Ēostre’s Gift

Originally published at Coffee House Writers

As I stroll by the lake, I take in my surroundings. The sun’s rays reach out and touch all of Mother Earth, white clouds float under the blue sky, and the branches of the trees sprout buds. Bees feed off the first dandelions and the March bloom flowers. Birds sing their welcome to the first day of spring songs.

I come upon a wooden fishing bench and set down. I watch the ducks swim and dive for food. The brisk air on my cheek reminds me Old Man Winter is not ready to give up his reign, but the sun’s warmth says otherwise.

Lost in my thoughts of sorrow, the smell of lilacs snaps me out. I glance at my wristwatch. 4:58 PM. I slap my forehead with my other hand. FUCK! I’m late for work. I stand up, there, before my eyes a sight I never saw, such beauty. The young woman’s long sun-kissed mane flows in the wind. A headdress of mixed flowers adorns the top of her head as green vines descend from it and entwine themselves with strands of her hair. Her blue eyes mirror the La Tabaccara waters of Italy, and her lips and nails painted crimson, and a sheer white gown drapes over her sand tone body. Her walk, her feet do not touch the ground. Yet, when she steps the dead grass burgeon to life. Is this an angel? Is she walking on a cloud of air? Who is she?

“Hello,” her soubrette voice says, and she curtseys. “I’m Ēostre.” Her right hand glides out from her bouquet of wildflowers she holds by her chest, “but some call me Ostara.”

Since when did women curtsey? I’m not royalty. I take her delicate hand and shake it. “Hey, nice to meet ya.” I let go and slide my hand over my short brown hair. “Um, my name’s Roger.” I nod, “But my friends call me Rog,” and my hand falls to my hip.

“How may I address you, sir?”

How may I address you, sir? Who says that anymore? “Rog is okay.” I think. “Yea, Rog.”

Her smile. Those pearly whites. They’re fake or bleached, yeah, bleached. Wait. What? I can’t move. I can’t avoid her gaze.

“Are you married?”

I cannot speak; all I can do is a nod.

“You are trying to start a family?”

Again, all I can do is a nod.

“You wonder about me?”

Again, I nod.

“It is Spring Equinox; is it not?”

Dammit, let me speak, let me move! “YES!” My hand rushes to cover my mouth.

Light laughter slips through her fiery red lips.

My hand drops to my side. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean…”

She places a slender finger over my lips. “Shush. I know.”

My nose catches Ēostre’s scent of lilacs.

“To answer your question, I am a Goddess.”

A goddess, yeah right. “A Goddess of what?”

“Fertility.”

“You said, fertility?”

“Yes. Most know me as the Goddess of Spring, Earth’s rebirth.” she throws her bouquet into the air, “and new beginnings. I connect to the direction of the East,” and flowers rain over us.

I turn around trying to figure out which way is East. East, East, East, dawn or dusk. Damn, I can’t remember.

She places her hands on my shoulders to stop me from getting dizzy. “East, young man, is where the sun rises.”

“Oh, yeah.”

“Do you not find me attractive?”

“Yes, I do. You’re attractive, but I love my wife.”

Ēostre half smiles to me. “I know. For staying true to your love, I will give you a gift.”

I love gifts, and it’s not my birthday. “I can’t take anything from you.”

She places her hands on my cheeks; her warmth vibrates through body. “You will see in a month.”

I blink, and she vanishes. I look at my feet. There, wildflowers surround me. The fragrance of lilacs embeds itself into my clothes, and her warmth engulfs me. Birds sing, and bunny rabbits hop all around. Great, my wife will think I cheated on her. I can get the scent off me at work. Should be easy to do working at a factory.

I come home at five thirty the next morning. I crawl into bed, curl up with my wife, and we make love. The passion, new and exciting, like I was with her for the first time. Her tangled chestnut hair and dark brown eyes trap me as always. I could keep nothing from her. While we lay in bed, I told her the story of the Fertility Goddess. It does not surprise her, and she falls asleep in my arms.

Three months pass by, and we forgot that day. Forgot what Ēostre said until my wife comes home from the doctor’s office. For years, they told us we could not have children. Now, she is three months pregnant, with twins: no medical help, all natural.

My wife sits on the couch beside me and tells me she met Ēostre the same day as I did. She met her while cleaning up the garden behind the house, and she got the same promise. We both forgot until that day, Friday, June 21 at 10:54 AM, the Summer Solstice.

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