Hope rises

The promise of spring lies deep within the earth we walk on

With every hour and every day the light grows brighter into being

The silence and nakedness of it all is loud with life stirring deep in the darkness

Like spring life blooms, like winter it dies

yet we know so it should be with hope

In between

If you listen with your ear to the warm belly flowers kick and a song rises from a distant flock of birds bringing new life to the next cycle

And so it goes year after year, life after life, death after death and amidst it all is us part human part nature in a dance of eternity swaying in the wind and washing in the rain in compete surrender to it all

And what a joy it is to be, to wake and rise, to fall and die over and over like a never ending beautiful dance of everything there is. As above so is below, as within so is in nature. The perfect harmony of light and darkness, the perfect end of the beginning

The season evokes hope in me like nothing else. Bitter winds slapping me into here and now, reminding me who I am and where I am. Fresh bite of freezing temperatures penetrates my skin and I feel instantly renewed. The pure white scenery of the land is otherworldly yet it is right here in front of me and I am so grateful to be a part of it all, belonging…

The season inspires me like no other. In its nakedness so much is revealed and a space is created. When the light seemingly goes out on outside and the Moon is on its throne, the fire within me grows stronger. I love the darkness and its protection. I love snow and its tender nurture for the earth’s peaceful sleep. I love all life and regeneration that goes on underneath earthly layers. I love the freedom winter brings to the spirit that enjoys the spaciousness and a blank canvas to be used.

Beautiful architecture of stripped down trees reveals the essence of being, just as it is, with no embellishments or cover ups. It’s beautifully vulnerable yet their strengths lies within its roots. Just like for all of us when we dig deeper we find gold. Deep within the darkness we find connection, we cultivate networks and comradeship to our spirit and all that’s around us. Either a tree form or a human form we are the same in life, made of the same material and that is comforting to know.

Yule is near and the first promise of light carries hope that all will bloom again. My heart grows with excitement and content knowing the wheel is about to turn once more.

Many seasonal blessings!

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Part of the whole

When going somewhere beautiful it is overwhelming to think that I am part of it all and not just in a sense of sharing a living space but down to cellular level of things. Do we truly know it? All of the time? It can be grounding to realise where our ‘base’ really is. Nature reflects well just how small we are in the overall picture of life.

As we grow in consciousness and stand before the grander of nature we suddenly know our place. The way I feel when in front of it all is I feel I don’t know what to do with myself. I want to be here and there and everywhere, which tells me merging with the land is natural. I am already part of everything there is present in nature. Everything is collectively an expression of itself and one another. Life is simply wondrous and fascinating when looked at from outside in, from overall to individual and vice versa. Beauty is in the knowing, relief is in understanding, compassion is in acceptance.

Imperfect beauty

imperfectly perfect

 

A tree bent by the wind is still a tree playing with possibilities

A river still or turbulent is still a river living through flexibility of flow

A creature with a scar to its skin is still beautiful if not more so, as it speaks to us of the whole

 

Nature is the ultimate ‘whole’, because it perfectly contains ‘the beauty and the beast’ in all its expression and life cycles. It is both in order and disarray all at the same time. Nature is open to all possibilities, sunny one minute and stormy the next. Nature is the imperfectly perfect representation of how life begins and ends, how it grows, flows, fights and remains still. The beauty of it all is often beyond words. What can be more humbling and awakening than when a human heart feels it deeply and knows the sheer majesty there’s in the natural world.

Other posts on perfection 

Walking with ancestors

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This morning was one of those mornings when I felt my time was well spent. I was called to visit woods, a particular place I know well. Whenever I am called like this I always follow and I got in my car this morning open to what messages awaited me.

A smell of pines surrounded me on the way to the woods and a field of associations opened up in my awareness. Pines connect me to home, a land I was born in and another place where that association is often activated in is Scotland. I love pine trees and I am so familiar with the smell. While driving I craved to see them and realised that was one reason I was called to this particular wood and not any other. This is the only place where I can find pines in a particular corner of that forest I knew well and worked in before.

 

As I walked into the woods with confidence and anticipation I came across a broken pine branch straight away. I picked it up and put it against my face. The smell at this point was constantly around me and I breathed it in deeply feeling connected. I also felt not alone. It took me back to the days when I was young and mushroom picking with my parents and grandparents. I also remembered my encounters with pines in Scotland and Wales, thick, furry canopy in dark green against the purest blue of the sky. Soft carpet of fallen needles underneath my feet and that crunch of dry foliage and sticks that is so familiar to my ears.

And then there it was, a squirrel. It sat still at the foot of a pine tree and I felt energy going through me and tears coming to my eyes. Grandmother. Memories flooded in. My grandmother loved squirrels. She even had a couple of stuffed ones in her flat. I remember them vividly sitting on top of a television. I watched the squirrel and it watched me. I never before witnessed a squirrel be so still for quite some time. It didn’t run or turn just watched me before starting to climb a tree but slowly with shaking her tail in an interesting sort of way. I felt my grandmother near me as she often is. I the sat down on a stump and my granddad came to mine. I didn’t know him too well but I was around him a lot and have so many memories of him painting and care taking his wounded foot. It needed bandages changed every day and he would do it in this tiny stool, looked like a tree stump. I felt him around too.
In a distance I perceived a deer, vulnerable, soft and gentle, innocent and pure. My sister, I thought, and with a fresh breeze I observed a silver beech swaying her long green sleeves in a wind dance. The birch is a maiden tree to me and also strongly associated with my home land. My sister died young and was the sweetest soul.

Pine smell continued to be around me and it felt comforting. My relatives are buried in a pine woodland cemetery far away in Russia, Siberia. Three graves together amidst pines with rows singing their demands and moans into the wind. Don’t you think crows often sound like that they are dissatisfied with it all. I love them, very characterful and unashamed of their nature. My sense of smell took me to that cemetery once again, a place I remember well. I also had an awareness of my father currently being there and perhaps in the actual cemetery as I sat on a tree stump in England communing with ancestors in nature. I created an intuitive ‘grave’ collage on the ground and while in that space it felt like I was in the actual place.

 

They live within us and their ash fertilising our souls and make us grow with each breath and memory of that connection.
I have always associated deep sadness with the land of my birth, yet today I don’t feel it. They have moved on a long time ago and I have known about it for sometime. They are together, but also go on travels of their own to be with their own essence. It is a forever kind of connection like water or air that couldn’t separate itself from one another’s being. Even with letting go the memory is stamped forever on a canvas of their experience. They might become strangers over cycles yet there will always be a certain recognition on every encounter and there are many encounters throughout a life time, I believe.

As I was leaving I came across these three crosses amidst trees. They looked significant and made sense to me.

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This Litha I am incorporating my ancestors’ altar into my main one for the first time. It feels right to perform a ritual in their honour around this time in June, around anniversary dates and what today’s walk taught me was that remembering my blood lines is to be included in my spiritual practice and something that is natural and within me.

When death comes…

Mystic-foggy-evening

When death comes I will not shudder before its cold stare
For I have witnessed bluebell woods at spring time
I will not turn my face away from its shadowy presence as my soul remembers the smell of hawthorn flowers
Embrace of a child as sweet as honey is in my skin’s memory, so death’s empty hands can perform its ritual
I will surrender my body. Take it. It’s ready. It has been a precious carrier of love, loss, tragedy and ecstasy, it knew it all, but
I will keep my soul’s essence, as I am led through the darkness into the light of myself
For I know the joy I felt in my life and I have seen the sunset with my sweetheart as the most sacred moment
I touched the earth with my bare feet and felt the sweet song of a morning breeze
I won’t turn away as I know myself just as death knows me who’s always walked
Alongside me
We will walk together hand in hand towards the next adventure with no regrets and only peace for eternal company

Raw Nature Spirit