I Want to Share a Gem With YouJune 19, 2015
I Want to Share a Gem With You
One of the last places I visited on my recent trip to Scotland was Rosslyn Chapel. Rosslyn was built in the 1400’s by William St. Clair and remains in the ancestral family today.
I was fascinated listening to a chapel guide talk about the history and symbolism surrounding Rosslyn. Its history is steeped in myths and legends and has been written about extensively by the likes of Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, William Wordsworth and a host of others – both in fiction (i.e. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown) and non-fiction.
The chapel is loaded with hundreds of carvings of everything from an angel playing the bagpipes, to the Green Man (a pagan figure representing the unity of humankind and nature), to the fallen angel, Lucifer.
On the way out I stopped in the gift shop and my eyes immediately landed on a little booklet practically hidden on the bottom shelf titled “Tree Murmurs.”
I really love trees and believe that our spiritual connection with them is deep. When I leafed through the pages I quickly saw that “Tree Murmurs” was more than just a book of tree photos and poems. It’s a little gem.
Author Jackie Queally writes
“Trees, once widely revered, lent great wisdom to men’s lives. We communed between our selves and the trees, and were deeply at one with the universe.
Some trees were of enormous importance. They represented aspects of our developing inner lives. An eternal tree cycle, reflecting the dynamics of the universal soul unfolding, integrates this inner circle of native trees.”
Jackie has written a fascinating booklet of beautiful poetry accompanied by information on the Celtic Year – divided into thirteen months, each of which has a respective tree/bush spirit.
I contacted Jackie and she kindly gave me permission to share a few of her poems here.
I’ve always loved Birch trees, even as a young child. We would vacation in Northern Michigan where they were plentiful. According to the Celtic Year, the tree associated with the month of my birthdate is the Birch.
“I grace the skies
with slender forms
like none other.
And Venus beckons me
to her chamber
to rest my weary limbs
against the greying skies.
She bathes me with all her love
and restores me.
I will give you life
wherever you are
whether you are
alone or in company
near or far.
I seek your bidding
at the beginning
of the year.”
– Jackie Queally
Another childhood favorite of mine is the Willow. I would draw them incessantly.
“I carry the gentle mystery of hope
in the spaces I weave.
Leaning like tentacles
visions of the night
into the Light.
I hover on the edge of the Dreamtime
enveloping the Well of water Divine.
No time for Death,
nor yet for Life alone.
A sense of something else –
A surgeon carving stiches on your soul
so your fears drop off
one by one.
The journey completed
once embarked upon,
moment by moment.
I dissipate pain.”
– Jackie Queally
And a bush that you’ve perhaps never heard of – Gorse (Ulex europaeus, aka Whin). I was obsessed with this goldenrod-colored shrub that dots the Scottish landscape and gives off a delicate coconut-like scent.
When I first opened Jackie’s booklet, it was the first poem I saw.
“I occupy the eternal soils of youth
whose lessons are cloaked in adversity
and fruits are bruised with sweetness
for the bees.
Delicate blooms of yellow brightness
enveloped by the goddess’
coconut – sweet breathing
eternal in her love.
Ah! I am vigour!
borne of stubborn wood stems
star – leaved in their nakedness.
– Jackie Queally
You can order your own copy of “Tree Murmurs” HERE , along with a host of other fascinating books.
Or, if you’re lucky enough to be traveling to Scotland or Ireland, you can book a tour of various sacred sites with Jackie. I know I will be contacting Jackie when not if I return to Scotland!