Monday, September 15, 2014

Leaving the Island and the Eight of Cups

In the summer of 1971, my new husband and I took our small black mutt-dog and our camping gear and rode off to find the vacation property of our dreams. Bypassing the expensive waterfront within a weekend’s drive of Toronto, we ended up one thousand miles from home, proud owners of a 4 ½ acre island. Densely treed verging on wild, it came with a ramshackle log cabin and tilted outhouse. The lake was pristine, potable, deep and cool, populated all round by cottagers.
The island's previous owner, a local character named Doris, boasted that the fishing was so good that the muskies, (a large pike-related fierce-toothed fresh-water fish) came up and rested their jaws on the rocks. This did not prove to be true, thank goodness, and the island was our beloved summer home for the next ten years.
I learned to negotiate baking with a wood-burning stove named Climax, paddle a canoe, and tell red pines from white ones. We read by oil-lamps, painted signs for the paths we were clearing, and eavesdropped on the spluttering of otters at play. Our son managed to imitate the loons' quavering call so accurately that they answered back. There was the immensity of the Aurora Borealis, and the intense, can't-see-my-hand darkness of northern nights. We sauteed fairy ring mushrooms, and canoed across to the mainland when the wild blueberries were ready for picking.

Gaian Tarot

It’s been thirty years now since I was there.
Lives have changed, partners have moved on, kids have grown and started their own families. I still mourn the loss of that small parcel of trees, rocks and moss, and the sweetness of times spent there, but have finally come to accept that I cannot hold onto it forever.

The sale of the island was final this week. It deserves a new family, new explorers, new pathfinders. I hope they will cherish it as much as we did, all those years ago.

Which bring us to the Eight of Cups, a watery card of leavetakings.
Our emotional lives ebb and flow, times and people change; sometimes an exit is of our own devising, and sometimes we are forced away from someone or someplace before we are ready.
Whatever the reason, the Eight of Cups is about coming to grips with letting go and moving on.

The AnnaK and the Cat's Eye show us endings where someone leaves brokenhearted and rejected. Their situations have become emotionally untenable.

In the Sidhe, this card is called "Escaping Stagnation". From the scary look of the pond, I'd say this image opens the door to possibilities of unhealthy or even abusive relationships. To escape takes courage, but the reward is emotional sunshine. Breathe deeply; the air is clear and fresh.

In the Buckland Romani, memories are sweet, but the time has come to move on. Oh dear, we see a jarring parting of the ways in Songs for the Journey Home.

It's been great spending time with you in the Bruegel, but now we must say our goodbyes; thank you so much for your hospitality! We're all packed up and on our way in the Journey to the Orient. It's a difficult climb up into the mountains and the wind is biting; we'd better get going while there's still daylight.

Am I idealizing the summers spent on the Island? Quite possibly. The Fey looks like she's leaving the Holy Grail. The Maat wonders if I'm blinded by sentiment. The All Hallows suspects that I think of the Island as hallowed ground. They're all probably a little bit right.

The Art of Life knows that with every loss there comes a gain, even if we can't see it through our tears.

To endings, mendings, and new beginnings.