Even though I have the inclination to move onto some new imagery, namely the legendary phoenix bird, I choose to revisit this Cypress. In rereading my blog, I had only begun research and then abandoned the process of it. I find this is a tendency of mine: to pursue with passion and then walk away when the fire fades.
I'll none of that. The Cypress is far to important a locus for my identity to treat as a flippant fancy. Here are some words for my meditation from my readings met with the words you gave so generously:
tree of light in a desolate place of death
reviving tonic to women in labor
bark: hard, fine, close in grain, durable, beautiful reddish-brown color
cypress twig secures free and safe passage across borders
the earth spirit of the East dwells in the cypress, and a portion of its immense life force can be absorbed if the resin is chewed
whispers in the wind and asks the birds of the air to deliver its messages
when harmed all the other trees will assemble at night to heal its wounds.
involves "bathing" in the fresh and healing air of a forest of cypress trees
I am inclined to first taste of the Cypress and enjoy its splendor. Instead of superficially identifying with these characteristics, I want to meditate on them for me, not through me.
The paradox of a powerful light, is that it is most brilliant in the darkest of places. Were I kneeling at the end of all things, I would trust the Cypress to guide my horizon and draw my eyes heavenward. I see a spiraling Cypress, evergreen and flaunting its life like a protuberant, proud chest, held high in the face of fear. I would rely on the Cypress to sway, carrying an odorous message to the falcon perched atop. "Guard her. Shelter her."
When my only comfort threatens to be cloak upon robe upon ragged garb over my flesh, the Cypress woos me from shame, from a mask of fear. Rather than hide from death and be weighed down in my claustrophobic attire, the elucidating presence of the Cypress inspires me to disrobe. I do desire to stand naked, bathing in her resinous, healing light. My body has too long been broken under these suffocating fears. My arthritic hands, my swollen knees, my fragile ankles, my clenched jaw, my organs burning, cramping, aching.
But, to be nude amidst so much death. To stand with nothing but peach flesh to separate you from the wintry cement of the grave. To open my arms to the starred sky and receive what the fates have long intended. To be comforted by the tree of my now. Disarmed, unimpeded, I proceed to her roots with tempered gate baring only the audacious hope of metamorphosis.
The pangs of a new life have doubled me over in a weary acclimation of daily pain. She rises, consuming my line of sight as I fall to her base. My eyes ask for her sacrifice and I am instantly reassured. "Partake." Drawn to the reddish brown bark of her trunk, my fingers delicately pry a shard of sturdy, dense meat. The smell is tantalizing, like the earth and sea mated in a bed of moonlight. I chew. The bittersweet flakes melt into a sticky sap, which sticks to my teeth like hard candy. Relief.
As I swallow, I feel a warm arm touch my ankle. As I look down in blissful comfort, I see a root, dark and foreboding against the white of my skin. Yet, there is no fear in me, even when I reach for it out of habit. The pockets of my doubt, self-abasement, and flagellation are spilled out on the rotting ground beyond my ken. As my hair is swept up in the wind, it snags onto the splintered edges of the base of the Cypress. I inhale the now overwhelmingly pungent aroma as my face is pressed against the tree. Freely, I wrap my arms around this sacred bush. I cannot see my legs, which have been carefully folded into the earth through a system of powerfully old roots.
Earth bound. Though the stars would call me home, I linger. Held fast by my sister, the Cypress. My pink skin has become but a reflection on her limbs, which one would mistake for the glare of moonlight. Together, we whisper to the birds, comfort the mourning, offer sacred balm to the birthing, and linger to meet death's sting with the warmth of a tender light.