“Our remote ancestors said to their Mother Earth, ‘We are yours.’ Modern humanity has said to Nature, ‘You are mine.’ The Green Man has returned to the living face of the whole earth so that through his mouth we may say to the Universe, ‘We are one.’” – Terri Windling, The Green Man: Tales of the Mythic Forest
I walked home yesterday & picked up leaves, twigs and branches along the way. The Green Man had to be brought to life in the garden. I was determined, even though it was getting dark and colder by the minute. I collected damp leaves, picked jagged stones for his eyes, found rippled leaves for his eyebrows. Most of my search was done at twilight- not quite day, not quite night. I could hardly see what I was doing. But I trusted my hands to pick up what was needed and discard what was not useful.
At one point, I had to get my flashlight from my room, just so that I could take a photo of him & commit his face to memory. At first his mouth was hollow and unsmiling, but it didn’t feel right. He wanted to smile. He was waiting to smile. And so, I curved the leaves of his mouth up, and found myself smiling.
The Green Man could be seen from my bedroom window this morning- and when I went down into the garden to see if the wind had blown the leaves of his face away, I was pleasantly surprised- only one eyebrow out of place and a few leaves in his mouth. I put them back in their places in the hopes that he’d stay intact, if not for the day, for a few more minutes- so that the sunlight could capture his glowing green countenance.
The old man in the garden…protector & guardian. Ancient and present.