She calls

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I can hear her calling. Hardly there like a whisper it is carried by gentle wind. There is no force or vigour in that call, just a brush on my being making awareness known that she is waiting, she is there. There is comfort in knowing somewhere hundreds of miles away there is a place that exists and willing to accept you just as you are. It comes as a song, as the land sings in tunes that can be heard amidst its beauty. Every time I am alone in the wilderness, particularly near water, the song comes alive on my lips. It is such a natural feeling that I can’t help but pick up a tune and carry it through the land. It is an act of participation in the land’s dreaming, in its being state just as it is. I feel belonging in a way I can’t explain. It is a modest, humble way of being present; behaving in a way that does not possess, disturb or claim any rights to it and that is how the land wants it. It opens up in ways unexpected revealing the simplest, but the most stunning corners of its soul, be it in a rain drop on a blade of grass or a blanket of mist over loch in early hours. It is truly feminine on the whole, I feel, particularly in certain places. It is so on the Isle of Mull where I am going. There is no rush or anything planned, it is in the flow of any given day that the land is there for me to participate in and there is so much to discover through being with her.

It can be overwhelming so I feel nervous once again as the day of reunion approaches. It is that feeling of meeting a lover, someone utterly dear to your heart that you’ve been separated from for a while. It is the feeling we are all familiar with when we finally step into their embrace and it is both ecstatic and overwhelming and it takes time to ground in being together in the same place. I never know what to expect and try hard not to have any ideas preconceived by past experiences. My mind creates these states due to nervousness within me, which is completely natural. It is hard not to rush into feeling either and get swept away with it before the journey even begins, but again, that is also natural when going to a place that although non-human is animate to me in every sense. It has a distinct smell to me and it sounds in a particular way. Visual alone is all consuming and touching its skin being it stones, moss, heather or a surface of a loch often threatens to swallow me up through overload of emotions. It is fully alive within me and it is no surprise containing it all within little old me is difficult, but year after year I go, I participate, I learn and will continue for as long as I hear the song distant, but loud within my heart.

Soul Land review

From a Druid, writer and poet, Nimue Brown, the author of many wonderful books on nature-based spirituality, comes a review of my poetry collection. I am so pleased she enjoyed it.

I love how she framed them as Bardic songs, letters. So interesting, which makes it even more significant for me.

https://druidlife.wordpress.com/2020/07/19/soul-land-a-review/

Poetry book coming out in 2020

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I am very proud and excited to present my forthcoming book. It is a devotional to the land I have had a profound relationship with for many years.

I am working with a publisher on this project and the next stage is a cover design. Below is a blurb and advanced information for the collection. Follow me on here or my Instagram feed for more updates on this project and some others #raw_nature_spirit

SOUL Land

Nature ~ Scotland ~ Love

poetry book

 

(to be published April 2020)

‘A spiritual love affair with the land’

This collection of poems is a result of the author’s spiritual journey and reveals a powerful personal account through a deep and profound connection to the land of Scotland. Both emotional and touching, with universal themes of nature and love at the centre, the author portrays a transformational effect of stunning Scottish landscapes on the soul and life as a whole. Engaging in an emotional struggle to bring spiritual and earthly together, this eloquent collection is written with devotion and reverence and offers an exploration of a spiritual identity through the land. Through the poems, the author shows how the beauty of natural places can be soothing and hopeful in times of turmoil. At its heart, this volume is a spiritual love story between the land and the author, exploring the elements of nature as they are in the wild, as well as in our souls.

“… when I first stepped upon the land my heart exploded in ecstasy. My love affair began when I first experienced this strange merging with something primal and bigger than myself.”

Scotland – a way forward

My relationship with Scotland has been profound over the years, as many of you will know. I have travelled north, south, through central parts and inner and outer isles and in each place I discovered a part of myself that showed me various truths about what life and love means to me, reminded me of profound grief and loss and soothes me into a sense of peace and quiet. Most of all nature understanding within and without is something I will always see as a priceless gift I was given in this lifetime.

This year things have broken down literary on this path of my relating to the land and lessons have been huge. I felt as if the land spat me out all ragged and wounded with a sense of self lost and disintegrated. My heart broke and I disconnected from everything and everyone as a result. I left the land exhausted and ill not wanting to look back.

Now the storm is over and I have grounded into the earthly quality of autumn once again I am beginning to reflect on my journey so far and clear a way forward in this profound connection I feel to the land and to myself subsequently. I am setting an intention to redefine this connection, fine-tune it. I am evaluating and comparing my experiences and looking at various sides of myself that have come forward as a result of my journey through the land. Where the wild North torn me to pieces and stripped me of the ground beneath my feet, isles got me in touch with a quiet of my internal possibilities and the central part always held me steady I am clearly defining places that I want to engage with going forward. It is almost like I am creating healthy boundaries for myself like with any other relationship. I know where to go and what not to engage with necessarily for my own peace and vitality as well as for maintaining balanced relationships with significant others in my life. In terms of the elements I know that woodland (Earth) vibrates on the closest level to what I am deep down, whereas the sea is quite far from my essence, although lakes and rivers (water but on a gentler scale) are singing the song my soul recognises. It’s natural. Mountains are incredibly supportive and holding to me and with their spaciousness (Air) I find the balance in my breath (this took time).

I now know that after surrendering to the utterly wild side of myself and the land where there is no mercy on soul or body I now seek balance, warmth and gentleness instead. I want to feel safe and contained. Those are the qualities I want to cultivate further and one particular place I feel can support me in that. Interestingly enough it is a place where I visited Scotland first. So I have come a full circle, one might say, and returned to the understanding of myself on a much deeper level and what truly matters to me in this life.

I am publishing my poetry collection Soul Land soon as a tribute to my spiritual love affair with the land over the last few years. Watch the space.

Much love

The land of me

The land that steals my soul over and over and feels like the gentlest fall into paradise

Its earthly being shapes my everything

Soft whisper of its spirit holds me whole till I melt into its form as perfect as the most sacred

It takes me places I can only dream of and even in dreams it is otherworldly leaving no words to describe its beauty

Beauty. What is it? In the land you know the true meaning of what true beauty is, living and breathing, pulsating through rocks and valleys like an eternal traveller never arriving

As your heart beats I exhale. As you blow wind over the mountains it catches in my hair

Intoxicatingly sweet with daggers all over my heart made of pure gold

With fingers in moss like your flesh soothing and cold

I miss you always. That distant echo in my heart that never stops calling in day and night

The line that never breaks, but trembles with tears, laughs and screams that only makes it stronger and that’s how I live it

Breath by breath, step by step, heart to heart hopelessly in sweet surrender

Photo: Land of the lost by Daniel Laan (found on Instagram). Thank you very much! 

Samhain 2018

Baba Yaga Samhain

As Samhain is approaching I am afraid less and less. The gap between Air and Earth elements within me lessens. I have been thinking too much lately, unable to land and stand still, but I have learnt over the years that sometimes this is necessary to do if anything for the sake of noticing what tends to happen within and at what times. I needed to hold all possible thoughts in my mind to be able to work things out and yes, it can become tiring and overwhelming, but with applying awareness it is possible to slow the process down. What helps the most in these instances for me when I know some part of this process is necessary, but I can also feel myself being swept away with it, is walking. Walking slowly and mindfully, connecting with the natural world in a physical sense, e.g. touching tree branches and feeling the earth underneath the feet, picking up leaves and pressing them against my face. This time of year always creates a build-up of various energies and can feel ‘too much’. We can become vulnerable and even lost, but throughout it all every time I feel that strong support that only the Goddess can provide. I am familiar with the part of myself that is deeply knowing, trusting and calm. It is the time for re-birth and transformation, quite big metamorphosis. I have been dreaming of a surge in my masculine energy, as well as parts being ‘killed’ off, but the most important vision this year is the one with Baba Yaga holding a huge egg of potential in her hands. She is guarding and protecting it for me while also smirking and laughing wickedly into the cold air of approaching winter and tells me to trust, to rest and be open. She tells me ‘no’ only in a way she can and I understand it well. What she means is to be patient and drop demands for answers, as they won’t come when in a restricted state. It needs to relax to receive. She also reassures as always that we all know what we need. All that is needed is for us to stop trying to get in a way of things flowing naturally.

I feel very exposed at the moment yet allowing and not afraid. Baba Yaga always shows me how inner wisdom can be extracted with some sitting quiet time, perseverance and looking for knowledge within ourselves. She holds all the wisdom of the world yet she would never give it away freely, instead she waits for the one to discover it within themselves. She is not withholding, she is protective and encouraging in a way that makes you want to achieve, know more and pursue whatever feels right at the time.

I feel stronger this year, more in line with the energies of the earth than ever before and allowance of things to flow through is truly the key to a peaceful way of being even in times of challenge.

Blessed Samhain, everyone, and let the next year be prosperous, insightful and fulfilling on all levels.

Home land

Earlier this summer I sat with my father looking at the map of Scotland, as I explained to him our travel plans, and suddenly he started going over each area naming it, as if it was a map of Russia, specifically Siberia. He gets it, ‘I thought’, and it meant so much to me. Some deep felt understanding between us, even when often unspoken, always produces a connection, which holds answers and links to what we are together, separate and where we come from. He knows what I mean when I talk about the land. He knows the feeling I speak so much of as if he feels it too and, I think, he does, in his own way, as we both had separated from our land a long time ago yet the yearning had never gone away. Does it ever leave you? Not if it is part of your soul’s tapestry.

Only this morning looking at pictures of Siberian nature it really landed for me that Scotland is as close to my ‘home land’ as I am ever going to get. I feel so at ease and comfortable there. I have called it home on many occasions and there are things that just make sense to me when I am there. Love makes sense, intense grief makes sense and tears of sorrow and joy that come every time I arrive and leave make sense. Within me there had always been a sense of separation from home, although well-hidden, which when young had not been processed and felt and this is what I have been feeling for the last few years. It is not simply a case of loving visiting a place, it is a case of ‘this is where I want to live and die’. There is nowhere else for me. It feels like an obligation to my soul and I now get what many immigrants had felt before me and many still do. I get what I have been doing the last few years in awakening my connection to a home once lost and never to be regained. My deep love for Scotland is my love for home.

Here are some pictures of Siberian nature. Perhaps, you can see what I see. It has always been about lakes and pine forests for me, deer, mountains and rivers, small villages and community living. As I write this, my heart aches. Ever since I came back to my house in the South, I have been in physical and emotional turmoil. It hurts being here and the feeling is so real like a culture shock and a need to acclimatise and fit back into the order of things that is here and not where I belong. I am left once again bereft, confused and heartbroken that gets harder to bare each year.