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Light your Torch

Updated: May 11, 2021

Its dead, the old year. Dead. The old Crow knows and bids you well despite the cold.

2020 - a year of uncertainty and fear - and now it's dead, this year of death of the old ways we lived.

Like with all deaths, we find ourselves mourning unexpectedly, uncontrollably; quietly weeping into plastic-packed paper tissues or heaving our bodies with visceral expressive grief.

We may of course - let's be logical - find ourselves doing our best to cap it all and just 'get on with it'.

My mother, when we talked about these times we are in, referred to 'the war'. Having found the steel at too young an age to get through all that, finds all this we now find ourselves in quite do-able, as many of her generation do.

Yet this isn't a war. Not like in the real old days. This isn't one part of humanity battling against another. Not really, whatever some media messages may suggest. No, not at all. 'This' is one part of 'nature' finding balance with another. It is life experiencing balance within its self. We know this, and that can feel as much a struggle within us as being faced with the threat of any invasion and occupation - seen or unseen - as here there is no place to hide.

I suppose if you can see and hear the approaching bomber in the sky, and you can come together with your community and hold together physically and emotionally, it is possibly easier to 'get on with it'. That may be why vaccines are so popular. It's something visible, tangible 'against' the ever-mutating invisible one. A defence, like a barrage balloon that may become a Zeppelin.

What actually is it that has seeped under the door into the home of our awareness? What first-footer of the dying year is this? Will it come again as we stay at home once more? Is it the fear of a cull from the one we treasure most - this life-giving planet we live as a part of - our crone 'mother'?

And how did she feel? The Old One, hanging on for dear life before inevitable Spring swept her aside?

Anyway, fear not, the old year is dead now. Jolly on - with grief in the pocket of your heart. Party as best you can...and 'take a cup of kindness yet'...

Yet...and yet....

Outside the sun shines, the air is so clear and light reflects within snow crystals as gems to be in awe of.

It doesn't feel dead or look dead.

A crisp covering over resting life. Risky for the darting puffed-up birds, yet life goes on and is being lived.

Despite our uncertainty, our grief, how can we not be aware of the re-awakening Sun? The birthing new year?

Let's take our invisible awareness and choose which seeds to plant and which to discard. This is a good time of year to plan the garden of our life as much as the garden of our homes - if we are fortunate enough to have one. To battle on against the natural flow of nature, or to stop a while and consider with our hearts and bodies what flow we are in so to sustain both ourselves and all other life for generations to come.

Can we feel life find its balance within us?

None of us know how the story ends. We will be gone long before that chapter. Just as we will be long gone before the saplings we plant mature as trees. Yet the chapter just gone, and the one we are in are clear enough. If we hold a light up to the dark that we fear has surrounded us, we can see enough to be alright.

Then, just as we brave up, we remember the big winter of generations that we have taken for granted and are now increasingly aware of. The one where giant Ice and glaciers are coming out of their wild lairs to wash over us. This is a huge dying winter that's going viral. And faced with all that we find ourselves in a viral sweep of the tiniest of life which has brought brash humanity to a halt.

Overwhelmed we remain fixed to the spot.

We are all, one way or another, grieving the life we once had. Yet this death woven with its grief is as much part of our precious life as anything we have experienced and rejoiced over before. As such let us celebrate it as a golden doorway which opens around us, appearing to lead us from our perceived safety into the terrifying forest beyond.

Step with me, if you will, further into the uncertain forest with your cape around your shoulders, with the basket of goodies your mother gave to see you through this treacherous way slung over your arm.

Come, walk with me to the fear-full one hiding deceptively in the cosy cottage of your safe keeping ready, in plain sight, to devour us into new life.

Wait - before we go on - light your torch from the golden sparks of this forest doorway. Step now, as one must on ice, with steady faith that you will not fall. We can be alright here, you and me, in this new time. We can take this light to dispel the fear and dark.

Maybe just for our first steps at least, do as mother said and 'get on with it', pick up a baton - here take this one - and light a torch to walk into the life of this, our new year.

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Oh Skye-Simba-Willow... how ab-soul-utely divine. Thank you for such an eloquently written article and for bringing light into my heart on this last day of the Old Year... if I may add my own musings here, I would say to the Old Year, 'Thank you for making me sit up and take more notice; thank you for putting me to the test and allowing me to find my strength, hidden within reserves previously unknown to me; thank you for the challenges, the love, the joy and the multi-faceted experiences thrown across my path. Mostly, thank you for the friendships I have forged more deeply in this testing, trying time of uncertainty. Thank you for illuminating What Is and What is…

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