The door sill begs for recognition, for acknowledgment. It spills out the stories of people who crossed its stone border, the echoes fading into the solid oak door and creaking, wide-planked floors. It whispers, “Here is where a mother carried her daughter to a rocker, lulling her quiet, to breastfeed and hold her small, precious hand, knowing only too well the time would come when she toddles away to dreams of her own making.” But for now, in the hushed silence of the deep night, she croons out her lullabies and fills her child’s head with glorious tales of gods and goddesses, of protectors of the hearth, the garden, the home. Each deity has its own function – one to meet every challenge, every need. Rocking softly, keeping beat with the tap of her toe, she spins the yarns of her foremothers, of lands near and far, of goddesses no longer needed and ones who voices still resonate with power.
The Mother knows, instinctively, that this daughter will not be content with the gods of her Fathers. She is the one tied to the Moon and Earth’s gravitational pull. From her earliest days, when she played in the garden, this young one who would lay on the earth, dig fingers deep into the crumbly moistness and draw wisdom from seasonal cycles and unspoken knowledge.
She would demurely go to Church in her Sunday best only to yank them off as she crossed the doorsill, hastily pulling on everyday clothes, to run into nearby woods where she would dance on her toes in her sacred grove, swirl with the bees, sing, and float in the pond whose womb protected her. She’d call out to the Blessed Ones to come join her. And while the menfolk watchful with cautious trepidation, wondering is she was a touch daft, Mother secretly smiled, knowing the unquenchable thanksgiving which could only be experienced in the realm of imagination of the Goddess.
Men might hear the words but they would fall on deaf hearts. Theirs was a God brimming with fire and fury. Powerful beyond reckoning – strong enough to provide succor in the face of any challenge. But for women, this God was one of respect and protection, certainly a nurturer. That was the domain that existed solely in the hearts of females.
Her mother showed her the places where sacred herbs grew – ones that could heal, stop the pain, mend a broken spirit, help close open wounds, and give a sense of well being to those who knew their secrets. Neighboring farms held those with suspicious eyes and sharp tongues but who, nonetheless, crossed the doorsill when healing needed doing. All knowledge carries its dangers but a woman’s lore of medicine and mending brought the insidious threats closed minds can bring.
It is always hard to walk the least chosen path. But the doorsill provides safety and nourishment to those who dwell within those walls.