Home

Home is where heartache fades and headaches ease. Home is where colour seeps in and stains grey. Home is where the volume is switched as loud as you want, which can simply mean silence. Home is where a hole inside of you is filled once you arrive. Home is where voices you only hear once a year fill you with joy, or voices you hear every day still make you tingle with anticipation. Home is when food and warmth are pressed upon you with no desire for reciprocation. Home is care and comfort. Home is falling in love. Home is sometimes falling out. But home is always the smells that evoke the strongest memories; the stillness of a breath or the wind upon a face in the open; home is great stones in walls or circles; home is where you take it, and where you make it. I am at home, and I am going home.

Circle

Circle we dreamed
Seen in a haze
“One of these days…”
We banished that phrase

Circle we saw
In places we’d been
That made us feel keen
To make what we’d seen

Circle we drew
Guidance from past
We need it to last
So steady, not fast

Circle we built
Stone out of sand
Sprouts from the land
Raised by our hand.

Circle we blessed
Speaking to sky
Heart mind and eye
A soul that shall fly

Circle we are
When stone meets the sea
Continuity
Love; hope; family.

Seeking the ancestors, beginnings

The truth is, everyone was formed by their ancestors in some way. If you deny any connection to your ancestors, then that is a conscious decision which in itself, partially shapes who you are. Even by denying them, which is absolutely your right to do, and you may have extraordinarily good reasons for doing so, you have changed yourself in some way by making that decision. I have accepted this, and instead of being ignorant of the people that essentially made me, I have decided to try and find a connection to them via the myths and legends that they spawned; the tales they told and the beings they revered are part of their culture, and now they are part of mine. I heartily recommend to anyone to seek out something of what made you who you are today, perhaps something you have little knowledge on, or something you could feel closer to, and try and forge a bond with it; try and find a point where that means something to you as a modern individual; as a vibrant and unique human being. I discovered the Tuatha de Danaan. Who knows what you may find?

Forgiveness

Sometimes I really struggle with being a forgiving person. In my formative years, I was a bit of a doormat and gave people chance after chance. Unfortunately some of those people, now no longer in my life, did not deserve those chances, and I have now learned to not be so accommodating. The scar this has left is that I have a tendency to feel hard done by as soon as anyone “wrongs” me. Sometimes I’m so keen to defend myself and be sure I’m not taken advantage of, that I see slights where none are intended; I feel pain at the slightest knock to my ego, and sometimes I really don’t see the funny side of what turns out to be genuine banter. Worse still, sometimes I try and hold people accountable for what turns out to be a true mistake or error on their part- the true knife is in the intent, and if there is no intent, how can there be a wound? Of course you can hurt others unintentionally, but kind words and apologies are time honoured remedies for this ill. And this is where forgiveness comes in. I need to hone the art of recognising when someone is genuine about their mistake, and make room inside for that little warm spot that swallows the hurt and transforms it, absorbs it; dissolves it with laughter, embarrassment or simply a kind word. Because the forgiveness not only reassures the instigator; it cools the fires within the one who got burned, divesting them of anger and making for a brighter, happier day.

Grey

It’s my Wednesday (Monday, urgh) again and it’s decidedly grey today. Grey sky, still heavy with rain- 60 hours of non stop rain since I returned from camp at the weekend. Rivers and becks and streams so swollen and people in fear for their homes and businesses: not good, but not surprising after the damp and darker summer we had. Grey faces on the bus, tired and turning from the wan light fighting its way through the curtain of cloud; vitality seems to have vanished, or maybe it simply hasn’t awoken at this time of day. Grey streets and houses, rain streaked yet dirty and sorry looking; why does grey mean bleak to us? These dim skies and soaked walls hem us in and make us feel… Claustrophobic? Hopeless? What is it about the cocoon of damp and bad weather that gets us down so much? I’m nearly at work now, nearly to my grey desk in my grey office; maybe that’s it. When all outside is grey and grim, what is there to differentiate it from the cages we build for ourselves indoors?

Homecoming

Time apart has not made the heart grow fonder;
How could it?
Nothing in the universe makes me love them more.
They are the most precious
The most beautiful
The most vital in my life.
The blood within my blood
More essential than food, than air.
Yet everyday my love grows
Like the steps of my child
Or the hair, or the nails- unstoppable, inevitable
So as the wheels turn
The road passes
Grey and stern
While green fields and trees
Whip past my eager face
I remember the beautiful time apart
With friends, with family
And tie these golden memories with silver twine
To give to the two I name as “mine”.

Equinox

The Celts are renowned more for their celebration of the “major” sabbats- Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasagh and Samhain. Yet nowadays even those of us following a Celtic based tradition tend to celebrate the inbetweeners- the “cross-quarter” festivals- the solstices and the equinoxes. They change slightly from year to year because their significance is based on where the earth is in relation to the sun. The equinoxes are moments of pure balance; day equals night; light equals dark. Nothing outweighs the other; nothing has an advantage. Symbolic of peace, tranquility and calm, but also the feeling of hanging in the balance, the calm before the storm; the moment where we pause, reflect and prepare, before sudden change, activity, bustle. Historically at this time of year we would have been racing to get ready for winter, knowing that the night is coming to swallow the light and bringing with it cold, frost, death and darkness. But for now, we have a still point, a moment where we can gather ourselves; our resources; our energies and know that we are ready; ready for whatever the darker months may bring. We remember that they do not only bring the darkness without, but the hearth fires and joy within our homesteads, and that equally while we burn the fires to ward off the darkness, we accept the darkness as a vital part of the eternal cycle. We do not spit at it, hissing like a cornered cat; we prepare well and know that we are safe within our chosen havens- with family and loved ones to help out; with food and fire and knowledge that the sun is but a turn of the wheel away.