I started this post around Imbolc and I purposely waited to finish it because, well, I was skeptical about not feeling hopeless. See, inevitably at some point every winter, sometimes in mid-January, sometimes earlier, I will go through bouts of what I can only describe as dull, sort of distant hopelessness and depression. I’m so sick of the cold, the wind, THE SNOW, the very season itself is nothing more to me by that time than a major inconvenience and source of worry and struggle and I just sort of start tumbling down this stairway, clawing upwards a few steps, falling back ten more… It is a cycle that has repeated itself over and over for years, since childhood actually, at varying degrees of hopelessness each year making some years just sort of bad and others down right miserable.
Please note that this is completely different than being generally pissed off that it is snowing (yet again) and grumpy about winter like some people get grumpy about rain. LOL. It is a given that I’ll be grumpy about winter. I hate winter. Yet, you’ll never hear me complain about “this damn heat” in the middle of July. I might say – “man, it is really hot today” followed by “I think I’ll go for a run and sweat a lot” but that’ll be the extent of my comments about any other season related to temperature, precipitation, etc.
Over my life I’ve tried to methodically pinpoint what begins the fall and fix it. Is it the cold, the snow itself, the worry of loss of electricity or travel? Is it just that I’m cold blooded and my body cannot stand temperatures lower than freezing? Despite all the practical issues with winter I usually conclude the latter reason simply because cold seems to cut straight through me. It makes me feel small and insignificant. It reminds me how little control we truly have over our lives sometimes. It beats me. I don’t like to be beaten.
So it has been extremely surprising to me that this winter of all winters, my first full year of living very near and like the place where I was raised weather-wise (my hometown is about 450 additional feet above sea level and slightly to the east of here), I have not felt hopeless. Have I felt angst, irritation and said more than once – well, this fucking sucks? Yes, absolutely! I was especially saying it a week ago when we were socked in the face with a major Nor’easter in the fucking middle of March. And I voice those feelings explicitly….lol. But, those feelings are different than the heavy, empty feelings that I’m used to.
I’m sure the causes for this are many and I’m sure that it could be different next year, or the year after that… I’m much happier with where I am in terms of home first of all. I’ve lived in many places throughout my life, this is the closest to how I lived as a child and it has been a dream of mine since that childhood to live on a farm. In adulthood I’ve mostly lived either “in town” – by which I mean in a suburb sort of setting in a small sized city, just outside of town (not in city limits but still relatively close to neighbors and only a mile and a half from the dreaded “Walmart plaza”) or, most recently, in a poor excuse for a “housing development” complete with an incompetent HOA and crazy neighbors, including one (still cursed BTW) bitch that threatened my cat and another that threw their trash out their front door to let it roll down the hill and into the ditch by my driveway. So, perhaps I’ve just “come home” and it is a matter of familiarity.
The other factor is the people. Having lived in a college and highly professionally transient community for over 20 years, I had become used to the “every person for himself/herself” mentality. I actually don’t even consider it a community. It is a place and that’s all. There just isn’t that connection there that makes it cohesive. In moving, I have rediscovered that connection. Yes, everyone knows what you do and probably what you actually do doesn’t match what they know because small towns are like that game of telephone…everything sounds different than reality by the time it works its way through the gossip chain. But, everyone also knows when you need a hand. And, more than that they actually give a shit. My neighbors are amazing and they make me feel safer than I ever felt even with houses 200 feet away from me.
Then there is the unavoidable immersion in it. The season, that is. When you live on a farm you really don’t have a choice to just stay inside. There are animals that absolutely need taken care of whether it is 50 degrees or 5 below. And, unfortunately, they need much more care when it is 5 below. So, even if some crazy storm happens to hit on a weekend (lucky) and I choose to not do anything else on a given awful day, I still have to at least twice that day make my way to the barn, feed, muck, check on the well-being of these animals in my care. There is NO CHOICE in this matter for me. And when there isn’t a choice I think that somehow, our minds deal with stuff better? Like that phrase we use: it is what it is… Well, it is fucking cold and miserable and it totally sucks and yes, you have to get out there in it and get some shit done so…on we go.
This also speaks to the mere fact that actually going outdoors IS in every way usually better than locking yourself in your house until whatever it is that is bothering you passes. When I breath the outside air (even if it stings my lungs from cold), and work with the land, care for those that depend on me (who happen to live outdoors) I’m somehow healed from that deeply troubling inability to cope with the season. Even if the healing is temporary, it spurs me on to the next day.
And as an observer of the natural world who is continually impressed by it, even as an adult, there is always something out there that will inevitably make me pause. It might be the snow and little whisker ice droplets on the black horse’s nose (so pretty), or his breath in the sunlight, the color of a blue jay against the snow, the seemingly endless optimism of the chickadees at the feeder, how fucking absolutely quiet it is on a clear, frigid night after a big snow, like the entire world is pausing before the next breath as if to acknowledge the sacredness of nature itself… I can’t get that by avoiding life outdoors in my most hated season.
As for winter and now, we did get another layer of snow last night so I woke up to a little white blanket on the Eve of Spring. But, the time is near for winter to pack bags and hit the highway. The robins are back and when I travel off the mountain to work there is a hint of green in the woods near our office. Until next year winter…I won’t miss you, so don’t worry about getting back on time.
I was discussing with some fabulous friends a few weeks ago magical attributes and other interesting things. One of the conversations veered toward the question of whether there are certain things that a witch is simply good at and others that the same witch might not be, no matter the amount of practice, study and number of attempts at said thing.
I believe that to be so - that is that some of us are inherently good at certain magical things just like some of us are gifted at music or math. Doesn't mean we don't have to practice those things we are good at - just means that our brains (and perhaps souls?) are more wired toward them as opposed to other things. I think it goes to practical things too. My brain is wired toward animals for instance. I understand them and feel comfortable with them. I am connected to them. Humans, not so much so.
The discussion did spark my thought process though - because yes, magically, there are things that I am good at and one of the things that I have been extremely good at, and have been even throughout childhood, is the art of blending.
Now, I'm not talking about outright disappearing, although sometimes it can seem that way to others and I've been told by others that they did not remember that I was present for certain things, events, etc. after said event, when, in fact, I was clearly there. This would not be so obvious a successful magical attribute to me (maybe I'm just forgettable?) except that I have practiced it since childhood and I have perfected it knowingly.
I remember as a kid making myself small and unnoticeable. I would do it in the classroom when I didn't want to be called upon. I would breath in a certain way and feel my body melting into the plastic chair below me, fading behind the kid in front of me… I would do it at home when I wanted to stay up past my bedtime. It was like adults would forget I was there. Sometimes it didn't work but most times it did. I'd just go inside myself somehow, think small, that I wasn't really there, and in some way…I wouldn’t be. I did it to combat boredom as well, to disappear from wherever I was being forced to be. I was a latchkey kid and I also went with my mom to various meetings she attended either professionally or on a personal level. Sooooo tedious. And, my mom’s rule was that children were to be seen and not heard in those circumstances and a not well behaved child was unacceptable. So, I was quiet and I would practice my blending. Everyone always complimented my mom on what a good kid I was and more than once they would say they actually “forgot I was even there” until I appeared beside her as we were leaving. I practiced blending when my dad was having one of his “spells” as well. I’d just sort of fade into myself for a day or more while the air was heavy and the house felt like egg shells under his moodiness.
Now, all of this could seem rather mundane I realize. There are tons of kids that hide from reality and retreat into their own little worlds. Childhood is a maze of emotions and learning and getting used to adults and their weird patterns and quirks. But, the thing is that I consciously practiced this and still do it to this day. It followed me through adolescence and into adulthood. I use it purposefully now and have verified it through outside sources many times. And although I wish I could perfect it to a point where I could actually snap my fingers and disappear, sometimes it is just as impactful to simply blend.
I had a prospective employer call my graduate program to verify references once. This person had been in the same program as me, only about five years earlier. He is not a blender. LOL meaning he always wants to be seen and was heavily involved in the department. He told me later he spoke to three professors and each one of them had to be prompted to remember me. Now, when they did, their references were glowing. Yes! They said – I remember her now – great student, very smart, made wonderful contributions to the discussion, how odd that I didn’t recollect having her in class until I really thought about it… I got the job, by the way, and when we spoke of it I said – oh, I blended a lot in college.
I just didn’t want to be bothered. By people, by the whole process of this class and that class and….well, mostly by people. I knew I had to make good grades to get through it – it was the same way I had approached school as a kid. I did what I needed to do to ensure that I made it through that portion of my life successfully and to save myself from the complete boredom of the educational process, I blended.
In my professional life I still blend. As much as I am able to that is. One of the annoying things that happened with what people consider “success” is that I’m not able to blend as much as I would like. I crave anonymity and am now unable to fully obtain it. I would venture to say that not being as obscure as I like to be has led to a greater magical life. Gillian is who I am. This other person is simply who I have to be sometimes. So, I blend whenever I can. I don’t schmooze. I professionally network more as a witch than as part of my “real” job. I just don’t care to mingle and rub elbows with “community leaders” and when I have to, I blend. Someone will say “oh, you WERE at that meeting” and I’ll think, yeah I was there. Blending. If I have something relevant to say, I’ll certainly say it, but…most times no one has anything relevant to say at these functions they are simply there to hear themselves talk. I’m sometimes amazed at how well I blend when others are quoted during discussions and I’m not, even though I was clearly a part of them. This isn’t a sexist thing and I’m not being ignored. I’m actively choosing what I say and at the same time practicing blending. I do it on purpose with the intent of not being a target. I’m creating the result, not a victim of it.
My ex used to call it the art of being completely forgettable, even though you are not. I guess that was a compliment? It doesn’t matter. It is one of the things I’m good at and I do work on it magically. We all have certain gifts and attributes. I guess my point is to look at what you do on a daily basis. What you think of as unimportant could very well be one of your best magical assets.
I have a "bad back". At least I believe that is how people used to refer to the particular injury pattern that I have experienced since around the age of 15. Most folks don't even know the pain is present. I am a firm believer in "chin up and keep going" so I don't discuss it much.
Since my GF's horse has been diagnosed with Kissing Spine he and I have had many discussions about back problems. He is an avid listener and I keep telling him to let us know when he hurts and when he feels OK. I wish I could crawl inside his brain and just "know" what it feels like to him. I wonder if his pain is similar to mine?
In pinpointing the source of my injury, I believe it must have happened when, while getting out a pick-up truck with metal running boards, my foot slipped and I fell straight down, hitting my butt first on the running board itself and then on the ice covered pavement. It didn't hurt at that time any worse than - OUCH! - so no one thought another thing of it. As my teen years went by, my back got worse and worse, to the point that in order to stand from a seated position I would have to take my time, hold onto something and inch my way up. Long car rides were almost unbearable, as was any activity that required me to remain seated. In order to combat the pain, I just kept moving (it didn't hurt as bad when I was standing, walking, running) and swallowed a hell of a lot of over the counter pain medication.
The pain, to describe it, felt like some sort of searing, hot coal deep inside my back. Sometimes it traveled down the back of my leg. Sometimes my right calf was numb. My mom took me to doctors, who found nothing. X-rays revealed...nothing. By the time I was 19 the pain was sometimes so bad that we finally pursued a more detailed exam at the university medical center two hours away. Bingo! An MRI revealed two severely ruptured discs in my lower back. Ruptured so badly that the surgeon recommended immediate fusion. He asked me jokingly if I played football and commented that he had not seen anyone with herniation that severe outside of professional sports. I sat there a bit smug I will admit, because there was a point when my mom felt I might be making it all up since no one else could find a problem.
I have about a three inch scar on my lower back and a limited range of motion due to the fusion. It isn't really noticeable to anyone but me. I was warned that the pain would lessen but probably never go away completely, as due to the fusion and ROM issues the muscles would always be tighter and of course, as with any break or bone trauma, arthritis would be an issue someday. Since my back was obviously a weak link overall, other issues would plague me as I aged. At the time of course I didn't care for a word of all that. I was young, my back didn't hurt as bad, old age was far, far away.
LOL....well, here we are.
So, most days in my life my back is stiff. Not necessarily painful to any great extent, but I most definitely am always careful with what I lift and how I lift it. I always had fabulous form when weight lifting because I was very, very careful. Sometimes I have "bad back days". Sometimes, as with recently, they stretch into weeks. Right now my back has been giving me issues for almost a month. Issues that impact my ability to properly care for the horses and myself. It is annoying and gets me down. I've tried deep medical massage, which didn't help a bit. As a matter of a fact, my left shoulder (which is another issue I've been dealing with since a seven hour weed-eating session this summer) hurts worse now than it did BEFORE the massage. I've tried heating pads and OTC pain meds and "taking it easy" for a few days. Right now I'm sitting on a pillow at my desk and I know that when I get up it will be so stiff and sore that I'll not be able to directly stand up straight.
It is a bit of a wake-up call in that yoga and other fitness activities do help. As long as I am careful and using good form, things like deadlifts and ab work are amazing because they strengthen the back as well as the abdominal muscles, which support the back too. When I was practicing yoga more regularly I was as limber as I have ever been. It was probably faulty of me to assume that the work I'm doing on the farm would replace these things. Perhaps they simply compliment the farm work because they will keep me more flexible and build strength in different ways.
So, today, after I take a hot shower I am going to dust off my yoga mat and reintroduce my back to some loving stretches. Not a bad way to start a day, even when your back feels fine.
It approaches from the North, hiding behind the retreating shadow of the dog days of summer and the beginnings of the lovely cloak of red, gold and bronze being weaved by Persephone herself. As she dresses the trees in their magical garb and prepares them to walk down the spiral staircase to rest, the wind prickles ever so slightly. Is that a chill in the air? The breath of the Dark Moon as it makes its way toward us?
I come from hearty stock. I was raised on the belief that winter is a formidable enemy and that we must prepare for battle and never stop fighting. March on and shovel and blow and plow and take your ass under the house with a hairdryer to thaw frozen pipes and repeat. Over and over until the spring comes…
This is why I am more than a little bit concerned about my first winter “back home”. I have no truck with a plow. I’m contemplating getting a walk-behind snow blower and I’ve already ordered a portable generator. In terms of surviving I can probably cope. In terms of thriving and being able to get to and from work, well….a great deal of that is beyond my control. I have a portion of road before I even reach the highway that often blows shut so I’m told. There is a hay field on one side and a corn field on the other. Recipe for winter disaster. When I was a kid, we’d go to the grocery store on Saturdays. A similar situation would occur on a stretch of highway between the town where the store was and home. I always wondered why the heck we went to the store if it was supposed to snow that much? But, that was in the days before 24 hour Super Walmart and both my parents worked so there really wasn’t much choice…
I have another portion of road called Evan’s Curve. It is a dreaded stretch of highway that everyone speaks of in whispers lol… The same situation with fields on both sides causes drifts 12 ft. and higher. So I’m told…
Winter simply exists to make life more difficult in my opinion. Folks know I’m not a fan so this isn’t news to anyone. Take any given problem and experience it in the winter and it is 10 times worse. Winter is the stone that grinds you down. It is meant to test you and hurt you. It is meant to scar you. I have absolutely no use for it really. I’ve tried to embrace it in terms of magic and spirit and the Wheel but I.JUST.CANNOT. And so now I try to come to terms with the fact that I have to fight to live through it, both figuratively and literally, crawl toward the light like everything else and bask in the sun when it returns.
It would probably (no it would definitely) be different if I worked from home full time. It is really quite simply the day in day out travel to and from the drives me insane. It drove me crazy when I had a 15 minute commute. 50 minutes will be highly unbearable. But, I knew this. It was actually the ONLY thing in my “negatives” column when I got down to the business of “will you move out of the city or not” decision. So, I rolled the dice.
Winter, you cold fucker. I’m not naïve enough to believe I can win against you. I will simply have to do my best to outlast you.
It seems to me that in the worst of the moments that make up our struggles, there is an overwhelming answer that sometimes gets lost and that is to focus on the light. To seek it, despite being surrounded by murky uncertainty or continually challenged with struggle.
Imbolc. My little holiday that could. Hidden in the calendar like green grass under snow. Unassuming and quiet. Barely a whisper in the dark. I think of Imbolc both as a sleeping child gathering her strength and as someone more wise than any child would be. Perhaps she has the wisdom of the ages within her, given the wheel and its constant turning. Through some cosmic memory the child knows that she has been here before. She knows what to do and that it must be done.
She moves slowly, deliberately, taking much rest as she still needs it, hovering below the surface of the shadows, watching, feeling, silently drifting in and out of sleep and dreaming of the warmth and the light of her soul. And in her dreams she prepares that soul for life, because it is active dreaming as well, not just rest.
She is gathering what she will need because the light, while warm, brings her out of the safety of the shadows. For this she must be ready. She must be ready to free herself, feed herself, to grow and move and live. She must prepare to survive and most hopefully to thrive.
Imbolc is us as we change and are reborn. We’ve retreated into the darkness over and over, seeking refuge from the world. Seeking protection from the cold and shelter from the storms that rage above us. We lick our wounds and warm ourselves by the fire deep in the earth. We bury our dead and sometimes, sadly, we bury the dreams and hopes that were not to be. We weep and we even have moments where we feel as if we cannot go on and that it would make more sense to remain in the underworld of our own souls, safe, hidden…
And then, the light beckons and we look up. We can’t help it really and neither can Imbolc. It is within us to seek that light. To reach for it, claw through whatever it is that haunts us and make our way to the mouth of the cave, preparing to step into the world again.
May your body and your soul be rested from the Dark Season. May whatever scars you are tending begin to fade and may you hear your heart clearly on this sacred day. The light is there, faint but growing. Let it chase away the shadows of your soul and dry your tears. Lift your eyes to hope and be ready. Imbolc will carry you home.
Do you like the Clash? I love the Clash. Ahhhh...that sound of classic punk. The music of good old fashioned 70s and 80s social anarchy and change. Punk music was liberating for me as a young person.
This week has been filled with the Universe flipping me the bird over and over. It reminds me of THIS CLASH CLASSIC and strangely enough (or not) I always hum it during these life times and make up funny (sad or angry), appropriate words of my own.
Stuff like - you have the right to earn a moderate living that will sustain you....provided you don't mistakenly think you could actually succeed at it. you have the right to have dreams....provided they aren't any different than the herd's around you and we'll tell you what those are. you have the right....oh get off the streets get back in your double wide and eat your fucking ramen noodles little girl yer getting too big for yer britches.
Thing is, I fucking like Ramen and you Universe, have not seen the extent that I can adapt to your never-ending tub full of bullshit. You are just a week in the life, a day in the year, any number of people in the multitudes of the very fuckers I will someday be completely away from. So SUCK IT and FUCK YOU TOO.
Gosh, that was better than yoga even.
So.....over last weekend we experience the most snow we have had at one time in about 23 years. Big dogs thought it was amazingly fun (so my friends who have them have told me). The rest of us, not so much. I measured just below 30 inches at my place. My hometown got over 40, which wasn't out of the ordinary from my childhood memories but still, what a PITA.
I will count myself lucky this go-round though. The electric stayed on. I was warm and safe. I dug my very long driveway out by hand and therefore provided myself with a two day awesome workout plan. The stuff is slowly melting, now brown and gross. Go away.
So, the interesting thing about big storms is how different they can be from each other. For instance, last year's Thor had much less snow - probably 10 to 12 inches maybe? But, it was heavy and wet, starting out from an overly warm day on which it seemed like it shouldn't be snowing. It came down in big clumps and stuck to everything and then the temps fell, things got heavy and started breaking. Hence, power outages, downed trees, etc. In the aftermath it was gone in a matter of a day and a half though. Jonas, blanketing us with over two feet of snow in the span of 36 hours, was light as a feather. Ski snow - super fine powder and the air was cold so no chance to stick on trees and electric lines. Despite being twice as much snow we had no power outages in my area. But, due to the sheer amount and the fact that two days later it DID get super cold, it is packed down now, hard and long to melt.
The other thing I always notice with winter storms is that it takes society at least as long as it takes the snow to melt to return to "normal". We still have businesses not open and certain secondary roads, etc. not open and it is almost a full week later. People are super effing cranky too. As long as the remnants remain on the ground, people will filter their moods through the now dirty, melting, globs.
Is it like the leftover snow becomes a reminder of how insignificant we really are? Maybe that is too deep. Maybe people are just cranky because it is dirty and ugly.
My mind slips during phases like these though. Days sort of flow together and get mixed up. I'm thinking it has something to do with being snowbound for three full days but I just looked at the calendar and realized that Imbolc, AKA my favorite little Holiday that could, is next week. NEXT WEEK!!!!! Where the heck did that come from????
So, now I have a glimmer of hope. The time between the Solstice and Imbolc is always quite difficult for me in terms of mental stability and depression. I need to start planning ritual and concentrating on this last push that I always have to muster when we get to this bleakest point of the wheel's turning.
I've very recently become super out of touch with my immediate world. That is to say, I left Facebook.
I have forever maintained two FB accounts. One for my mundane existence and another that is my (mostly) happy FB. I've went through periodic purges of my mundane FB, as well as mostly hiding everyone and everything that makes me feel awful inside, makes me want to kill people and serves as a general reminder that Darwin no longer rules.
At various points it occurred to me that it was really more trouble than it was worth to maintain mundane FB and I should just deactivate it. But, always, my brain would bargain. What about your college roommate that you only get to see on FB? What about your friend now several states away and that is the only way you communicate? What about....
In reality, should I want to communicate with any of the people I want to communicate with, I can. Via text or phone call. Via email or letter (you know, the old fashioned ways). And the truth is, FB makes me feel wasteful and unproductive. I'm speaking specifically of my mundane FB here - my "other" FB sparks lovely conversations, I use it as a communication tool for this site and at some point it will be one of the marketing functions of my farm sanctuary. LOL I guess that life with social media hasn't changed much from the days of old, where you hung out with people at an actual, physical location. That is to say, your daily experience all depends on the people you surround yourself with?
But, I will say, not being on mundane FB is extremely freeing. You just don't know how awesome it is to say - no I didn't see that, I'm not on Facebook anymore with regard to some piece of gossip, ridiculous behavior or post. I thought I might feel out of touch but I actually feel better. Less a part of the daily nastiness that social media seems to bring out in people. I have often felt that instead of junior high and high school cafeterias we now have Facebook. And WHY are 45 year old women still eating lunch and gossiping in high school cafeterias anyway? Don't we have better things to do? I mean, gosh, I had better things to do at 16 actually (hence sneaking away from lunch almost daily).
Social media has given us the ability to stay connected, to share and to communicate more readily. Those things can be really, really good. It has also given us the ability to be mean as hell, be gossip mongers, render our opinions on everything whether we actually know anything or not, and all this can be done from the safety of our computer screen or mobile device. Therefore, we are more powerful in our human shortcomings, more brazen in our hatred and more easily led down the road of mob behavior by whatever the spewing of the day happens to be.
And for those of us who feel deeply, who live by some beliefs and hopes and dreams that are outside the "normal" realm of sheepdom, Facebook becomes a bit of a field full of landmines ready to explode beneath us at every click of the key. I got no time for that. Life is difficult enough without inviting drama and that is mainly why I am mundane FB free at this point :)
One of my favorite Solstice ritual readings comes from the album Beautiful Darkness with Jessica Radcliffe, Lisa Ekstrom and Martin Simpson. The song, Kolyada/Old One, sums up perfectly the Winter Solstice and the longest night for me. I recite it yearly during my ritual.
Since I'm obviously derived from some pale and mostly angry lineage, I am drawn to music and myth of this sort. My mind's renderings of gods and goddesses are mostly untamed and alive amongst the woods and mountains of the world. They are the bringers of storms and the harbingers of hearth and fire itself.
I find it more difficult to locate history and myth for what I'm drawn to. While there is endless information on Greek mythology, Roman gods and goddesses, Nordic myth is only slightly more common than its Slavic cousin's story weaving ~ simply two different classifications of Europeans, yes, but given that geographical magic varies from South Carolina as opposed to Arizona, I feel like it matters. Anyway, because I was curious about my favorite Solstice music, I went searching. I found an interesting article containing Kolyada from The Songs of the Russian People by William Ralston and Shedden Ralston. Good reading if you are interested in Slavic history and myth.
I long for many things as the morning after Solstice rises. I played music well into the night, went to sleep to it actually, and will continue to be hypnotized by those sounds until Imbolc. For me, although the Longest Night has passed, I'm still deep in the earth right now, still down at the bottom of my soul, searching, wandering through the hallways of myself, not yet reaching for the world above.
My prayer is for understanding. For knowledge. For growth.
On the Longest Night, as time stands still, so close to the edge of never and forever...let us breath softly and speak to the fire in our souls. Nurture it and hold it close as the night wraps us in silence and walks us down that spiral staircase to the basement of our being, belonging, our roots. We will not race for the Sun in the morning. Instead, we will linger with Darkness a bit longer, slowly ascending toward the light while speaking in whispers about what lies beneath. Keep us whole in our journey into ourselves and let us emerge evolved yet familiar in spirit and strength.
Darkness approaches silently, on the heels of fog and the cold breath of the moon. It moves through the trees and touches their bare limbs lovingly. It leaves tears behind it, its own heart aching and lonely. The world is difficult to hold, to comfort, but it wraps her in its cloak and whispers...rest.
Breath and rest. Be loved and be silent. Heal yourself and let me cleanse the hurt with cold winds and snow. Sleep and wait for me. I will come.
The Dark Season is unfolding before us now, with all the wisdom of the earth available to sample and make our own. After I finish this post I am taking to the trail to run in the rain. I want to feel the soggy leaves under my feet and breathe in the scent of their decay. I want to make my way through the fog of morning and imagine what might be around the next bend, sleeping under limestone outcroppings, watching me from the woods above.
I want to know Darkness intimately and let it in, let it be inside me feeling my heart and soul. Death of all that was before and rest for all that is ever after. Over and over we circle together, Darkness and I, down the spiral staircase to the basement of myself. And there we will rest until Imbolc brings the certainty of the Light.