Celeste and June in November

“It’s Scorpio time,” said Celeste who as her name suggested paid some attention to the stars and their progress through the wheel of the year. “What is going to happen this year? Something always does….”

“Several somethings, no doubt,” said June dryly. “I always feel a little braced in November.”

“Is it time to conjure a few more wise ones? Wizards and witches, shamans and fools? It’s that season.”

“I think Owen is getting close to his Chironic wounded healer power and Thea is diving deep with her painting. Really everyone is taking some major leaps right now. The dream world has been hopping. And the birds are pretty excited. Almost spring-like in some ways or mid-summer when the raucous young ravens fledge.”

Celeste yawned and stretched thinking how tired she was and that tomorrow was a school day. A fire twinkled merrily in the grate, welcome sustenance on this chilly night. She licked her forefinger and pressed it to glean the remaining chocolate chip cookie crumbs from the plate Ariel had presented them earlier. “Maybe I should take your advice about retiring soon. Rhea is coming along nicely as a teacher and I can imagine leaving the Illahee School in her competent hands. I have my eye on Ariel too.”

“That would be a huge step for you,” responded June, not daring to hope her partner would act on the suggestion any time soon, yet knowing that the time was inevitably approaching. “It would be lovely to have you present here in a different way. I wonder what that would look like.”

“More sewing and clothes design for one thing. I could get serious about my astrology and astronomy studies for another, I still have such a strong feeling that you and I are here from the stars. I’d like to explore my connection with the Pleiades.”

“And I with Sirius. We are spirits learning to be human.”

“Oh no. I just thought. What if our true homes are different worlds. I don’t know if I could bear to be separate from you, dear heart.”

“Perhaps we’ll just need to come back here again…. so we can be together…..” Each fingered the single diamond in her own left ear, a pair split one holiday season to remind them of their origins in the stars. Each then reached across to finger the twin sparkling in the other’s ear, looking into each other’s eyes. It was a ritual that never failed to delight them. A quick hug sealed with a kiss and they sat back again in their corners of the blue chintz love seat drawn in front of the fire.

“I know that Pluto and Neptune are dancing in tandem. Shadow selves being fished out of the deep by the watery king, while Jupiter makes it all loom large. Is there something we should be doing to help things along?” asked Celeste, pouring herself a little more from the delightful Goddessy Damiana liquour bottle between them.

June added another log to the fire – wood Arlo had split – and then decided to warm up her cooling cup of Cindy’s lavender and tulsi tea nestled in the duck down cozy that Caliente had made for them. So lovely having evidence of younger friends all around them. The fire happily kindled more brightly and the stars twinkled outside the window.

“It feels like there is some heat bubbling in various quarters…. sexually I mean. It could stir things up to have some company in that realm.”

“Other female couples?”

“I don’t know about that. Sure, it would be nice to have more witchy lesbians around, but I have a feeling that’s not so important as raising the general heat level around here. Ours too, of course.”

Their hands reached across the small distance between them to clasp warmly and then following suit, their heads bent forward as well. Lips connected and softened, opening to allow tongues to do their dance. Each put a hand on the other’s cheek. And drank deeply. “You smell good,” said one to the other. Breath came faster for a moment then stilled again. They drew apart, their eyes open deeply to each other, content to let the stirring in their cunts simmer for a bit.

“Do you ever wish we were younger, Celeste?”

“You mean like I would have grabbed you hard in the old days and we’d be rolling on the floor by now with or without our shirts?”

“Nice memories, aren’t they?”

“I keep having the feeling that if there were more juice around us, we’d have more juice between us. But maybe that’s just wishful thinking….”

“When you wish upon a star…. “ Celeste sang. “Venus is rising again in the east aka Inanna returning from the Underworld to greet her lover.”

“Remember back when I was whining about how there was no one else to play with magically?”

“I wasn’t very willing to take part in those days, was I?”

“You were busy putting energy into the school. You still are.”

“I know,” Celeste said ruefully. “It’s all-consuming.”

“And worth it. You’ve helped a lot of young folks come into their own. Look at the marvelous crop abroad now, both those here and those out a’wandering about the globe.” June thought longingly of Marina Goodwin-Brown, a favorite of hers.

“Still…..”

“I remember I had to take myself firmly in hand and do the psi stuff on my own. Let my sand tray work be shamanic, even if my clients didn’t always realize it. I learned how to move myself in that space of magic and mystery, letting even ordinary, everyday actions have meaning and import. Model the world I want to be living in. It’s a challenging discipline.”

“You do it so well.”

“Not all the time, of course, but I had such marvelous training from my earliest years. I thank my mother and aunts daily. Plus I keep my life quiet enough that I can usually open my heart center to operate from. All my chakras really. As you know, it doesn’t work if I’m out in groups too much. No dancing or drumming for me much less city council meetings or board memberships, no matter how worthy the cause. I just can’t stay centered when I am pulled every which way by people’s energies and dramas and fears. I get seduced into caring too much about the details then. I can manage it one on one with clients if I’m very careful and cleanse after every session. Put their worry cares into my little cauldron to work themselves out on their own…. Of course, sometimes a particular group thing calls me….”

“Seems like there have been more than usual this fall. You got us to the Equinox Labyrinth, the Demeter and Persephone women’s ritual, and even Day of the Dead. I’ve been amazed.”

“I’m tracking that about myself obviously. Seems like things are heating up somehow and my Inner Guidance keeps saying I’m needed to be present – to nudge things a bit more than in years past. Maybe it’s all finally coming together….”

“Have you noticed Gabriel and Jasmine Terranova’s energy? It’s very intriguing.”

“Kind of sparking…. They haven’t opened up yet about all they know…. Getting their bearings I assume. And who on earth are Ken and Marsha? They’re taking Ursula’s class. I come across him wandering around in the dream time but he’s pretty unconscious….”

“I’ll bet one or both of them show up in your sand tray studio soon.”

“We’ve been waiting an awfully long time. Is it finally long enough? We always knew people would show up and grow into their power.”

“You helped heal a bunch of them.”

“As you helped raise a bunch.” June raised her teacup to salute Celeste. “We both are available when the big energies need us.”

“I’ve always thought it amazing that we can live here in a group house….”

“Luckily we have our little suite.”

“And Owen is such a steady soul.”

June raised an eyebrow. “You’re forgetting….”

“I suppose I am. But at least we weren’t all living together during his pot and alcohol PTSD years. Nor during his sadness while Susan died and then when Robin fledged from the nest. But that led him to invite us into the house. What a blessing that has been. We’ve helped him anchor, I think.”

“Not to mention the stray urchins who pass through here. We always seem to know which ones will work for us, and us for them.”

“Usually. I think Ariel is a keeper, though I don’t suppose she’ll be content in this house forever. She will stay in the area now.” June spoke as if saying it made it so which it did. “She’s home, you know.”

“Probably she’ll partner up. I have a feeling it might be with a woman, speaking of that.”

“Speaking of that.” Their hands reached out massaging knees and sliding up thighs to their matched pair of v-shaped crotches…. The flames kindled a bit more this time. “I do believe there is a little juice flowing, Sweetie. Shall we adjourn to the bed? As inviting as the fire is, this floor is awfully challenging to my hips nowadays.”

“Not just yet,” said June. “I’d like to dedicate our rising flame to the collective fire – juice and muscle, sinew and bone. Semen and fallopian tubes – even ours that aren’t doing much any more. Our memories will suffice and can flow forward from the past into the future.” She turned her eyes towards the winged Isis statue that knelt on the mantle piece surrounded by lavender sprigs, calendula and feather bouquets, several cowrie shells and a large piece of obsidian. “May the Goddess bless all our unions and the gods rise to the charms and calls of Venus, Inanna and Isis. It is time. Help me up, Celestina mia, my knees are a bit creaky tonight.”

 

 

Uri and Ursula Tarot

“Do you have a tarot deck you prefer?” Ursula asked Uri as they settled next to each other on the purple futon in the back room at Bear Essentials. A red Japanese lantern light hung overhead and a Christmas cactus was getting ready to bloom on a little table next to them. A silk banner of the chakras and a poster of Bob Marley graced the two walls without windows. A massage table was folded in its traveling case in the corner.

“I don’t really know much about the Tarot,” admitted the young fey man who had come to connect with Ursula after many promptings from his spirit guides and new human friends.

“Then go ahead and choose a deck, either by looking at them or…. as you are doing,” Ursula chuckled watching Uri let his hand hover over the several decks she had in her basket. He settled on a green bag embroidered with flowers and handed it to her. “The Herbal Tarot,” said Ursula. “Done by respected herbalists, Candis Canton and Michael Tierra, based on the traditional Ryder Waite deck.” It seemed like a fitting choice for this young healer shaman before her.

“It had a glow about it and made my fingers tingle. All good signs that it is the one we should play with today.”

“I think we won’t do a full spread, but rather pull them one by one as our conversation progresses,” said Ursula shuffling the cards. “Do you have a specific question or….?”

“I just wanted us to get to know each other another degree and to see if you had some advice, either through the cards or via your own wisdom and experience, about settling myself into the community.”

Ursula blew on the cards and handed them to Uri. “Shuffle these a bit yourself and then pull one.” She watched as Uri grounded deeply inside himself and the cards seemed to whirr into place with the ‘important’ one on top. He carefully turned it face up.

“Ah, the Magician, numero uno of the Majors, who traditionally has all the elements at hand. See, he has tools for water, earth, air and fire, available to be picked up. A cup, a sword, a wand and a disc or coin with a pentacle, which are also the suit names for this deck. He is connected downward where he’s pointing and upward to the sky. ‘As above, so below,’ as Hermes Trismegistus and the astrologers are fond of saying.”

“What is evidenced in the heavens and what comes through our guidance appears always in earthly form as well,” mused Uri thoughtfully. He noted but did not speak of the crystal ball in the Magician’s upward hand that matched the one he had been gifted just before moving here.

“This version of the Magician certainly looks like an angelic being so it fits your name, Uriel. I would assert that, like you, he has healing hands. Astragalus, the herb the authors chosen for the Magician, increases energy for digestion, both assimilation of actual food and of what you know. As you learn how to use all the tools, you will have new stuff to teach us. It is also helpful for manifestation so I assert this is saying that you will find whatever you need to move forward. I suggest you get some astragalus root for putting into soups. It’s good for the immune system too.”

“That card gives me shivers, said Uri.

“Me too. It’s a powerful card… as are you. Take another one.” She liked the way his hand didn’t hesitate but went straight to one in the middle of the pile. “The King of Pentacles reversed. You need to learn and practice your earthly skills. Medicines, perhaps? Hang out with Owen? This deck, by the way, is a good one for a right-brained approach to learning herbs.”

“I was just thinking I should probably buy it for myself.”

“I have one around here somewhere I can give you that was damaged in shipping and I have a feeling it wants to be yours. Anyway, this King is the master of earth plane stuff. Since the card came up at all, the energy is present but hidden, occluded in some way. I suspect you already know a lot of stuff and have used it some but it hasn’t manifested to its full extent. And to some degree, you don’t know what you know. Plus,” she laughed, “the alfalfa assigned to this card is also about manifestation. Be careful what you wish for. You have some powerful energies lining up for getting what you want.”

Uri nodded with a twinkle in his eye. “I want to pull several cards now. Not sure why.”

“No need to know why. I trust your intuition. I hope you do too.” This last as he looked wryly at her. “Ha! I was wondering about the other  elements. You’ve got two wands for fire and a water card. As the Magician it seemed like you should have all the elements.”

“I wonder if I made that happen. To achieve the balance that I could see was missing and to get clues about my personal Magician’s tools.”

“Of course you did, that’s why I have you pull the cards. It’s your power that’s at work here not mine. I just set the stage and help with the interpretation.”

“Just!” said Uri.

“So there’s your fire – the Four of Wands – fairies playing in the fennel. They kinda look like you. The affirmation for this one,” she said looking at the book, “is ‘I feel greater self-confidence by quietly recognizing my many gifts and accomplishments.’”

“Confidence again, huh?”

“Yup. This one isn’t about a specific tool but more of an assurance that you do have them all at your fingertips. Perhaps not at your command yet,” she smiled, “but you have only to notice and practice – playfully and in a group. So now look at the Two of Wands. Because the young man is holding the globe and looking out over the landscape, I usually I think of this card as someone heading off on a journey. In this case, I’m thinking that he’s looking to see if he’s found home. Of course, I have to be careful with this interpretation because I’m all about recruiting everyone worthy to stay here and play with us…. But if it resonates with you…”

“You know it does.”

“He is a bit of a dandy like you and a fairy too.”

They both laughed and then were silent a moment taking in the gestalt of the cards. Uri spoke next, “The Magician is holding what feels like a celestial orb and this one has the Earth. I wasn’t sure if I should tell you with the first, but now seeing two globes reminds me of the crystal ball I was recently given. Do you know anything about gazing into other times and places?”

Scrying is another word for that. And, no, I’ve never really had any luck with that, nor has anyone else in the Medicine Circles that I know of. Mostly we’ve tried with bowls of water or obsidian. Occasionally fire. So that is something you’ll get to teach us when you’ve had success with it. Uriel is the prophesizing angel after all.”

Uriel looked at her startled. “Hmmm. Stay tuned, I guess I haven’t had the nerve to play with it yet. One more tool.”

“I’m also getting another hit on this card,” said Ursula, “Again don’t take it on if it doesn’t resonate, but he looks like he’s from another time, and that he’s looking at the earth to see where to land….”

“Funny you should mention that. I often have a feeling of being from somewhere else.… the stars…. and some-when else. Maybe even the future? Come to help the Earth’s people…. ourselves… transition to something different…..”

“I see…. Not quite of this world and with huge energy, power and magical gifts hidden just beneath the surface. Like you’ve brought them with you and now is the time to discover them. I am honored to be helping you with that process.”

He took a deep breath and a tear ran down his cheek. “Thank you for hearing me. I can’t say that to very many people.”

“I suspect more of us than we have any idea have landed here on Earth and in this particular spot like you have. All of us even? Coming from the future would mean that we have already experienced the changes and it’s up to us to see that they happen. Think of all those science fiction books about going back in time and changing something. It’s going to be velly intelesting as our sense of bringing the future into the present come to light more and more.”

“But why, oh why can’t we remember? Why do we have to dig so deeply to uncover it all??”

“It’s completely frustrating, isn’t it? Perhaps at first to protect us from the muggles of the world we are born into – my generation certainly. And also because we have to build it – not just wave our magic wands (though they help) but to build it ‘inch by inch, row by row…’” She sang the last part. “All of us…. Together…”

They looked at each other and leaned over to hug, both in tears now.

“Okay,” Ursula said briskly, fishing the Kleenex box from under the little table. “We haven’t looked yet at the water card. Knight of Cups. Another interesting looking young man. As we’ve already discerned, you have many guises, Uriel. A magician indeed. Here you have wings on your hat and an exotic an old-fashioned drink…. A potion? I’m not clear about this card. The watery element for you is a mystery for me. Let’s look in the book for this one…. Ah, ‘the airy aspect of water.’ That fits. ‘A messenger of the Gods….’ Check. ‘In pursuit of a dream…’ Check. ‘He is on a tireless search for identity in relation to another…. Sarsaparilla symbolizes purification of emotions…. ‘ How’s your relationship to Michael? If I may be so bold as to ask.”

“Challenging,” responded Uri. “We’re on very different planes about all this stuff. I certainly can’t talk to him about coming from other worlds and times, but I keep hoping that something will shift once he’s settled into this demanding new job and gets to know you all from your woo woo perspective. I’m so glad he’s working with Charley so some is bound to rub off on him – it won’t just be weirdness coming from me…. The good thing is that we both feel very HOME. He, of course, cause he grew up here, but me too. I feel like I’ve found my tribe.”

“The Inca and many others in their prophecies talk about the fact that much of this age’s advances will be made in groups, that it cannot be done solo anymore. There may still be some hermits to help hold the space but mostly it’s now about communing and self-discovery with others. What’s more that it needs to be done as part of a lineage within a village. We have a rudimentary foundation for that both with folks like Owen’s and Michael’s families who have been here a long time, as well as the hints we’ve been getting about connecting with the Mountain and the native Old Ones. But mostly I’m thinking it’s about building the legacy for our descendants…..”

“Ursula, I am suddenly seeing you and I as Old Ones who have come to Earth other times. Not here, but to the Inca…. Stones. Huge stones. And those red woolen caps pulled down over forehead and ears….. Also as Pueblo Indians…. rattles and drums and mountains…. We know about this stuff…. We come here to create council fires…. So did others but I can’t see their faces. I hope Michael’s is among them…. I’m to help connect us to our missions here…..”

“Oh Uri, I’m so glad you’ve finally gotten here,” said Ursula. “Welcome home.”

“Me too.” They hugged again.

“I want to take a card from a different deck,” Uri said picking up the new Gaian Tarot from Joanna Powell Colbert. The figures in this deck were from real people, exquisitely painted. After a quick shuffle, Uri pulled the Seven of Air from the middle of the pack. “There’s the Air card I was missing. That’s me looking at the map, isn’t it? Trying to learn the territory. Michael has one map and it’s useful to me. You have one with other pertinent details for me, but I must still find my own way across the valley to the peak.”

“Yup, but how ‘bout this for starters. Would you like to use this room to begin your shamanic healing practice? It’s been the starting place for several of the healers in the area.”

“Really? Oh, Ursula. You read my mind. I was wondering how I was going to find a space. This would be effortless.”

“And would you like to meet with Raphael Turner, the MD up at the clinic who is interested in combining forces with alternative healers?”

“Would I?! That would be incredible. Kind of scary though.”

“Now don’t start that. There are others who want to get together with him as well. I think it’s time to follow up on that thread… One more card for all of us, for the Tribe…”

Uri pulled The Tree.

“Of course. Usually called the Hanged One, it’s about choosing to have ourselves hung upside down from the Tree of Life. Thus we are dangled into challenging situations in order to discover ourselves. Even with the forgetting and other struggles, we do our light work with diligence…on the good days….”

“Onward,” said Uri.

“Hey, that’s my line,” teased Ursula, “But you can use it as much as you want with my blessings….”

They bowed to each other with hands at their hearts in Namaste and began to talk logistics of Uri taking up a working residence at Bear Essentials.

Four in the Hot Tub 2

Conjuring Together

“What else do we need?” asked Charley coming back to his  question of the evening.

“Hey! You guys want to share this place and this view more? How ‘bout you open it up for retreats or the seasonal holy days or some such? It sure was lovely hanging out here last Summer Solstice,” said Pia.

“You could have your classes here anyway,” added Raven. “It would fit in with the retreat business we keep talking about.”

“How’s that coming?” asked Charley.

“Things are starting to gel in my mind,” said Pia. “I’ve got some ideas of people to call to do workshops.”

“We’ve actually been talking about using this place a little more. Like the hot tub, it seems a bit much to keep it all to ourselves now that the kids are grown and we have the office and store in town. The Aerie we built for the teenagers isn’t getting much use these days. We’re happily private when we’re here, but I think there are ways we could structure things, both physically and timing-wise, to achieve a good balance.”

“Balance is a good thing to be taking into account during the Equinox window. Especially balance like yin yang, not our Western seesaw image,” said Pia.

“I’m hardly using my little hut either,” said Ursula. “What if I change it from my private space to being available for people who want to hide out for a bit? It’s pretty primitive, no electricity and only 10×10, but it sure saved my sanity back in the day.”

“That’s a big relinquishing of a haven that’s been very important to you,” Raven observed.

“It came to me last summer on one of those nights I couldn’t sleep. Full Moon of course. I was sitting here in the tub ‘til I got too pruney and then wandered out to the stone seat to watch the dawn. Looking down over the hut, I saw it as a shared nurturing womb place – and not just for women. Everyone should have a chance to retreat back into the Mother now and then. There’s so much richness and comfort to be gleaned – or challenge, if that’s what a person needed. I was feeling pretty good about the idea when suddenly an eagle swooped in over my head and out through the trees.”

“Wow!”

“Yes, BIG WOW. ‘Ok, ok. I’ll do it, Eagle.’”

“Here’s something I keep dreaming but I haven’t even told Ursula – what if we could manifest ownership of some of the houses here on the turnaround circle,” added Charley. “That one Crystal designed with the great view of the end of the mountain would make such a fabulous conferencing space. It kills me that it’s only used a few weeks a year. It’s all still dreams, of course. Nothing substantial yet.”

“It fits in with our on-going idea of this area for re-creation in some sweet ways,” said Pia.

They all were quiet for a few beats, imagining, feeling, conjuring the possibilities. “So mote it be!” said Pia. “We’re mages enough to get that one in motion.”

“Speaking of getting wrinkly, dear fellow hags, I’m cooked,” said Charley.

“Time for us to get going,” said Pia.

“Wait! One more idea.” Ursula’s creative juices were flowing and she couldn’t quite bear for the evening to be over. The other three groaned noisily to tease her.

“Here, have some water,” she said to stave off the inevitable. She handed them the bottle she kept by the step. “I’m really tired of thinking about what to charge for stuff. I have to do that in the store where the accounting is important. But for other things, I’ve been thinking of putting out a Begging Bowl. You know, like the monks in Asia do, when they go walkabout.”

“’Walkabout’ is Australia but I get the idea,” said her husband.

“It could be used for classes and dance sessions, even here in the retreat spaces. People can put in what they feel they can pay. Sometimes more than the going rate. Less when they’re feeling tight.”

“It would change the old money thing nicely,” observed Raven.

“Exactly! I just have a feeling that it’s time to have more trust that dollars will appear as we need them. Even for an expensive vision like getting those neighboring houses. We’ve done it before. Let’s envision. No. Let’s ASSUME. Plenty. Abundance.

“Abun – DANCE!” crowed Raven.

“It doesn’t do away with currency but it does put things on a different footing,” added Pia. “A nice kind of magic.“

“People could also put in chits for service trades and food and stuff,” said Charley. “I know just the bowl we could use.”

“Ok. I’m done. Let’s do dance on Wednesdays and I’ll teach my class on Thursdays after yoga. Does that work for ya’ll? Cuz I hope you each will come help now and then.”

“That Ursula!” said Raven.

“Fellow Queen Bee,” said Pia. “Now you’re stepping into your Leo Rising in a bigger way. Good for you!”

“Good for all of us. Didn’t you say that our Rising Sign is the energy and skills we need to work on in this lifetime?”

“Yes, in Shamanic Astrology, the Sun sign provides the flavor of the work. With your Cancer sun everything you do will be motherly and nurturing. The Moon sign is what you already have a PhD in. If you do that too much it will become an addiction. You slipped a little into your Capricorn self tonight – organizing things again like you do so well and so easily. Obviously I recognize it in you and I’d appreciate you pointing it out to me when I go there in excess. The Ascendant is what you are here to learn. Your Leo rising means you can now show up big and playfully and not just be making it all happen. I love it that you are still present for everyone, but so much more for yourself now. Good job!”

“Let’s look at everyone’s rising signs and see how we can help each other move forward.”

“Not tonight,” groaned Raven. “This bird needs bed. And Yew Dog needs release.”

“Not tonight,” Ursula agreed. “But would you do another Medicine Group session on it, Pia? It could be an important tool for us each to grow into our true selves over the coming days and weeks and months. ‘Coming into True,’ as Owen says. That’s what we’ve been doing as we sit here under the full moon next to the Oregon Grape. Let’s walk over to The Rock while you’re here. I’m finding it a great place to power up these days. I use it when I am heading off to priestess in circle or communing with the land.”

Wordlessly and still naked, the four of them trooped the few yards to the huge flat piece of basalt that Charley had unearthed with Owen’s help some thirty years ago when they first owned the place. Fallen off the top of the Mountain in a cataclysm centuries before, it now stood like a low table on the promontory at the base of a large Sitka spruce. Ursula bowed to the tree remembering the evening last year when a psychic passing through told them the tree was thanking her and Charley for their reverent attention to the details on the land.

They all stepped up on the table ignoring the sticky spruce droppings. Their arms encircled, Raven began to tone and the others wove their voices around his deep one. With the moon high now in the sky, the power was huge coming to them from the cosmos, the stone at their feet and the Mountain that rose behind them, as well as from the ocean stretching forever in front of them, and the loving trust between them.

“Fire, Water, Earth and Air,” intoned Ursula.

“Spirit,” breathed Pia.

“HO!” They spoke as One, feeling the power deep within their very bones and blood fed by the elements and the spirits of their home territory.

 

“That was a little better,” said Spider to the Council Fire.

“Yes,” said Elderberry, “they seem to be finally learning about generations and manifesting layers of growth.”

“But they went off into organizing and DOING,” complained Snake, “When are they going to learn to just BE?”

“They just can’t resist, can they?” observed Sitka Spruce. “It’s those friggin’ thumbs. I’ve never understood the attraction.”

“You wouldn’t,” countered Spider, the hard worker. “I’ve been inspiring them to be creative….”

“You have been rather showing off this year,” said Sitka.

“I know, but the conditions are perfect and I’m so happy. Things are moving even if it seems too slow for you long lived types. Some of us have to keep time in mind,” said Spider a little huffily.

“Ursula’s class will light up some new ones,” said Hummingbird, another hard worker who liked to see the humans flitting about productively. “That should get some new energy flowing.”

“And you know the dancing is what some of us have been calling for,” said Grouse.

“That’s all probably important but part of me wishes that Ursula, at least, would just hibernate this winter for a change,” said Bear with a yawn.

“What a lot of different influences we are,” observed Beaver. “No wonder they get confused sometimes, poor dears.”