For those of us who live in landscapes with deciduous trees, winter creates opportunities to appreciate them in different ways from summer. The loss of leaves means that tree shapes become truly visible. This is especially true of field trees, whose solitary positions make them easier to appreciate. Field trees have much rounder forms than their woodland counterparts, but in the woods, winter reveals the patterns of branches and the sky above.
Trunks and bark become more visible in the winter – and there’s such an array of textures, subtle colours and surfaces. Fungi on trees are more present at this time of year, and resident moss and lichen is easier to spot. I’ve blogged over at Druid Life about my favourite winter tree exposure.
This is the time of year when many of the young things born in the UK’s spring will become independent. Inevitably it means this is also a time when a lot of them will die, through accident and inexperience.
The transition from dependant to independent varies from species to species, and part of why it varies is the complexity involved in being an adult. You can spot newly fledged birds, because they’re often waiting around making a racket, with parents coming back to feed them regularly even though they’re now out of the nest. They look like teenagers.
It’s June. It’s cold and raining, and everything outside my window says ‘climate change’ to me in ways that make me deeply uneasy. High winds, torrential downpours, and at the same time, an explosion of hawthorn flowers like nothing I’ve ever seen before. The wild garlic and the horse chestnuts have been exuberant as well.
What does it means for Pagans? The ancestral dates of festivals no longer relate reliably to what’s happening. We don’t know what’s coming, or how it will impact on us. Our world is changing. The seasons are changing, the climate is changing.
Arise! Let us greet this morning with smiling faces Hair unbound Hearts full of glee Birdsong in one hand Roses in the other Let us dance to River’s music And Earth’s heartbeat Under quickening leaves We are full with the promise of spring.
Well, the hedge has gotten rather tangled over the winter! I've been tending to sick pets, and to my own fledglings who are in a period of rapid growth, and swirling in the whirlwind of the winter holidays, the publishing of “A Beautiful Resistance”, and a disorienting, odd ebb tide of my creativity. I've been absorbing life and experience, lately, rather than generating ideas. It seems like a natural part of the inner seasons. I think it attends busy times with a lot of external work to do. Have you noticed such a season-change in your own inner-life? Are you usually overflowing with creativity, but sometimes find yourself just... being present, with nothing to say? Do you sometimes find yourself in a mode of being a reading needle, rather than a writing needle, on your track of the akashic records? ;)
May the sunset cloak of shorter days enfold you May you dance with the patterns of crimson and gold leaves May you sing with owl and coyote in crisp moonlight May you savor the orangeness of pumpkin and yam and feel the sweetness of honey on your tongue. May you listen to the dreams of seed corn May elderberry strengthen you with stored sunshine May persimmon grant you a fleeting hello May the poignant flare of an October rose kiss you with hope. May your rooms be wreathed with smiles. And, may you remember the grace and wisdom found in both gathering and releasing.