Garden Notes: Wild Woman


Last night during the evening constitutional around the yard with Bonnie, when we rounded the garden I noticed a tiny eggplant pushing out of the womb of its blossom-mother. I bent to peer in closer and my eyes were rewarded by not one, but two little eggplant babies straining forth into the light! It was love at first sight. I’ve never grown eggplant before but there is something so soulful in the deep purple hue of their skin.

First thing this morning, I donned my robe to head out and take some photos of the new babies. My camera lens kept fogging up; the moisture in the air so heavy, even at eight a.m. I couldn’t find the right light and in the middle of the shoot, a surprise downpour chased me back indoors.

But I am still thinking about how that lavender blossom gave birth to the plump plum of the eggplant fruit and the beauty of it can bring me to tears if I let it.

I’ve been having trouble writing down the words lately. There are too many changes going on around here and my heart is struggling to keep up. When I have trouble with writing, I read, read, read. When we were on holiday at the ocean a few weeks ago, I started re-reading an old favorite of mine, Women Who Run With the Wolves. The first time I read this book I was a new bride, so young and sweet. I read with different eyes these days (but I’m still sweet, I like to think).

The author is a Jungian analyst and a storyteller. Her life’s work has been collecting multicultural stories, myths, fairy tales, folk tales and using them in her work with women to help them re-connect with their natural, creative selves. The way the book is arranged, she shares a story and then goes through the analysis with the reader.

I’m reading very slowly this time around, taking notes and praying through. As I read during our vacation, the three males in my life kept teasing me about my “wild woman” coming out. The author describes the “wild woman” not as something untame and dangerous, but as our natural self—before the demands of culture shaped our natures into something unrecognizable.

“[T]he word wild here is not used in its modern pejorative sense, meaning out of control, but in its original sense, which means to live a natural life, one in which the criatura, creature, has innate integrity and healthy boundaries. These words, wild and woman, cause women to remember who they are and what they are about. They create a metaphor to describe the force which funds all females. They personify a force that women cannot live without.”

And so I have been reading the stories and putting myself in the place of various characters. As I read, read, read—burying myself in words—it feels like I am being fortified for some important work—and then, I remind myself that life is important work. And this thought makes me grateful for the dam that has stopped the flow of words.

I will listen for a time, remember, re-familiarize myself with my inside voice.

It feels like rather being born of a lavender blossom; growing a deep, soulful skin. Beauty birthing beauty.


  1. […] I’ve shared about how my thoughts are running wild as I re-read my old favorite Women Who Run With the Wolves. I’ve been stuck on the fifth task of Vasalisa the Wise this week. Perhaps I’ll write more about that later. […]

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