It often amazes me how little time seems to pass between each pause on the Great Wheel. It’s hard to believe it is Ostara, again, so soon! But, the older I get, the happier I am to greet each Sabbat’s return. I recognize the familiar face of my old friend, but I am forever surprised by the new personality I meet upon this friend’s arrival.
Ostara always brings hope and joy upon the arrival of Spring. We eagerly plant the seeds in the warming soil and delight in our expectations of what will be born from the renewed Earth. I have been anticipating the coming of Spring more than ever, this year, as I hoped for it to herald the much-needed new beginning in my life, — the end of failure, poverty and despair.
But, then, I noticed this little tree.
We planted this lemon tree about this time last year. I believe we hoped it to eventually take the place of another which, to our delight, has thrived many years past its estimated life expectancy. One year later, this new little tree, by most, would have to be called a failure. The green leaves turned yellow very soon after it was planted, most eventually falling off. We tried a few fixes — suggested by the folks at the local garden center — but nothing seemed to work. We eventually gave up. We gave up trying to save the tree, we gave up noticing the tree. We gave up caring about the tree. To our surprise, it eventually produced a small crop of lemons, but most were so small in size they seemed unworthy of picking. The grass, then the weeds, crept closer and soon engulfed the base of the weak, stunted, failed little tree.
“Why can’t we grow a simple lemon tree?” I asked my husband one day. Frustrated, I pointed over the fence to my neighbor’s bountiful garden.
“Maria can grow anything! She pushes a stick into the the ground, turns the hose on it, and a flowering hedge of roses appears. Look at her little tree! Didn’t she plant it only about a year before ours?”
The moment I looked to her tree, I could note the difference. How many times had she mentioned, when leaving something for someone to pick up, or when someone was dropping something off for her, to “Leave it by my little tree.”? How many times had we noticed the animal figures, the potted plants, the bouquets of flowers lying on the ground beneath her tree, or the bags of fruit adorning the branches?
Her tree was an Offering Tree.
I have taken my journey into the Wild Wood tarot, and this Ostara I turn my eyes toward the Six of Bows. By patiently attending to what I have sown, I will receive the blessings of the new growth. The promise was made to me at Imbolc; all that was asked of me was my patience and endurance. I will enjoy the plentiful bounty that is to come, which will bring much healing and joy. But, for now, I wait.
I have spent the last months asking for what I need, praying to receive the gifts I desire. Because of this, I have felt the anguish that haunts an empty hand and an empty heart. All has not been lost; for all I need is not what I have left to receive. What I truly need is to give, — to share what I have, already. My hands are not empty; they will only be free to receive when I share freely what I already hold.
This Ostara, I will walk the path of The Ancestor, following with new eyes and a joyful heart. My own inner Ancestor is strong and patient and wise. Trusting Her, I will share the bounty that I have already received, my own abundance, no matter how meager it seems. The gifts I will bring my own garden will feed the spirits of the Ancients, and the joy of sharing will bring the new sense of inner peace that I require.
This Ostara, I give thanks and accept all the blessings of change that continue to occur along the Wheel as I commune with the Wild Wood.