When I was a little girl, growing up on 150 acres in British Columbia's wild interior, there is nothing I loved more than spring. For with spring came newborn lambs and baby goats and fluffy yellow chicks. Spring painted the hillsides with yellow buttercups and the ridge at the edge of the wood with purple violets.
When spring came, one could abandon shoes and wooly layers and spend short-sleeved days walking in the mountains with a paper crown, and an entourage of goat and sheep friends.
Spring also meant that indoor life was over for a time, and that days spent by the fireside reading stories of other worlds would have to wait until the days turned cold again, and the frost returned to the fields. Yes, when spring came, the volumes of fairytales that my sister and I spent our days pouring over as the snow-piled up at the door, were returned to the bookshelf, for spring was not a time to be reading stories, but a time for making them!
And so, those 150 acres of forest and mountain and meadow became our storied world, where witches collected the first yellow flowers of skunk cabbage for important spells, and knights, on serious quests, rode white horses through the fir-wood. We soon recognized the knights because they watered their horses at our magical spring, and we were fairly convinced (my sister and I) that those armoured noblemen also knew of the springs secret power, that is, if you mixed the sacred water with three mint leaves and a handful of lilac flowers, you would remain young forever.
Not far from the witch wood was a field, and at its edge a little thatched house stood, containing a magical trunk of ballgowns (which, when worn in combination with the right words spoken, could transport you into another time). On the hillside above that thatched house, were many little villages, inhabited by small creatures with tiny wings, who made their homes on moss logs hidden among lacy white toadstools. It was near to where they lived that my sister and I once discovered a delicate pink orchid, known to grown-ups as a "lady-slipper," which we delightfully picked for our mother, only to find out later that these endangered flowers are extremely precious, and are not to be plucked from their shady woodland home under any circumstance. We spent many days after that trying to make it up to the wee forest people, having stolen their most holy of flowers, and wondering what they might do to punish us?
Luckily, we knew a friendly bear who lived in an very cozy underground house, who would be willing help us, in exchange for fifteen wild strawberries and a hug, that is, should we get into any sort of trouble with the small people. And these are just a few of the ones who showed themselves as we travelled on foot through the woods with our dogs, or along the edge of the field, riding our pony Webber (who could turn into a silver unicorn on the full moon).
Yes, stories and spring, for me they go together, and so this next dance session is an invitation to consider the stories that rise out of the mythic territory of the inner-life, and to step into the imaginal field as it is prompted by spring. Let us reconnect with the wisdom of childhood that has not lost the extraordinary power of imagination and story, or the awe that comes from gazing into the centre of a daffodil, to see the sleeping bumblebee napping there. Miester Eckhart once said that “When the soul wishes to experience something she throws an image of the experience out before her and then enters into her own image.” These stories then, our stories, the ones that rise from the depths within, they are the images of ourselves, born of our imagination, conceived by our deep soul. To move amidst this storied landscape then, is surely a worthy exploration, as spring unfurls all around us, inviting us into waking and calling us into the dance of rebirth.