Small Steps

Hard times. But I am moving.

Today, I have a cold. Sneezing, coughing, battling to keep warm (or cool), headachey… brain too furry to do much. Plans put by the wayside as I return to bed.

But something shifts in me, as I sit and think. 

In recent times, my head has been almost suffocated by the thick fog of negative thoughts. But with recent medication changes, I’m starting to see clarity again. The fog is thinning. My lovely doctor is thrilled that my natural smile is returning.

I’m finding myself again. I walk around this house, where I’ve lived for ten years now. My home, with my wee family. Full of the stuff of our lives: physical things holding unique memories, but also games played on the stairs with kittens, pups rolling around on the rug, hugs and laughter in every room…

When that black fog (dog?) rolls in, my tactics are now taking effect. I light a candle for focus and brightness. I burn sweet incense to remind me of magic and ritual. I walk barefoot across the wooden floors, wrap myself in blankets I knitted, immerse myself in stories that engage…

I write random thoughts to share, for those who may feel as I do. To prove that I can still express myself, create, speak up – that my mind is my own. This is me. I’m still moving. It is possible.

The cold germs force rest. With every sneeze, badness is spat out and my head clears (briefly!). I trust that my body does its thing and evicts the toxic, as I am trying to do with the unhelpful thoughts. 

I reach out with my words… magic from the tips of my fingers, to reach you.

And I smile as I imagine you reading. 

Much love, my friends.

Place and Tribe

Today, I drove over 200 miles, a round trip across a good width of this country. County boundaries were crossed, towns and villages navigated. From sun to rain and back again.

I understand that in some countries, this wouldn’t count for much. But here, it’s a long way. I’m pretty tired now.

But such trips are wonderful for exploring the diversity of my lovely homeland… while at the same time, feeling the similarities.

We have our different tribes still. Nottingham is different in mood and feel to Derby (they’re approximately 15 miles apart). Both are far removed in life and geography from London, Newcastle or – crossing amorphous national boundaries – Cardiff or Edinburgh.

Yet, when I speak to people of ‘spirits of the land’, they always nod in understanding. That almost territorial ‘vibe’, made up of the human societies which live in these places and demarcate the boundaries, but not confined to just the human residents. This is still very much felt, whether consciously or when reminded.

The land my partner and I visited today was beautiful – birch and gorse, with a magnificent lake in glorious sunshine (and then an equally marvellous rainstorm!). It had its own definite character, and we were glad to get to know it a little.

As I drove home, I passed way-markers. You are Now Entering Lincolnshire. Then Nottinghamshire. Sherwood Forest. Derbyshire – and home.

I reached out to those ancient trees as I passed. We waved to the magpies and dodged the ravens playing on the roads. I felt the pull of my own little place as I moved nearer. The spirits of the land are clear in this wild countryside, even as the tarmac and concrete of civilization try to tame it. It’s good to explore, to reach out and actively notice, feel that connection.

Back on my hilltop, I breathe deeply. My home, my place, where I am known and held. Before I head out again tomorrow.

Tired Reflection

Such a busy week.

Outside once again with the puppies this evening, I’m so tired, I’m operating largely on sensation.

I walk through wet grass, feeling it tickle my bare feet through my sandals. A much-needed warm breeze brushes my arms, even hours after sunset. Bats flit through trees. Tiny lambs peer curiously through the gate to their field-home.

I come back to a cosy home, the last few chores and a welcome cup of tea before snuggling into bed with my partner.

My space. My neighbours. My land. My loved ones.

Gladness.

Cleaning

Well, a little later in the week than anticipated, but a morning of Intense Cleaning has been accomplished! From the physical (vacuuming, dusting, tidying) to the spiritual (smudging, reconsecrating), the house is a bit closer to sparkly again.

I live in an old house, you see, and it’s hard to ever make it as pristine as some might like. It dates from the 1820s and was once a guardhouse to the hunting grounds on this hilltop. Due to this – and the more recent Dog Factor – I’m happy with it being Lived In. Full of welcome, good smells and many books.

While housework is a task which most of us would happily do without, and which doesn’t perhaps seem very spiritual, it is so important to feel comfortable in your own home. The effort of upkeep is certainly an act of honour and respect, and the house will be grateful in turn. It holds the roof over our heads, after all.

Now just got to find some tobacco for the guards…

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