And yet, on most days, as you, my loves, already will have divined, Gemmy did not consort with water nymphs, take ritual baths before meeting with County Commissioners, or drink Maywine while making Beltane love to a man named Paris. Nor did Gemmy spend most days sitting in communion with the river to celebrate Imbolc, traveling through time to view chestnut trees, or meeting bag ladies who sent her off to an astrological fountain in the middle of the city.
No. On most days Gemmy, sensible woman that she was, got up at six-thirty, had oatmeal and tea (with fresh fruit on the days just after payday). Gemmy went upstairs and did some yoga. Gemmy sat at her altar, grounded, cast a circle, and did some meditation (well, on the good days she did some meditation; on the other days, Gemmy sat at her altar and tried to meditate).
Gemmy dressed, grabbed the lunch she’d packed the night before, and walked to the bus stop, trying not to stew about work or her bills but to, instead, be present to all of the plants, animals, and people she met.
Gemmy worked all day and Gemmy came home.
Gemmy fed the local animal she’d adopted and spent some time pulling a cloth mouse on a string to entertain her. Gemmy threw most of the mail in the recycling bin, but saved the bills to pay, according to plan, on payday. Gemmy made her dinner out of as many local ingredients as she’d been able to buy; tonight’s dinner was chicken, kale, and barley soup and the chicken and kale were from local farmers. The barley was organic, bought on sale, with a coupon. Gemmy vacuumed the floor and packed tomorrow’s lunch: left-over soup and a piece of pita, along with an apple from the farmers’ market.
Because the night was so lovely and the light was so long, Gemmy went for a walk after dinner. It was just around her neighborhood, but it was good to get outside, look at everyone else’s gardens, and have some space to think about which of the local Pagan groups that she’d found online she should approach first. The graspy couple next door were never outside, nor was the guy with the big truck. Sometimes, Gemmy waved to a dog walker or picked up a frisbee and threw it back to the kids who were playing with it across the street corner. And, because it was Thursday and she was thinking about the weekend, Gemmy checked the weather on her cell and decided that, if it really were going to be sunny and seventy, she’d pull Deena’s bike out of her laundry room and ride down to the Arboretum to spend some time with “her” bonsai tree, maybe check out their herb garden for ideas, take some pictures to send to Carla.
Day by uneventful day, Gemmy lived on her landbase, cared for a local animal, learned how the seasons unfolded in this new place, and did her best to be grounded and present. Day by uneventful day, Gemmy paid off her loans so that she could be free to do work that she liked better than Interior, although Interior wasn’t bad and she was making friends there, helping to mange natural resources. Sometimes, before she sent a report up the chain of command, Gemmy would focus on it, find her place in the web, ground, and pluck a fiber of the web here in order to make the web vibrate over there. Day by uneventful day, Gemmy paid attention to local politics and did what she could — a letter here a phone call there, an occasional spell when called for — to nudge those in charge of the landbase in the direction of balance, care, preservation. Day by uneventful day, Gemmy fell deeper in love with a native of this place, fought with him a few times, and occasionally felt a bit uncomfortable about Susan’s persistent interest in him. Gemmy shrugged it off, told herself she was being silly. Day by uneventful day, Gemmy watered the plants in her “pottager garden” out back, scooped good compost out of her tiny compost bin to add to the pots, and waited, patiently, for her harvest.
One weekend, Paris and a friend came by with a jackhammer that Paris’ friend was about to return to his shop. In exchange for coffee and Gemmy’s carrot muffins, they broke up the cement in Gemmy’s tiny yard and carted it off for fill. Gemmy looked in despair at the caked clay and construction mess they’d revealed, grounded, talked to the land, and began spreading her compost each week on the yard, one square foot at a time, instead of using it for her pots.
As Gemmy rounded the corner back towards home, her cell phone rang: Au Champs Elysees.
“Hey, gorgeous; how was your day?” Paris asked.
“Not bad,” Gemmy said, “did you make that sale to the apartment complex?”
“Am I not named for the capital of France?” Paris joked back. “Hey, Gem, Commissioner Hind dropped by the store today to buy some strawberry seedlings. She told me the measure to allow dumping in the Potomac failed. The chairman was apparently a last-minute switch. I knew you’d be happy. But the measure in DC, you know, the one to allow dumping in the Anacostia, may go foreward. There’s some kind of protest march or demonstration or something this weekend, just ahead of the vote.”
“Well that’s great about Arlington,” Gemmy said. “And thanks for the info; I may see about heading out to the Anacostia thing this weekend instead of hitting the Arboretum.”
“We’re still on for Saturday night, right?” Paris replied. “I’m going to make my famous chili and we’ll head over to Susan and Dan’s for dinner and a movie. I can pick you up about six.”
“Sounds perfect,” Gemmy replied. I’m going to make dad’s strawberry-rhubarb pie. I miss you.”
“I miss you too. Get some good sleep.”
And, so, Gemmy did. Gemmy showered, put on a cotton nightgown, and slipped into bed. Peschecat followed a few minutes later, already purring slow and strong. Gemmy fell asleep listening to Peschecat.
There was absolutely nothing weird or eventful about the entire day. It was the typical day of a typical Witch. Wasn’t it?
/To be continued.
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