Many years ago, at the Yorvik festival, I met a beautiful “Viking” woman who was reading runes. We soon found much in common, and there started a close friendship, which would be a source of inspiration for us both. Bette had been writing articles “in praise of trees”, and after our meeting resolved to write a book, which I would illustrate.
That book is still awaiting its time…..life is not that simple……. We lost Bette from our lives as she died four years ago this week, and her lifelong partner Don died at the same time last year.
To honour them both, I have decided to put snippets of Bette’s writing out into the ether through my blog, to share her insights with you.
From the Forward:
” From my earliest childhood I have always enjoyed and sought the company of trees. I was lucky to be reared within a family having a strong sense of both the ancient world and the energies of Earth; my maternal grandmother had roots in both the northwest Highlands and Skye, and was gifted with the Sight, while my father’s family were from Cork and Kerry in the far southwest of Ireland, and my father had a great affinity with all growing things. The world to me was a magical place, and trees in particular were magnetic and enchanting beings.
[Meraylah’s] Green Man is a joyful and inspirational portrayal. This is a truly archetypal being, strong but smiling benevolently as he pours forth a plethora of living growth as a libation to Mother Earth, and flanked on either side by the legendary Celtic symbol of abundance, the Dagda, a cauldron that will be endlessly replenished no matter how often it is emptied.”
From The Green Man:
[At the Winter Solstice…] “…….the forests are by no means empty of life, and we become increasingly aware of a watchful and attentive presence. Our distant ancestors would have recognised the closeness of the Green Man, the eternally vigilant guardian of the natural world, a figure who for centuries past has symbolised the cycle of death and rebirth that guarantees the survival of the planet and its creatures.”
“The World of the Green Man”:
” Empty of light and life,
The planet hung in a limitless void,
Locked in a grip of ice. No growth
Could flourish in this naked silence,
No living creature marked the tundra in its passing.
The Sun, reviving and restoring,
Smiled once again upon the stirring Goddess.
Rain dropped, soft and gentle,
A benison to the waiting Earth.
Tides ebbed and flowed,
Rivers carved their chosen course,
Sparkling, tumbling, waters crystal clear,
Ran eagerly to greet the encircling seas.
With this change came I,
Green in countenance, untamed in spirit,
Bringing my message of rebirth and renewal.”
(All her writings copyright. If sharing, please credit Bette.)