Solstice Shifts.

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.

greenwoods
The Wildwood. Much like “The Library” this is rather an overstatement, but I can never resist.

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”.

 

6 thoughts on “Solstice Shifts.

  1. i am so glad that you were able to find solace in what i refer to as the “good green”, meaning the earth/sky/waters/creatures/rocks/green people/fae folk/whatever-ness that so kindly surrounds and sustains us all…

    the end of the year is hard. there’s a great deal of self-questioning or angst that burbles up at year’s end, for some reason. i always assumed it had something to do with the darkness in me being called out by the seasonal darkness, the midpoint of the “in-breathing” pat of the year. but that would make less sense for you, perhaps? or maybe it’s to do with being empaths, and taking on the ambient barrage of emotions and stresses of others this time of year, along with our own internal feelings. or the rawness of the turning of the year.

    sometimes a good cry is a great release. i well up easily, but rarely actually cry. after the election and its ugly aftermath, i was feeing quite desolate and at sea; and then i read a little story on sylvia linsteadt’s blog, which was so sad and pertinent (written in response to the same miseries), and i just wept and wept. and afterward, i felt better. not exactly cheerier, but clearer. and with a sort of resolve, and a sense of not being so…stuck.

    peace is always there in the wild bits. i’ve a great fondness for those bits of wild that grow around large trees, or groves of trees. i was blessed to grow up with a wood all around my childhood house. i played in it, but i also found solace there in a certain beech grove. there is such a sense of awareness and intelligence in tree communities…it’s beauty, yes; but something much deeper. something in us resonates and expands in these places. a great blessing, yes.

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    1. Well put – “ambient barrage”. I think I’ve been feeling a lot of that, lately. But you’re also right about a good cry. It really does clear a lot out.
      I think here in the Southern Hem, this time of year seems all about endings – so much happening and winding up all at once. And it’s the pace that gets a bit crazy. I think that’s partially why I love the Summer Solstice, because it feels private. It passes so quietly and gently – without fanfare. Without expectation, a sense of obligation, and there’s no aggressive marketing and consumerism attached. It kind of captures the spiritual essence of old Yuletide for me, (but in Summer, if that makes sense).

      I love the sound of your childhood home. And there is definitely a sense of awareness and intelligence in tree communities. I know that’s been proven with science recently, but it’s a palpable thing too, hey?
      xxx

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  2. I know what you are saying re this time of year being about endings. I have such a strong nostalgic feeling in December as I remember the end of school, the beginning of the long summer (which wasn’t so hot, back in those days). I also agree that the Solstice feels more private, and takes such a huge weight off the Christmas season – makes it more possible to just enjoy the good parts without any of the consumerism and stress. And lastly, I can relate to how you’re feeling about the general stress in the world – sometimes I just can’t bear it, and have to go look at pinterest or something.

    WIshing you much joy and peace for this sacred season xx

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    1. Sarah, I have a lot of nostalgia for December too…and you’re right – it never used to be so hot, hey? I remember it as the scent of fresh mown grass and strawberries, and lush sweetness in general.
      Pinterest is a tonic. Truly. Whilst the Instagrin is generally a Happy Place, Pinterest is my escape hatch ; ) But then again, I stand in my garden, and breathe this clean air, and I’m reminded of how truly fortunate I am. I often wish I could share that with others who don’t know what that feels like.

      Wishing you peace and joy also, m’lovely. Blessings to you and yours. xxx

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  3. oh loveliest you. i relate so very much to everything you’ve written — i haven’t cried properly in a very long time, although i’m often welling-up and sniffly over all sorts of things – big and small — what IS that, d’you suppose?

    anyway.

    “ambient barrage”.. yes. that’s perfect. i’m feeling myself slide under again…after having clawed my way out for a spell….general weariness, the grey, sunless days and biting cold, the feeling of these past few weeks being a sort of survival marathon….all contributing to a blanketing fug of sorts. *sigh* then there’s the rather odious expectation to Take Stock and Reflect at this time of year (must we?) and then forge cheerfully ahead with Plans for the new year.

    but tea and book forts are THE THING….lovely and restorative.

    oh, that Wildwood….a place of the deepest sorts of magic. so much love to you, dearest of souls. i wish more than anything that we could sit down for tea. we’ll sit at Rapunzel’s though, i don’t think you’d fancy it here just now. 😉 xoxo

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    1. dearest Mel, yes. I think tea and book forts provide a tethering kind of sanity, (my pile just grew exponentially for the Bloke hath returned from a library run!)/ And I often wish we could sit and slurp tea, (well, I slurp shamelessly. I’m sure you’re far more civilised with your cuppa). And you would me moste welcome at Rapunzel’s. At the moment, I’m (guiltily) grateful for the air con. Because, well it’s just too hot already. Even the roses are pouting today.

      We each dwell in extreme climates, don’t we? I often feel the parallels – It can get a little too real at this time of the year. Added to that, realities of a worldly sort. And end of year stuff. I always underestimate the impact of it all. Burbling away as I do for months, with a kind of equanimity. And then Bam! It hits.

      Come on over, gorgeous you. How I would love that. Love and teacups. xxx

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