In These Hills…

chiminiere
I’ve been firing up our chiminiere, (or is it ciminiere?) and sitting outside with my work and a cuppa. Delightfully toasty.

Last night at Rapunzel’s, there was an almighty storm. A crazy, fairytale kind of storm that had to have been whipped up by a mad wizard having a tantrum.

Wild winds and thunder shook the cottage, and a ridiculous amount of rain was dumped in our water tank. There was also sleet (!) And I sat in the dark with a candle lit, and an ever-so-slightly perturbed dog at my feet,* feeling the thrill of Mad Nature, in the heart of the maelstrom.

And I woke up this morning feeling excited, and enlivened. I’ve been so immersed in projects that apart from the Instagrin, I’ve not really had the space to blog. Also the Moon-girl has had Winter music concerts, which has been involving. But also wonderful, as she flits between violin solos and saxophone. Entirely in her element with 3-hour long rehearsals.

Today everything feels lighter, and I’ve thrown the doors wide open, even though the air is icy. Because I can smell Spring, and there’s a sharp anticipation in the breeze. I’m playing this piece of music at volume,** and everything is sparkling with rain-washed light.

I’ve been getting all sorts of ideas. Feeling as though it’s time for expansion and growth. Even the scary kind. Especially the scary kind.

But I feel that it’s also time for sweetness, and good company. I’ve been watching covens dance, and feeling an ache for feminine gatherings. Even though I’m a solitary type, I do love being with people. And these past few years I’ve been building relationships that are kind and free-spirited.

There’s a lot to be said for the much-quoted idea, (can’t remember who?) that it’s not what you say and do that’s remembered, as much as how others feel when they’re around you. I try to be mindful of this when I’m with others.

springbalcony
The balcony at Rapunzel’s is looking decidedly Spring-like.

I’ve often found that because I tend towards quietness, and in company don’t reveal nor declare a great deal, that I can be a mirror for others. A projection for their beliefs or assumptions. I expect more from others, now. I expect respect, dignity, and intelligence.

This also means I have zero tolerance for gossip. Gossip, (unless it’s confined to whose chickens are laying at this time of the year, the storm damage to the neighbour’s fence, or when the new cafe up the road is set to open), is a particularly low form of intelligence.

I find tabloid magazines particularly horrifying in this regard; and not at all a harmless diversion. All the Who’s, Ok’s, and Weekly’s could be renamed, “The User’s Guides for How to Be Judgemental and Delight in the Misfortunes of Others, Real or Imagined”. Toxic mind sludge. Let’s replace it all with beauty and generosity, (Womankind Magazine, anyone?). Connection. A big, fat bunch of flowers, (my solution to possibly more problems than flowers can reasonably solve).

As to how I personally wish to feel around others, I expect my heart, mind, and intentions to be seen clearly. And for that to happen, the intentions of others need to be pure. I now choose to be around freedom-loving souls who respect who I am, and who, how, and what I love. Even if it runs entirely counter to who, how, and what they love. And I them. Vive la Difference! If one is trustworthy, I don’t believe one has anything to fear on that level.

I’m no font of bloody wisdom, but I do believe we should never dictate, manipulate, punish, nor try to control others for who or what they choose to love, (because, well, that’s a form of bullying). Even if we can’t understand that love. Respect for another’s feelings, wishes, freedom, and boundaries is crucial, hey? We don’t own others. Requiring conformity to our own narrative or version of things – that’s not love. It’s just fear and ego.

But onto to lighter, topics. And one that I find mildly amusing, (to me, anyway. After the destructive force of the storm last night, I headed out first thing this morning to check if there’d been any damage to the garden. I glanced at my abandoned seed trays, where I had an epic fail with raising bergamot and english primrose seeds. And would you believe it?

Yup. There they were – teeny-tiny sprouted seeds, cheekily peering at me. Proving that my coddling behaviour towards them was not only unappreciated, but completely unnecessary. They’ve been sleeted on, (it’s a word), drenched, and abandoned like fairy-children on a hillside. But thusly, they thrive. However, there are The Birds with which to contend. So we shall see…

mrfrog
I also find my Mr Frog planter amusing. He came with our house, and he’s been allowed to stay. He squats by our rainwater tank and holds a wonderful bouquet of miniature daffodils, (soon to flower, I hope).

I feel I could write an ode to these hills. These hills so filled with enchantment, and gentle earth magick. There are actually an awful lot of witches here. More than I ever realised. Here in Australia, it’s census time,*** and I wouldn’t mind betting that if any location in Australia is declared “most witchy”, it would most likely be here. But it’s a subtle, intelligent ethos and aesthetic, largely hidden, and often surprising. Which is what I love.

garden

There are so many secret gatherings that happen here by moonlight under fern, and oak, and mountain ash. Lyrebirds peek out from the undergrowth, and in sunlit forest groves there are wild, winged creatures. When I move through the villages, the smiles are warm, often slow and delighted, as recognition of one another dawns. Often encountering those we may never meet beyond a glance, and exchange of hellos. Yet a web of strength and connection is woven. Again, it’s subtle.

It’s a shy, gentle, nature-loving community. So quickly I feel fierce love and protectiveness towards this mountain home. It constantly reminds me of what we must nurture if we’re to survive. That all of us are custodians of this rare and precious earth-home.

I shall probably pop back in here tomorrow for a Friday linkies post. Haven’t done one of those for a while.

Wishing you a beautiful day, wherever you may be. xx

 

 

 

*The dorje dog is actually fine in thunderstorms. She just likes to sit close to us and keep an eye on things. Sweet girl.

** From my fave Cocteau Twins album, Heaven or Las Vegas. Effing exquisite. I’ve always been a British music tragic, and hopeless anglophile. And I adore Elizabeth Frazer’s vocals.

*** Don’t get me started. This time, more than any other, I’m wary about our privacy as citizens. Wary that our data will be used in potentially invasive, oppressive, and discriminatory ways. These things tend to happen by degrees, whilst we cooperatively sleepwalk, and follow the rules; dismissing questions and concerns as cynicism, conspiracy theory, and paranoia. And future generations will ask us wtf we were thinking as we allow our autonomous, self-defined identity and agency to be gradually eroded. The ABS are declaring that giving your name and address is compulsory. Legally, this is absolutely not the case. Rant over.

8 thoughts on “In These Hills…

  1. Elizabeth Frazer makes me weep. I remember the first time I heard Song to the Siren; it was like discovering that I was not the last of my species after all.

    This is a beautiful manifesto. Thank you for sharing it, it reminds me where to find the light. xx

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  2. Oh mercy, Jo! I dread hearing Song to the Siren in public – for fear of dissolving into a blubbery puddle. ALL of the feels, and more.
    If there’s a heaven, they’ll be piping Elizabeth Fraser’s voice through reception. xx

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  3. funnily, we just had our census time — well, it was months ago, actually — and since i’m completely Oblivious and don’t watch news, read newspapers etc, i didn’t realize it was happening. and so we didn’t complete ours. which was entirely innocent on my behalf, but precisely what i would’ve done otherwise. the jack-boots are coming, apparently – so i’ve been warned. 😉

    i envy you your witchy mountains….we have churchy agri-lands. monoculture crops and predominantly Dutch baptists*. i don’t quite feel as if i fit in somehow….:P

    i wish it felt like autumn here. that storm sounds all manner of brilliant!

    and i’m laughing at your seedlings….’tis nothing if not a humbling thing, this land-tending lark.

    xoxo

    *(lovely people altogether…but, not exactly kindred souls)

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    1. Mel, it’s truly the first time I’ve felt vaguely at home in any community. Even though I’m not really a participant, as such, (fringe dweller TM). But the ethos here, I can jive with. Actually, there are loads of people here with Dutch heritage too, (don’t think they’re Baptists, though…) because historically it’s been a tulip and flower growing area, and continues to be, in fact. It’s no accident that I gravitate to where all the flowers are grown ; )

      And yes, the seedling thing is truly absurd. They really could have done entirely without my interfering. Lesson learned!

      Wishing you some Autumn rains and breezes, m’lovely. xx

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  4. i love the picture from your balcony. also, that you *have* a balcony, as i do not. (one of many inscrutable omissions by the builders of my current house…)

    couldn’t agree more about the trashy tabloid media. it is a cesspit of schadenfreude, and i cannot believe anyone can find nothing better to read/view than that! such a weird combination of empty yet toxic…

    i do not love storms. in my area, they tend to cause Trees Of Doom to fall upon one’s house. or car. or road. occasionally, all of the above. or at least, to cause the withdrawal of mod-cons like electricity and tap water and functional toilets. my husband, on t’other hand, adores storms. the wilder, the better, for him. but then, he has not a little in common with heathcliff.

    i do envy you your mountain home with all the beauty and natural blessings it has. and i find myself a wee bit green that you seem to have a fair number of witchy types about…we could do with more of that here, i believe.

    ah, cocteau twins…love. since high school, their music has been a touchstone for me. was just listening to them this morning—funny how our thoughts keep pace.

    i hope the seedlings that survived—and apparently, thrive upon—storms will grow and blossom, and that the birds will allow it…

    and tonight, i shall raise my glass to earth magic, wherever it may be found. 🙂

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    1. You know, m’dear, the balcony thing is so Australian. And it’s one idiosyncrasy that I’m extremely happy to have attached to my funny wee home. Although our balcony is totally unusable during the Winter months, (it faces SE, and bears the full brunt of the Antarctic “breezes”). But in Summer and Autumn – I do so appreciate being able to sit out there. With the bats, and spiders, and nutbag cockatoos ; )

      And yes, I so often think about the parallels and connections between kindreds. So I’m not at all surprised that you’ve been listening to the Cocteau Twins : )

      Us witchy types are often quite hidden still, hey? I think there may be more of us than we truly know. Tonight I raise my glass, not only to earth magic, but also to you, for being one of those dear souls, I’m so very blessed to know. xx

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  5. I’m reminded of the spring I so carefully planted out a tray of seeds. Divided them by variety by sticks and labels… and then, Patty, our Horse, who we no longer have, knocked the whole tray on the ground. Sigh… the adventures and failures and glories of gardening. Autumn is a short month or more away for us, but I envy your spring fever. Spring is my favorite season! And I’m with Mel, surrounded by big agriculture, monoculture crops, baptists and dare I say anything about the angry NRA citizens. I stay home a lot. It’s become my bubble. Wish there were more of the witchy persuasion around these parts. I always enjoy your posts.

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    1. Oh noooooo! Nicole. I kind of want to laugh-cry at that seed disaster. Because…I know. All too well.

      And I too have a soft-spot for Spring. I just can’t help it – there’s just a glut of beauty. And such a hopeful, buoyant infectious energy.

      I do relate to your home being a bubble. That’s me at the best of times. I joke that my home isn’t my castle so much as my monastery. xx

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