Tree Lady

photo(14)

I got lost in the forest.
It was dark.
I tripped over stones.
I was scratched by thorns.
I groped my way through earth and tangles of branches and leaves, rough bark broken skin bleeding.
I cried streams, seeped into earth cracked dry.
And I opened myself to see.
I see trees like pillars, rooted, support, connecting earth to sky.
At my most vulnerable I am asked to be my most strong.
When I feel so empty I am asked to hold a greater capacity than I ever imagined.
I ask for love.
And I see it is everywhere.
This fabric of life around me that supports me and sustains me and loves me.
These braches that hold me, this trunk that roots me, this earth that nourishes me, this light that guides me.
I am naked and vulnerable and you can look at me.
And to stand magnificant, rooted to earth, with braches to sky, growing, reaching, expanding, mighty.

 

Advertisements

Long Meg and her daughters

photo(6)
The journey was a long time coming. Plans were made and delayed. Mostly I felt wary of the long car journey with baby. My yearning to go to this place enveloped my whole family, everyone would come, my parents, my daughters. But we would decide to go one day only to wake in the morning and collectively decide it wasn’t the right day, or someone hadn’t slept well, or actually we’d go on so and so day instead. As the end of my trip home drew closer we made firm plans to go on a particular day and then my mum had a terrible toothache and so once again the trip was postponed. This all formed part of the experience, part of our story and our relationship to the place. When we finally managed to gather ourselves, sleep well and cure a tooth it was the day of a full moon, it was purely coincidental but it delighted me.

long_meg

Long Meg is a stone circle in the Valley of Eden in Cumbria, third biggest in England and sixth biggest in Europe. In the lead up to the visit I did a lot of reading about the stones and the stories connected to them. This added intrigue to our visit, especially alluring for my 8 year old daughter. One legend says they are a coven a witches turned to stone by a powerful wizard. Another tale tells that the stones are enchanted and impossible to count (it is quite hard as there are 59) .  Another interesting story involving the stones is that of the eccentric Colonel Lacy who devised a plot to blow them up, supposedly hunting for treasure, the promise of which was whispered by an apparition to a passing vagabond. The plan was abandoned after an epic thunderstorm was taken to be an ominous warning.

And still they stand, after all this passage of time.

There are various theories about the stones and their purpose, of astral alignments, portal stones, there are crystals in some stones and spiral rock art carved in others. They are aligned not only to solar but lunar timings, the shadow cast by “Meg” the largest stone reaches the centre of the circle at the winter solstice. In some ways the circle seems like a big clock that we have lost the ability to read.

long_meg_mum

I knew I was going to a special place. I could feel it from afar. I dreamed it. I recounted the experience of the pre journey because it feels so relevant to my story, the story of my relationship to the place. That the visit coincided with a full moon also meant something special to me, a whole moon, full of bright light, an element of the journey, of the story.

And a funny thing happened. We went walking, a circular walk that takes you to the stones, lovely country paths by the river. I could imagine coming to this place from the surrounding hills, tribal. The stones along the footpath marking, the drum beat sounding, the anticipation of a gathering. Whilst my mind wandered these thoughts dream day like, my dad bumped into an old friend on the path. We had been walking for a couple of hours and hadn’t seen one person, then approaching the stones my dad meets an old friend he hasn’t seen for years. And again I was reminded of the bringing together of people, of connections.

Something of the journey brought a union to my family, a whole. I entered the circle filled with stories. She welcomed us, Long Meg into her circle. I read that the stones have transformative, regenerative properties. To me they brought something wholesome, whole, full and filling. This journey made together with my family at the end of my extended trip home like the closing of a circle, whilst entering a circle.

I finish writing this many months later because I remember, I still feel moved and so complelled to share my story, in honour of the place. It took me time to make coherent my words and thoughts. But the memory of my experience with this place stayed with me. Long Meg and her daughters, me with my daughters, myself as daughter.

photo(4)

Seedling

baby_seed2

A little seed she came. Blown by the wind so far from whence she came.

The spark, the crack, the pop that opened her up, explused her, spat her into the air. Thrust unto a gust of wind. Held tight, in her pod, in the dark until the time was just right. Followed brothers and sisters flying, strewn.

Over vast ocean, air, over river, forest, land and so much water. You are my daughter.

Find a place, a crevice of rock, sacred and old. Here you will anchor. Small thing, safe. Protected and sheltered you are now sprouted, rooted.

A song comes whispered, carried on the wind from a distant land and meant for you.

Arbolito arbolito
Crece bien, crece bien,
Todo mi amor, todo mi cariño
Por favor, crece bien

Do you hear? Do you hear how the world sings for you? Wild and triumphant you are free and you are one. You are organic. You are natures daughter. The element of air born in earth. You are free to be mighty. You are chaos calm. You are all the love.

Grow strong, grow firm with the love that created you. Grow with the journey that you have already made. Grow with the wings that have already carried you so beautifully. A mighty tree in the forest of life. A sapling shimmer.

Christmas Crafting

christmasIn the darkness of the winter I turn inwards. With the cold of the winter I turn to my fire. I take great joy in the making of fire, the whole process, from wandering beneath trees collecting kindling to the careful placement of twig to log, it is a true art form. And occasionaly a chore. To arrive home late and not have things prepared can be difficult but even hustling up a fire in the cold and in the dark I take pleasure in my task. The act of warming my home echoes some deep imprinted act of survival, keeping the ancestral embers burning, keeping life. And I am so grateful for its warmth in the evenings. As we draw closer to the festive season I feel like making things. I have mixed feeling about Christmas, the excessiveness makes me uncomfortable, I like to be with my family and with those I love. I like giving gifts. I like making things for people. The process of making a gift for someone is a beautiful thing. This year I made Christmas cards and notebooks and raw truffles with dried fruits.  With the children I prepared Christmas crackers with toilet roll tubes and pretty papers, we also did some collagraph printing and card making. I like to make this my tradition of Christmas, the making, creating, turning this dark winter inwards energy into something thoughtful. Nights spent busy by the fire.

(And oh my, I`m such a romantic…. send me back a few hundred years)