Today I took my sobbing heart to dig some earth
With each forward motion I felt my pain release into her rich and warm body
I played and felt and digged and squashed the black softness of her flesh in my hands
I caught myself smiling as I lifted some carrots off the earth bed and like orange lanterns they shone bright straight into my heart
The smell of nourishment entered my senses
I bowed all the way touching her in gratitude to the release of pain
As I was leaving my heart weighed less with sorrow and more with content
Today I took my sobbing heart to dig some earth
Air fills with chilling promise of glorious explosion of moist spider webs in the morning and vibrant colours of the land. Its breath is fresh, slightly biting to the skin, similar to that in early spring, the time my soul also adores. Autumn is an Earth element season for me. It is the time when I feel profoundly grateful for all the bounty and abundance the earth provided us with. Its delicious produce carries a reminiscent flavour of hot summer days, in which fruit, berries and vegetables busked in ripening to their fullest. It reminds me that we sowed and we reaped, we sorted through the waste and abundance and took stock of what we are to carry forward with us into the darker part of the year. I feel autumn is the beginning of an introspection journey, incubation and cooking in the cauldron of psychic material and shadow work. I look forward to darkness, to me it is comforting. Cold air is not just refreshing to my senses it puts me in touch with my body and how freely and much more easily it can breathe with less sun.
I begin to burn oils carrying scents of cinnamon, frankincense and orange. It is woody, smoky and rich scents that take my preference at this time of the year. Candles are lit more frequently and my time at my altar increases, as my enthusiasm for life returns to my soul and body.
What does it mean when people say they love the Earth? Are references to mother Earth genuinely felt or imagined? To me the relationship is sacred, very real and alive presenting itself every day whether it comes in a form of me picking rubbish from the forest floor or stroking a tree’s cool bark in my Nemeton whispering all sorts to it, or simply knowing the feeling of love and protection towards it.
For me the feeling of love for the Earth changes and flows with the seasons. I am usually overwhelmed with the feeling during late spring, early summer when things are highly emotional and sensory for me. Nature explodes into its full majesty and I am swept off my feet with overload of its richness. Summer forest makes me feel lost in the Earth’s glory and majesty and I often spend days in awe of its constant transformation, changes and endurance. I admire her at this time.
During Autumn I feel incredibly grateful for all the gifts the Earth gives us yearly. I can’t express the depth of gratitude I feel every year as I dig up potatoes and pick ripe fruit and vegetables from heavy ready plants. When I immerse my hands in soil whether it is weeding, digging or just holding some soil I feel immense connection and resonance with its heart beat. My heart sings with the flow of love and I cry.
In late autumn while many are saddened by the death of the Sun, I am very aware of the Earth’s need for rest and rejuvenation. I start feeling very protective in a way a mother would do towards a child wanting to keep it warm and safe. I want it to stay warm in winter, hence really wishing for snow, so the Earth gets covered and sheltered till spring. I want it to rest, sleep and longer nights are very welcomed by me. I am very aware of the being that sleeps underneath last year’s leaves and hopefully snow and I often walk very carefully when out not to wake her.
When the first stirrings of the Earth occur in February I feel excitement and warmth. I become aware of things developing and waking up very slowly and gently. I love that time of year too.
This relationship is ever-changing and ongoing. It growth in strength and awareness with each year and provides countless lessons as each season welcomes me. As I continue my love affair with the Earth I come more and more into myself and become aware of the love within me, towards myself and all nature’s creatures. The Earth/Gaia mirrors back to us a sense of our own beauty and wisdom. In her we find ourselves, we line up with all that is meant to be. This is always my experience and it is the most profound feeling of belonging and coming ‘home’. It is truly blissful. I continually seek new ways of relating and protecting what I love deeply and will carry on for as long as I live with devotion and commitment.
How does your love for the Earth manifest?
Lammas is the first harvest festival of the year when fresh Earth produce is coming in thick and fast and my kitchen is overflowing with vegetables, berries, colours, smells and textures.It is during this time I say thanks to the God and the Goddess for providing and nurturing my family and sending the joy of harvesting into my soul.
It is a special feeling to pick ripe vegetables and smell them and then eat it. The cycle of life becomes present for me at this turn of the wheel. When I hold a ripe cucumber or a beetroot in my hand I remember when those were only minute seeds on my palm ready to be planted. I always thought of it as a bit of a miracle to see such abundance manifesting from a few tiny seeds. I feel very blessed and grateful during this time of year.
It is also about eating and cooking for me before and during Lammas. Produce is fresh and ready for using in cooking and making pickles. This week I prepared courgette and cucumber pickles. Jams will be next made of raspberries and currents.
I also make salads, soups, stews and it is an utter joy. Read More
In the summer I am not ‘in my element’ in a sense that my creativity stops, thinking slows down and I experience and feel the world around me through my senses and in stillness. I have less energy and vigour. This explains slowing down of writing and fewer piano playing sessions at this point.
While Nature explodes in her colours, scents and sounds my expression struggles to shine. As I prepare for a workshop on ‘seasons and psyche’ I once again become aware of my quietness of expression and creativity during summer months as opposed to late autumn and winter months, which, for me, sparkle with creative Fire and immense productivity.
Hot weather makes me sleepy, I enjoy quiet reading time in the shade and spending time with my plants once evenings set in. The majesty of green in nature is impossible not to love and enjoy and I experience it in my heart with quiet acknowledgement rather than explosion of creative expression.
On the eve of Summer Solstice I reflect once again on the year so far and just how many bumps in the road I have come up against yet, and I say it with pride, every challenge has been overcome and things have transformed as a result of rolling with it and allowing transformation and learning to take place.
With open heart and ever-present mind I welcome the turning of the Wheel and this period of transition and the beginning of decline towards darkness in nature. I look forward to the ripeness and richness of the gifts from the Earth yet to come, freshness of evening air still to be enjoyed and my forthcoming trip to my spiritual home.
Wishing you all blessed Summer Solstice and many wonderful lessons and transformational experiences during the summer months.
Much love and many blessings!
Cleavers is a wonderful herb/weed, which contains many properties beneficial to the body. I have also been enjoying its ‘sticky’ texture when working in the garden and on my allotment. When weeding everything else sticks to it, I found, and makes for an easy carrying and disposal. Fantastic.
I love it’s appearance and it’s texture, a very playful herb in its signature.
When walking in the woods yesterday on the eve of a New Moon doing some mindful healing and tree talk I was drawn to cleavers once again in the hedgerow. I decided to do a quick spell, small creative piece to coincide with my favourite moon cycle.
New Moon is all about starting over. It offers an empty opening for things to be planted. Setting goals and intentions for things you wish to be present in your life. Taking cleavers off the hedges and gathering it in my hands I found myself making a ‘wish doll’. I made a small body with a flower crown on top and as I was weaving cleavers round and round the figure I was naming things I would like to work on during the new cycle, wishing for things I would like to be more of in my life and inviting improvements to come in areas of my choice. It made me smile once I finished this quick spell and a feeling of loving comfort came over me. It felt just right to have done this. I left the doll amongst ivy wrapped around a hawthorn trunk asking for protection and growth.
Cleavers is a wonderful herb and here you can look up some of its healing properties. It is easily recognisable, widely available during this time of year and simple to work with.
Whenever we come up against obstacles and limitations in our daily reality our mind comes forward with thought processes that are not helpful. It manifests in a way of blocking some feelings and often awakening fear and anger.
This morning all I wanted to do was to hide in bed and not see the light of day. I had no feeling in the body and no sense of smell. My breath was hardly noticeable and I couldn’t cry. I was frozen.
I forced myself to go for a walk into my woods. Forcing is unusual for me, but here it felt necessary. I noticed as I walked that I had no desire to get in touch with anything around me. I didn’t want to reach out and touch tree branches or leaves, as I would do normally. I also couldn’t smell anything literally. In terms of vision all I saw was the path in front of me and I said to myself ‘the same old, the same old’. I heard birds singing, but it didn’t reach my senses, had no effect on me. My spirit was saddened, I felt deeply lost, abandoned and empty.
In the moment I decided to surrender to nature and ask it to do to me whatever needed doing. I was seeking mindful awakening. I sat down on a fallen tree and waited. I was set on letting the elements do to me what they would.
For a while I was very still and frozen, nothing happened. My sadness spread within yet no tears came and I decided to walk. I took off my hat and this was something I always did in the woods. My crown chakra and my hair and ears needed to be uncovered. I couldn’t hear or receive much otherwise. When I reached water things began to shift.
I realised that in order for me to ‘unfreeze’ all elements needed to be present around me in order to tap into internal elements. I noticed the Sun giving a comforting glow to my aura through the branches. Woods around me spoke to me of home and belonging, air renewed my breath, water encouraged movement and flow and the whole forest projected unconditional love towards my being.
I gasped for air and filled my lungs and instantly energised I began to pick up pace and walked with more confidence. I now heard birds around reassuring me about the right path I was on. I started to feel my legs stronger underneath me and I became more aware of my physical body.
Birds flew about their business communicating with one another and I wondered what their life was like. The birdsong was divine in nature and they were forever present in its flow engaging it whenever they needed.
Another tool that is helpful when needing to reawaken senses is getting out of breath. Yes, makes sense, right. One of the reasons exercise is recommended for low mood amongst other complaints. I climbed a hill and got out of breath and instantly felt alive and energetic again within my body. I began to touch trees as I walked, connecting.
Trees have buzzing energy to me like stones do, but softer, flesher due to their connection to the earth. I feel their roots deep in the warm muddy womb.
I was called to expand and kept on walking covering a wider area of the woods.
Tree – standing tall, be flexible release tension I leaned against its reassuring posture. It has access to all, moist earth, clean air, water at all times from above or below and the sun glow of fire. How lucky I think. In parallel we also have access to all elements whenever we need it. The difference is that trees don’t question it, they are just in whatever is present unlike humans who fight and freeze and blow and fly away in all our defences. Nature mirrors back the perfect unity of just being.
As I stood against a tree I became aware of the scent in the air, it penetrated me. My breath deepened and as it usually did my awareness sharpened to all things around me. Feeling returned to my legs and I felt strong once again. My walk also awakened nice memories of spring in Oxford with air so fresh and cherry blossoms everywhere. I also remembered a day out by the sea with my boys in Brighton. Sea air and walking on the beach scattered with beautiful stones and shells.
I become curious whether it was a certain place that my memories were asking me to revisit, or was it simply memories coming alive as reminders of my life experiences.
Feeling much stronger, focused and aware of all my senses I walked back home. Ice melted, feeling returned and balance was restored.