The Dark Lord hath a new trick. When scratching upon my bedroom door at 5am fails to rouse me, he promptly vomits a fur-ball upon the threshold. Fiend.
Although this hardly wins my sympathy, I do know how he feels.
This morning I averted disaster, and managed to resolve a major glitch, which drew exclamations (both of amazement and of the sweary kind). This month, I’ve come to expect the unexpected.
I am relieved, and somewhat chuffed. My intuition seems to be sharper than usual of late.
Anyway, now that I have a moment of respite, I thought I’d come here and catch my breath.
We’re hurtling towards Beltane, in my part of the world. Which of course, is the start of Summer in the old Celtic calendar. This feels entirely sensible for November in my part of the world.
Although, having said that, today is all mountain-chill and candlelight. I’ve lit the fire, and all the animals have descended upon the hearth. I sit here perched on my cozy red couch, with ye olde pooter. Listening to Lana del Rey, and sipping my Numi ‘gratitude’ tea. Because yes, I shall have me a cup of fucking gratitude ; ) The Rules of Magic, by Alice Hoffman awaits me – some fireside escapism for later in the evening.
There’s a vase of iris and lily-of-the-valley beside me, plucked a few days ago from the garden. The flowers are beginning to wither and decay, and there’s a rotting sweetness in the scent. Somehow more heady than when they were fresh. It’s a captivating aroma, in a faintly dangerous and melancholy sort of a way.
The rain approaches from the hills in the south, accompanied by an unseasonal and insinuating mist. It doesn’t quite reach Rapunzel’s, but suspends its fairy magic over the valley. The orchid on the balcony is flowering in view of the window, her pink-lipped stare is heavy lidded, lascivious. Her flowering is presumptuous, bold and improbably soft-hearted.
The nights descend more slowly now. The evenings stretch out, long-limbed and filled with frog-song. It’s the spawning season and the creek at the bottom of the hill is transformed into an amphibian jazz club. Ecstatic and ribald. The sound pricks at me when i’m outside breathing in the Spring evening. It brings me to tears as no other season does. Restless, inciting. Libertine nights. A time when dusk holds too many promises and wonders. A time of currawong hauntings, when the scent of eucalypts mingle with star jasmine. The ancient becomes young again.
My Celtic rhythms and memories are ultimately no match for this astonishingly lush and gut-wrenching land of Source and spirit. This is no Celtic land, as it frequently reminds me. This place – my medicine. A sharp-tongued, reluctant medicine, different to the softer, rain-lit land my where my mother was born. A land that reminded her ancestors of Scotland. A different, but no less complicated place.
And me who has been spat out here. It seems I’m meant to dwell in this harsher, dryer land. Maybe because I’ve struggled so much with this place. I’m the result of a long line of ancestors who settled here, but it’s me who is compelled to remember past wrongs, and offer what medicine I can. The medicine of not-forgetting.
The medicine not of guilt and useless lip-service, but of embodied remembrance of things lost and stolen. The medicine of ensuring my own child knows. The medicine of seeking out the unseen and listening to the unspoken. The medicine of knowing that I don’t truly know anything about this place.
I sometimes envy the beautiful innocence of belonging in those whose ancestors remained in their own lands. This didn’t mean a lack of suffering, but there’s a being of place that is as old as stone. That’s why I feel such a profound sense of rest and deep peacefulness with the UK. The absolute sense of belonging, without spiritual trespass. A cellular homecoming. A shamanic lullaby for one of their own. Not that I am one of their own any longer. Not in any tangible, legal, or material way.
But we are all migrants of history. We’ve all left trails of blood and desire, and fear that lead back to warm caves, sheltered from ice or desert or invasion. And as the seventh of my generation, I’m of this land now. It’s staked its claim on me. I owe the land my self. I owe it to myself.
I have plans for Beltane. This is a happy thing, indeed. But before all that happens, I must do some bushfire prep this week. This means clearing gutters, and picking up branches, sticks and debris around the property. And trimming the unruly grasses that are now knee-deep, and swaying heavily with seed. I’ve cut paths through them – desire paths. My tireless, aching human paths of desire.
But these well-worn paths are nothing in the face of a bushfire’s path of destruction. I must put my garden romanticism aside, for now. The piles of debris I create for habitat would prove folly during the the hot season.
There’s an abundance of things I would like to share here, but you know. Public space. One day, and I imagine it may be quite sudden, all of it will probably appear. And it will possibly seem as though everything happened here rather suddenly. But, non.
Although I’m aware when I come here that I somehow hold the best of me back. The things, the words I reserve for elsewhere, for that other work. I’m not sure how I feel about this. This not giving my all here. All the untold stories. But it’s not my Real Work, so it has to be this. What little I can be and offer, here and now.
I’ve an audacious dream. And I haven’t had one of those in a while. But this one looks as though it might happen. All the more reason to hold it close, for now. But my nature thrives on audacious dreams. It brings out the bones of me, the grit and steel of me that allow me to be the wings of a project and carry it all the way home.
This year has been a huge-ling, friends. It’s still a year that’s in disarray and with so many unanswered questions. But that’s the reality of living in this human body, hey? I’ve shared a fragment of this elsewhere (on the IG), but it’s only been the tip of a very fat iceberg. A few trusted souls know what the bigger picture looks like. There’s so much more, and I must exercise some patience with where I’m at.
But for now, it’s the season of pleasure and light, following a dark and heavy Winter. I’m all the more appreciative this year of the lush sensuality that abounds here, and in me. It wants to be alive in all of us, that joy.
And whilst a number of you will be hunkering down, and regarding grinning pumpkins and wings of bat, for me it’s the season of flowers, and connecting with others. A season for sharing the delights of good company and mirth, and sun on bare skin. For these are good medicine too.
And the roses are about to bloom.
Warm wishes to you, dear ones.