St. Mark’s Day is the old Roman festival of the Robigalia, the observance of which was magically intended to avert the spirit of mildew, which threatens crops around this time. For many years, the Litania Major of the Catholic church for St. Mark’s Day at Rome followed the earlier festival. Its purpose, like the Robigalia, was to gain the blessing of heaven for the growing crops. In traditional English lore, this is Cuckoo Day. The cuckoo, “St. Mar’s gowk,” heralds the arrival of migratory birds from the south, indication the return of summer.
— The Pagan Book Of Days, Nigel Pennick
The Grownup — Rilke
[me reading this poem aloud]
All this stood upon her and was the world
and stood upon her with all its fear and grace
as trees stand, growing straight up, imageless
yet wholly image, like the Ark of God,
and solemn, as if imposed upon a race.
As she endured it all: bore up under
the swift-as-flight, the fleeting, the far-gone,
the inconceivably vast, the still-to-learn,
serenely as a woman carrying water
moves with a full jug. Till in the midst of play,
transfiguring and preparing for the future,
the first white veil descended, gliding softly
over her opened face, almost opaque there,
never to be lifted off again, and somehow
giving to all her questions just one answer:
In you, who were a child once-in you.
I know where Wells grow — Droughtless Wells
Deep dug — for Summer days —
Where Mosses go no more away —
And Pebble — safely plays —
It’s made of Fathoms — and a Belt —
A Belt of jagged Stone —
In laid with Emerald — half way down —
And Diamonds — jumbled on —
It has no Bucket — Were I rich
A Bucket I would buy —
I’m often thirsty — but my lips
Are so high up — You see —
I read in an Old fashioned Book
That People “thirst no more” —
The Wells have Buckets to them there —
It must mean that — I’m sure —
Shall We remember Parching — then?
Those Waters sound so grand —
I think a little Well — like Mine —
Dearer to understand —
Emily Dickinson, 460
And don’t think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It’s quiet, but the roots are down there riotous.
There is a center in you that you have to recognize and grow and care about. What is it that you imagine is possible?