There is a cave nearby, which is the gate into Mother Earth's womb. I went there to meet her and ask for guidance in my next steps.
I've never been there before, yet when my brother told me about I knew immediately this is what I need to do. In a time of uncertainty and weakness, I find strength in being close to the earth and grounding myself. It is so simple, yet so potently powerful and healing. Just lying on the ground (when it is not muddy...). And the answers to questions just arrive.
A few steps on a path surrounded by dog roses, now balding and revealing grey branches with thorns and bright-red reships against the clear winter skies. Skeletons of a thistle, that remain upright and shapely even after its death. Smoke rising from a bonfire in a tiny patch of sacred forest (only God knows why they thing it's okay). Fallen leaves and scraps of lichen on the ground. It is like a microcosmos of a forest. So tiny yet so full of life and mystery.
And then down a few wooden steps on the trail, with so many Smilax aspera vines decorating the forest with their beautiful heart-shaped leaves, sunlight filtering through the foliage. And the slippery slope of the cave entrance. I stop on a shelf before it and admire its crevices. It looks like a giant and dark birth-canal. Just like I've been seeing in my dreams lately. A passage between worlds. Which worlds it is unclear to me still. But the analogy is staring at me.
I disarm myself from any baggage or devices and cautiously descend into the cave. It is very muddy and slipper there. And walls of the cave are solid rock, but its bottom is in fact a syphon into which the entire valley empties its precipitation and into which water disappears. Will I disappear in there as well, in this soft, mushy, cold, dark mud?
I hold on to the walls of the cave. I try to float over the mud. I am too scared to go deep into the cave as I don't have any flashlight with me, and I can't trust the earth under me to hold my weight. Within this position, legs and arms spread to hold on to the solid, cold and moist walls, I close my eyes. I breathe in the musty smell of cold, dark stone. I am a bulb inside the cold earth. I am waiting for the exactly-right conditions to emerge from this birth canal. To climb through the hard chunks of dirt and into the light. But for now, I am only here and now. I am inside the earth. I AM the earth. Cold, dark, steady, passive, incapable of moving. But fully capable of absorbing everything that is poured onto me or buried within me. Water, water, water comes inside me and the emotions disappear into the reassuring heaviness of earth.