Ostara

Sit comfortably in your chair and relax…breathe normally and gently for a few seconds.

Now breathe in slowly for the count of three…1…2…3 and breathe out for the count of three…3…2…1

Breathe in again slowly to the count of three…1…2…3 and breathe out for the count of three…3…2…1

Breathe in again slowly to the count of three…1…2…3 and breathe out for the count of three…3…2…1

Feel all the tension of the day flow out of you on your exhalation…feel relaxed and ready to enter the magical world of the Ostara Hare.

As the sun comes over the easterly horizon, you leave your warm and cosy house. It is a bright, fresh Spring morning, with wisps of mist still clinging to the tops of the trees as you meander down the garden path, enjoying the crisp freshness of the air, the dancing sunbeams as they bring promise of another glorious sunny day.

You breathe in the freshness and smile with joy at the sound of the blackbird singing in the nearby hazel bush. Everything is alive, from the plump buds bursting forth on the trees to the early blossom on the cherry trees – pink and delicate like frothy lace.

The grass underneath your bare feet is a luscious emerald-green, soft as velvet and dripping with dew. You bend down and run the palms of your hands over it, collecting some to wash your face with its refreshing and invigorating wetness.

At the end of the garden is a low stone wall with an old creaky gate set into it. You open the gate and come straight out into the meadow, rich with grass and wild flowers. Not many have bloomed yet as it is still rather too early in the year but those that have bring promise of what is yet to come.

You meander slowly down the edge of the field, where the hawthorn is just about to bloom. Here and there you spy Cherry Plum and Blackthorn trees, already covered in white and pink blossoms; each delicate flower looking like a miniature ballerina’s dress.

Suddenly on the path in front of you, you see a brown streak run into the long grass. You are not perturbed because you know this is obviously a rabbit; you’ve seen so many of them in this meadow before. You continue in the same direction lost in the enjoyment of this perfect spring morning.

Then suddenly before your very eyes a large brown hare pops out of the grass. He stands there right in the middle of the grassy path, his ears pricked and his whiskers twitching. The strange thing is around his middle he wears a wreath of carefully woven grasses, wild flowers and blossoms from the trees. ‘How strange’ you think.

With his amber eyes glowing brightly Hare beckons you to follow him, and so you do, although it’s quite hard as Hare runs quite fast. Next to no time you find yourself in the middle of the meadow in front of an ancient well. That’s even stranger because you know for certain there is no well in this field.

The well is adorned with garlands of spring flowers and blossoms. You stand there in amazement as you have never seen this before. Hare is bounding around you now in great excitement, so much bouncing he does that his own garland nearly slips from his middle. You bend down to readjust it for him.

While you’re kneeling on the ground you spy in amongst the green grass some coloured eggs – bright greens, blues, yellows, and reds and also some intricately patterned ones too. ‘What are these?’ you ask in wonder to Hare. He tells you that they are Ostara’s eggs and that you have to return them to her so she can work her magic to bring spring on fully.

Hare hands you a rush basket in which to place the eggs but they look so beautiful that you’re tempted to keep just one for yourself. You pick up one of the intricately patterned ones and gently stroke it. However, Hare is watching you with his beady amber eyes, so you place it and the others in the basket.

Hare lowers the basket down the well, never to be seen again. You feel a bit sad at this – ‘what was the point of it all?’ you ask Hare. ‘You’ll see’ he replies and with a twitch of his long whiskers he bounds away on his long legs.

So you wend your way home silently and very confused. By now the sun is shining brightly and the skylarks are singing on high. As you look across the meadow you can see into the next field which has a flock of sheep in it. There you can see many new-born lambs frolicking and gambolling near their mothers. It’s such a heart warming sight and you forget your confusion.

As you renter your garden you see something different – the blossom is fuller on the trees, flowers that weren’t open before have now opened, the grass is lusher and softer and the blackbird proudly shows you her nest, in which lay a clutch of brand new eggs.  You smile as you think about what the Hare told you earlier.

As you climb the steps to your door you spy something tucked away in one corner, wrapped in leaves – it is the beautiful patterned egg you admired earlier – a gift to you from Ostara. With happiness you tuck it carefully into your pocket and go back indoors.

Now let the image slowly drift away… breathe slowly…come back to the present

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