Monday, 22 June 2009

Summer Solstice Blessings

Yesterday, I joined with friends to celebrate the Summer Solstice. In the garden of one of the Moot members, we first blessed the area he has earmarked for what will eventually become a stone circle within a grove of trees. The area already feels magical, sacred. I hope we will all celebrate many more festivals together there over the coming years.
Then, as the evening sun slanted through tall trees we watched a ritual drama unfold. The Oak King and Holly King battled for supremacy - the Holly King (of winter) eventually claiming victory over the Oak King (of summer) whose strength begins to decline along with the sun now that the longest day has passed.
However, the visualisation that followed reminded us that there is still plenty of summer left to come, many more blue skies and sunny days before the cool breath of autumn is felt on our skin. The visualisation took us to a midsummer celebration where we took stock of our many blessings at this time, and afterwards we were each given a pouch (handknitted by Pinky) to which we added shells and beads to symbolise those blessings. I took a small, yet perfect spiral shell for mine, which seemed to me to sum up the simple contentment with life that I currently feel.
Having found myself again I have also found new love. My relationship with - well, let's call him IB for now - is blossoming and I am very, very happy.
I am planning for my future and examining ways that I may be able to stay at Halfway Up A Hill, instead of moving as I first thought I would have to when T and I parted.
I have begun co-teaching a series of magickal workshops with a friend, which are going even better than expected and bringing in a little extra cash.
And later this week, my parents will finally - after all kinds of delays and disappointments over the last two years or so - move into their new home, about 10 miles from me. It will be so lovely to have them close by.
So many blessings, summed up in one tiny shell.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Today, Halfway Up A Hill...

Today, Halfway Up A Hill, the sun was shining, and the sweet, heady scent of elderflowers drifted on the breeze.

Bees bumbled happily in the comfrey patch, swallows swooped and dived in a blue sky and a cheeky blackbird feasted on newly-ripe redcurrants.

The cats - Bear, Marley and Herbert (who had stopped by for a visit) sunned themselves on the warm paving.

The chickens wandered happily through lush summer grass, scratching for delicacies and murmuring gossip to each other. The geese cooled their feet in the pond before dozing in the shade of the elder tree.

And Moonroot worked in the garden, enjoying the sensation of warm, damp earth on her hands and the sun on her back. Later she picked the first strawberries of the season and planned an afternoon of elderflower cordial making...

Life is sweet.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

The Return of Happiness

Driving the last bit of the journey home from Witchcamp this year, as the sun shone and my favourite song blasted from the CD player, I suddenly found myself crying. Not tears of sadness, but tears of happiness. Tears of joy. I realised with a bit of a shock that it's been far too long since I've felt this way.

The last couple of years have been such a struggle. Even before T announced he was leaving, back more than a year before that - in fact since the Summer Gathering in 2007, it has felt like some kind of a pall hung over my life.

The Summer Gathering was an amazing and life-affirming experience in many ways, and here on the blog I chose to focus on that aspect. Yet there was another side to it too - a huge amount of very stressful and frankly exhausting organising; and worse than that a lot of emotional fall out from the cancellation of Avalon Witchcamp 2007, creating conflict and drama within the British Reclaiming Community. In trying to see, hear and understand all sides of the conflict, and attempting to calm things down and build bridges between warring factions at the same time as creating and holding together the huge experiment in fundraising that was the Summer Gathering, I allowed myself to become completely drained. I knew it was happening at the time, and fully expected to feel washed out for a month or so afterwards. What I didn't expect was to still feel that way more than six months later. I actually began to wonder if I was suffering from some awful undiagnosed illness - cancer, diabetes, ME? At the same time so many other things were going wrong in my life and the lives of those around me, everything seemed like an uphill battle.

And then of course, just over a year after the 2007 Summer Gathering, T dropped his bombshell and my world shattered. Many people assured me that time is a great healer, and although my head believed it was true, sometimes it was hard to convince my heart.

But it is of course, true. As time passed, more and more sunshine gradually crept in through cracks in the pall of depression. And finally on that drive back home from Avalon Spring any remnants of the pall just evaporated, and light and life poured back into my soul. I cried and cried and smiled and smiled and just whispered, thank you, thank you, thank you to the multiverse. Thank you for my life. Thank you for this beautiful world. Thank you for such wonderful family and the best friends anyone could hope for. Thank you for Witchcamp and freedom and laughter, thank you for sunsets and summer and swallows, thank you for hope and healing and joy. Thank you.

I am once again my old self, the one I have been trying to remember and revive for all these months. That in itself is reason enough for joy. But there is more - my cup truly runneth over! Since returning from Avalon Spring, a new romantic relationship has unexpectedly begun to blossom. I won't say much more just yet as it is still very new, and feels very special.

What I will say is that I can't believe I am this happy. I have done my time under the pall, and as promised I have been healed. Happiness has well and truly returned.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!