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.
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. =)
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.