Sunday, August 28, 2005

Fountain of Forgiveness by Gail Kavanagh

I am accompanied everywhere at the House of the serpents by a small green tree snake called Ernestine. We have been having friendly talks about the poor image snakes have in the world beyond, and a host of other things. Ernestine is very well read, since she usually resides in the library at the House of the Serpents. She curls herself around the visitors' necks and shares their books.

She likes to ride with me curled around my arm, which makes me feel like a Cretan priestess. I have taken to wearing a long flowing dress with a metal belt shaped like a snake that I found in my room. Every morning, Ernestine and I watch the sun rise over the valley - this friendship with a snake would have surprised and even shocked me once - but since getting to know Ernestine, I am taking quite a different view of snakes.

Today she showed me the way to the Fountain of Forgivenmess - I have never tasted such pure, sweet water. There was some parchment and pen and ink nearby and I sat down to write a letter of forgiveness. As I have already forgiven all wounds and injuries - in my previous soul searching I made the surprising discovery that I am no saint myself - I decided to ask forgiveness of my body for the wretched way I have treated it. If a body is a temple, then I have treated mine as an attic. Filled it with junk and neglected it shamefully, yet it has given me very little trouble for almost 60 years. Then, just because it started to complain of arthritis, I reacted as if it had left me down shamefully.

No more - from now on I will be grateful for every day it still gives me, and the many ways in which I can still enjoy use of it. I hope it can forgive me (especially for the number of time I dumped it on its behind getting here...)

Ernestine seemed to find the whole concept very hilarious, but then she has a lovely sinuous snake body that glides and slides around. I love to watch her.

After the Fountain of Forgiveness we wandered back up to the House of the Serpents where all the talk is of the disappearing river. I took a copy of the Duwamish Courier out onto the veranda and tried to read it, but there are flocks of startlings circling over the valley and that distracted me. I have never see so many, and they sparkle in the sky like drops of silver water...


At 7:40 PM, Blogger Imogen Crest said...

Beautiful images and words. I love starlings and their colours are like metallic rainbows.

At 10:16 PM, Blogger Lois said...

Dear Gail,
Try not to be too hard on yourself of neglecting your body....that arthritis is a product of what we have done ,experienced,let go of,lifted too much of, and on and on it goes........After all Gail we women never know our own strength
By loving the mind and the soul arthritis pales into insignicance.....Nothing to forgive Dear Gail................
It will take you a week to read the Duwamish Courier its so full of adds.......
13 sept 05

Lois (Muse of the Sea)

At 9:04 PM, Blogger Believer said...

Self forgiving can be the most difficult kind, but so worthwhile.
Not having that nagging voice in your head all the time can be quite freeing!

BTW--I'm glad you've spent some time with Ernestine in the library--there's so much to do in the House of Serpents it's frequently over-looked. My own companion, Paisley (shades of blue) also loves it there.


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