This morning, the Summer Solstice dawned dark and cool. No glimmer of sunlight could find its way through the grey. But the heat is coming, so I wrapped myself in the comfort of clouds.
I woke feeling a heavy fatigue, and a melancholy that’s lain heavily upon me of late.
This is the whinge-y bit, (I promise it gets better, anon).
I know from whence all this woe springs. I’m old enough and ugly enough to recognise my EMOTIONS as just…emotions. End of year unravellings. Basically – exhaustion, overwhelm, my rubbish, other people’s griefs and stresses, and all the things I can’t speak of here. Mixed in with a deep ache and grief for humanity in general.
Because I do have to get all macro and take it aaall on, don’t I? Like that helps.
So…everything has been catching up, and tumbling in upon me. I even had to take a break from the Instagrin, which was reminding me of my total lack of Chrimbly cheer, because I began to feel like a rotten misery guts, and because I just can’t contemplate tinsel right now.
My reflex under stress is to withdraw from people, (even when I’m busy and out amongst it all). Withdrawal not just from crowds and noise, but also from those to whom I’m close. This can be a self-defeating mechanism, I realise. It’s one of my Things I Need to Learn to Do Better, but in truth, may never. I tend to shut down my trust in others, and feel that I have to deal with everything alone.
I refer to it as “Going Dark” , (not that I believe anyone is trying to do me harm!). It’s more the case that I don’t wish to harm anyone else with my stress. Of course, it comes across as coldness.
This time I’ve had firm talks with myself. Or at least tried to catch myself out and recognise what it’s about.
And then, Solstice.
It’s one of my favourite days, because it feels like a delicious secret, tucked inside all the seasonal insanity of glut. It feels like a day to remember rhythms that manage to prevail despite everything, and to feel the magic that strums the air.
Yet this time, I felt low. Really low.
So I wandered up the hill towards the back of the garden, to the edge of the wildwood.* I find myself drawn there whenever I seek comfort, and whenever I need to hear that calm voice that can so easily be drowned out by all the loud nothingness, if we forget to listen.
Because in the Wildwood there is ancient presence. I walk there as little as possible, and only to plant. I skirt the edges, observing…asking nothing of that place, except that I might observe some more**.
And on the margins of this place I sank down upon the earth, amongst all the little saplings that grow there, and felt it rise in me. I cried as I haven’t cried in a long time, (because I cry rarely, even though I tear up easily). I just cried. Quietly, but voluptuously. I let it go.
All of it.
And I thanked the good, sweet earth and air for listening. For accepting and holding everything that I couldn’t any longer.
And then soon afterwards I received a gift. It was out of the blue, and it knocked me sideways. A gift of such kindness, and such powerful, pure and exquisite beauty that I stood sobbing in the middle of my living room.
I couldn’t hold it all. So I let it all go with my tears, again. I have yet to thank this beautiful soul. I don’t quite know how, because I doubt they have any idea how they hit the mark so surely. So profoundly that I was entirely undone.
But I will thank them. Just as I thanked the earth and the air. Because the magic is there. It’s love and kindness, and 11th hour blessings, and all the things we know are real but sometimes can’t see because we’re tripping over everything at once.
Wishing you all a beautiful and peaceful Summer or Winter Solstice, m’loves. With all my heart. xxx
*Hardly a “wood”. More a little circle of wildness that lies at the very back of Rapunzel’s Cottage, beneath a great birch tree. I’m cultivating that wildness as much as I can.
**I did ask if I could take a photo. Today it felt right. The other day I asked the same question, and a huge gust of wind came up from nowhere. I took that as a “no, you may piss off already”.