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Pomegranates for Persephone


It’s over. But I’m in shock. It’s final. But I can’t really comprehend. This is the day of closing. The house that gave birth to Duirwaigh, that nested our dreams and hopes and wild ambitions, the house that contained a thousand shades of laughter and tears and sighs, the house where I first tangoed with my husband and cradled the four-footed loves of my life…

The house that later caused one hundred nightmares of things-gone-wrong, the house that eventually became the neglected, empty and sagging, an albatross around my neck, has moved into glorious new, caring hands.

I’m not there to kiss it goodbye. To hug it in gratitude. I’m not the one sweeping the floors and handing over the keys to the new owners. And it just feels surreal. I sign the closing documents, hear the lawyer tell me the deal is final, but I just can’t seem to make it stick.

So much weight off my shoulders. Who am I without that burden? It’s hard for me to give consideration to that question, as my days are filled with dying. Izzy, my little soul mate chihuahua is making her transition into The Next Place. Who am I without her presence? I can’t wrap my mind around that, either, nor the decision to forgo adopting any new furry family members. This decision squeezes my heart. To live without the presence of animals, who are foundational to my soul, in order to journey around the world with my husband? Just the concept sounds surreal, like a character in some other story that I might read while curled up in my bed with a snoring dog at my head and another between my knees. Who is that character? I am becoming a foreigner even to myself. Just look at my body. It’s morphing. Skin getting thinner, hands getting spotted, face shape shifting before my mirror-eyes. Days ago I became a great-aunt. Me? Am I that old? Can there be yet another generation coming up behind me to shape and color this world of ours in ways we’ve never even dreamed? Who is the woman in the mirror? And how does she make her way forward without the blush and vibrant beauty of youth?

Today is a day for marveling, not for questioning. I tell Izzy to not look back, to go ahead and go when she’s ready. I’ll be right behind her. Five years, ten. Fifty. I have no idea how many more year-steps are left on my journey, but I know I’ll hardly blink, and we’ll be together again. The world breathes us in. The world breathes us out. Yet we dance through eternity, together. Houses come, houses go, but home is stationery, contained, as it is, in the soul. Bodies fade. Houses crumble. Yet the essence of what we love remains, always, if we but reach for it.

And so I reach. I whisk Izzy off the couch and yell out to Silas “Let’s go to Santa Fe!” There are earrings in a glass case I want to rescue and suddenly I want them now. Today. This day of morphing and marveling. This day of closing. For if there is a closing, certainly there is an opening. We pack up the car and drive into the mountains. Ninety minutes later the opening is dangling from my ears. Open pomegranates. Open hands.

The Hand of Fatima, or the Hamsa. From Wikipedia: a sign of protection that also represents blessings, power, and strength. Often hung on the front door of a house as a guardian and protector. Or in my case, hanging on my home, on the duir of soul, to guide my journey through all the questions and strengthen the courage needed to live my way into the answers. Used to protect against evil eye, a malicious stare believed to be able to cause illness, death, or just general unluckiness, hamsas often contain an eye symbol. Interestingly, these hamsa symbols hanging from my ears do not contain an eye, but a red jewel in the shape of an eye. This encourages me to use my third eye, the eye of my ruby red heart, to envision my future. Not the eyes of lack or limitation. Not the eyes of fear or doubt. Not the evil eye of criticism, cursing my world with not enoughness, while shrinking my creative prowess and personal sovereignty in the process. But the ruby red eye of the heart, the third eye, sits in the palm of protection and strength, encouraging true sight and reminding me that my greatest strength lies in my vulnerability.

Pomegranate: fertility, abundance, success, fruit of transformation, guardian of The Return. But most importantly, Persephone’s fruit. Persephone, daughter of earth and sky, Goddess whose name rings like a song born from the phoenix, she who moves between the worlds, she who signals the regeneration of life, the passing of the seasons, and the heralding of hope’s eternal spring. Persephone’s seeds glisten at the sides of my throat, giving rise to my own winged song of ashes, reminding me that all things pass away and all things are born anew and ever, always, there is the seed, the fruit, and the Goddess that willingly swallows them to light our transformation, to feed our souls, to nurture us on both sides of life’s door and ultimately, to guide our journey above and below, to thread the needle on the spindle of home.

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