Back in 2003, David and I planted six 15 foot birch trees, each with multiple gnarly trunks, in a small grove at the back of our property where we abut a wetland. The trees love it there in the sun, and with their feet perpetually wet and happy our little grove has grown to unbelievable heights in just six short years. The trees are close to double their size and are lush and full, with the tips of their branches beginning to touch, like old acquaintances gently reaching out to greet one another. I adore walking through them, with the sun dappling their leaves (and my head) and their pale pinkish bark peeling so beautifully from their crooked trunks (I save it, tree nerd that I am). If I have any complaint, it's the damn mosquitoes back there, courtesy of the water, that are so thick you feel as though you're walking through a living, buzzing black haze. But even the bugs and their itchy welts can't keep me from my beloved birches, my favorite tree of them all (and that's saying something since I simply adore all trees). But, as usual, I digress.
I would never pull a living branch from a tree, but I have for the last few years been gathering the slender fallen twigs from my birches in the hopes of one day having enough to make a nice full besom to use as a ceremonial energy cleansing broom for circle. And after all this time, all that patient gathering and waiting (and just itching to pluck some lovely little shoots from my living trees to speed up the process) I finally have just about enough birch twigs to make the brush of my besom.
I still need a handle though and wish to make that part of the besom from an oak branch. A few months ago when I said that I had just about enough birch to get started (and on one of our many trips to Home Depot even picked up what I thought was just the right natural twine for binding it), David, on a solo Saturday morning walk, picked up three or four lovely and fat oak branches he found on the ground and brought them home for me. And as much as I loved him for it, and also loved the branches, I just couldn't bring myself to consider any of them for my besom. I really need to go and find the branches myself, to feel their energy calling to me, to instinctively know which one is the right one for my needs. And so I still need to take a walk of my own through the woods and find my oak handle for myself.
But my besom is coming soon, very soon. My years of gathering are finally coming to fruition and then I will finally have it made and it will be wonderful! And every time I hold it in my hands, I'll feel the life force and energy of my precious birches and think of all that has come to pass during the time I have spent collecting their many branches: seasons changing, family changing (children growing older, a beloved pet passing and two new ones joining us) happiness felt, sorrow endured, and in spite of it all, life always, always marching forward. This besom will hold a lot of power to push the negative energy from our humble home.
Stay tuned for photos of my besom!