Our Story Circle this week focussed on ‘Place’ which reminded me of a myth I wrote years ago for a farewell ritual:
Once upon a time there was a woman called Elaine who lived in the city of the north. She had many good friends, and she lived in a house with her family, and her birds and animals. Every day she would go out in the garden and look at the flowers; the roses, and the pansies, and the poppies, and she would be aware of the presence of the Goddess, and feel very safe and secure in her domain.
But one day she started to feel a call within her, and something told her that it was time to leave her family and friends, and go on a long journey to the city of the south, the place from which her foremothers had come.
“No,” she thought. “I can’t leave here. I have all my friends and familiar things around me. How can I leave all this, and go somewhere where no-one knows me – leave my dear flowers and my beloved animals? The journey is too dangerous, and I may lose my way.
But the call became more insistent until she found it difficult to think of anything else, and she knew she had to go.
So she made plans to leave. She gave away many of her special things. She even dug up some of the flowers in her garden and gave them to her friends, who planted them in their gardens, so that parts of her home were scattered throughout the north city, with people she loved.
There were a few things she couldn’t bear to part with, so she wrapped them very carefully, and put them in her backpack ready for the journey.
Then she held a ceremony to say goodbye to her friends. This was a sad time, but her friends gave her a special card, with gifts from each of them, which she placed carefully in her backpack, and off she set.
She travelled a long way, sometimes on roads she vaguely remembered, sometimes through places that were quite strange. She crossed the sea and came to the mountains. As she gazed at their magnificent snow-capped peaks she felt strongly the presence of the Earth Mother and knew that she was nearly home.
Finally she came to the plains, and there before her was the city of the south, the place she could just barely remember from her childhood. She hastened her steps, and came to the house that she knew was to be hers. She unpacked her things and spread them around her, remembering her dear friends in the north, and wondering how she would manage without them.
Then she felt something say: “Look outside”, and she went into the garden. There were her familiar roses, and pansies, and poppies. But there was something else as well. A beautiful clump of snowdrops hung their white bells beside the path – a flower she had never seen in the north. And, as she gazed at them she knew the Goddess was with her still, and she would be happy in the south.
“This myth has deep meaning for me
Christchurch is where I’m meant to be.”