Crone in Corrogue: Wild Wisdom of the Elder Years

Glorying in the elder years, a time of spirituality, service and some serious sacred activism

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Midsummer Retreat

Sometimes the activity of the waxing year come so thick and fast that by Midsummer you can feel a bit ramshackle. Part of it is due to the aging process. But also, I am the sort of person who needs a good chunk of quiet time to process the emotions around events. So what happens? I get a little bit sick, a virus, just sick enough to take me out of the fray to ponder the imponderables, to think around the large and small circumstances of life, and to put them into perspective.

I felt a bit like this ramshackle old glasshouse seen on an open garden day at Colebrooke House, near Enniskillen in Fermanagh. When spirits and physical energy run low, sometimes it is only a garden and flowers that can be this Bee's balm. That was about the last day we had overcast, cool weather in June. We have experienced surreally hot and dry weather for Ireland in June. Seeing that I am not genetically engineered to withstand more than a quarter of any hour's strong sunshine, I have been indoors. Without pollution our sun is particularly searing. A Factor 30 sunscreen could not protect me for a half hour out on the beach last Friday. Yes, I am that much of a shade plant!

So I have retreated into the shade of a curtained room for the time being. There is growth happening, just like there is in that skeletal glasshouse. But maintenance is required. Words will come, but first there is staring out the window time, clearing out cupboards time, taking it slow time, knitting in the cool of the short nights.

How do you retreat?

I have remade my altar. I have communed with my ancestors. I have donated to charity. I have let the house go to hell in a hand basket. I have eaten icecream and talked with my beloved. I have listened to my body. I have listened to what my heart can barely articulate. I am letting things end. I am getting ready for the beginning.

I have also let go of my internal Mrs. Should, that bossy head prefect, who would normally have me making elderflower cordial and drying rose petals and doing normal summertime hedge witchy things. But Mrs. Should has been sent on holiday. Watering the container plants in the cool of the morning is about the height of it for the time being.

Maybe now is time for you to vacate some of your shoulds and musts for a little midsummer retreat time.


Last modified on
Tagged in: Midsummer retreat
Bee Smith has enjoyed a long relationship with SageWoman as a contributor, columnist and blogger. She lives in the Republic of Ireland, teaches creative writing and is a member of the Irish Art Council's Writers in Prisons panel. She is the author of "Brigid's Way: Celtic Reflections on the Divine Feminine."    


  • Deb
    Deb Friday, 06 July 2018

    I love this post and can really relate with what you said. As a transplant from the northern area of the USA to Florida for the past 20 odd years I have used the months of July and August to take a retreat from many of my outside duties, my garden now consist of containers for convenience of watering early morning and our summer daily rains usually take the task out of my hands. I slow down more in these hottest months, taking my daily walks in the air conditioned gym or very shaded parks, days are spent purging old stuff no longer used. My needlecrafts are small hand held projects and when I need to find the quiet solitude to bring about balance to my life I head to the beach for a week in the cooler northern states and enjoy a few early morning hours walking along the shoreline slathering my 63 year old body in SPF50 sunscreen, for me the best retreat.

  • Please login first in order for you to submit comments

Additional information