hot work you do to make Aphrodite's shrine reflect Her beauty will be repaid by the Loving, Golden-haired Goddess Herself.
Thank you for making other place on Earth where Aphrodite can be openly & publicly venerated & honored by Her devotees.

Laurelei said...

Glaux -- Smooches. Thank you.

Moonlight -- Very graciously said, my love. Though I keep this space as much for myself as anyone else, I am elated that it IS public for all to share. It makes me happy when I see new offerings being laid on her shrine or at her feet. It is work I am happy to do.

Elle Hull said...

Blessings of our Lady to you for all your hard work! I hope any further maintenance will be much easier and you will have more time to enjoy the beautiful shrine you've created. xoxoxo