I was having a hard morning. Two weeks earlier my husband of 21 years had started talking about finding his own apartment and I was still reeling with hurt, fear and confusion.
It was the 2nd annual “Bless the Hops” day at my friend Robyn’s. There were 10 women gathered in a circle on Robyn’s lawn. Anne led us in some yoga and then I led a guided meditation to help us ground, connect with the Earth and connect with the spirit of the Hops. We spoke a blessing into some hops flowers from last year and put them in a bowl of water that we would pour over the hop plants at the end of the day.
We gathered our tools, hats and sunscreen and headed down to Robyn’s Hop Field. Under her instruction we weeded and helped untangle and redirect some of the wandering and unruly vines.
We chatted and worked together for a couple hours, then sipped and poured the Hops’ Blessing Water on the Earth.
Everyone headed back up to share Robyn’s cake but I felt like I wanted more time with the hops - by myself.
I had just gotten my area weeded out and wanted to finish my job of tending the hops. Once the others left my attention was much more focused on my work. There was a certain width of earth under the trellis where the hops were allowed to grow but the hops growing outside of this designated area needed to be pulled up by the roots. The tricky part was that all the vines were already growing up and entwined around each other so you needed to carefully unravel the vines to find out which ones had their roots in the undesignated growing areas.
I was glad to be alone as my heart was heavy and I was hoping to commune with the some flowering hops in another row when I was done with my work and perhaps receive some guidance.
I focused on my entangled vines, carefully untwining two that were growing up the trellis together. I had to go slowly so that I didn't break or damage each vine and carefully unraveled and pulled the vines apart. Once the vines were separated then I could find out which ones were rooted outside of the growing area and needed to be pulled up and which ones I needed to redirect back up the trellis to continue growing on their own.
As my mind quieted I became fully engrossed in unraveling the vines. As I gingerly unwound two very entwined vines the Message and Guidance from the Hops plant started dawning on me - I didn't need to go visit the flowers - this work I was doing was teaching me something I needed to grasp.
These vines were growing too closely together - they needed their own space, their own individual trellis to grow on by themselves -to have the air and room to grow and stretch. When the vines were so entwined it was impossible to tell where their individual roots were growing. Some of the vines needed to be pulled out entirely so the rest of the hops could grow freely and have room.
My husband and I needed to untwine from each other - carefully and respectfully but yes we needed to pull apart in order to feel where our own individual roots were. Over the many years and kids and life we had become entangled and wound around each other for support - but, like the hops - the entwining eventually became too much and we unconsciously got to a place where our entanglement was preventing us from connecting clearly with our individual roots. We now needed our own trellis to grow on with space around us to allow us to ground into our own selves. We needed to regain our connection with our own individual strength and power.
It was a message I had been resisting, but there in the Hop Field it became very clear. I cried, gave thanks , and let the tears run down my dirty cheeks as I unwound the vines.
When the two vines were fully untangled I discovered that each one was growing within the designated area and so they both could stay. So, one at a time I wound each vine back onto the trellis but now they each had their own individual line to wind around for support - they were growing side by side but were no longer entangled.
This experience and connection with the Hops provided me with some much needed understanding and support. It was an understanding that I was blocking until I felt it from the Hops and the Earth.
The process of separating from my husband was still challenging but the Hops helped me through. When things got rough I would think of the Hops and imagine my roots going deep into the Earth as I also made my spiraling way upward and outward.