I woke up as dawn came to rain rattling down onto the canvas of my yurt , and sky looking a bit queasy and unsettled through the clear plastic that covers the crown of the roof. I had a sad feeling in me that I hadn’t been to Scotland at all — that I hadn’t taken a month of my life and placed myself in a conversation with some wild northerly places that gathered me to them and breathed me in as I breathed them in. In that moment of waking I couldn’t find the spicy smell of leaves decaying, nor the stillness and ripples of lochs, nor the gold and white flash in the swoop of eagles. It felt like the wildness had left my body and I felt gutted. Literally. Half a human.
I’ve been pondering how to continue this blog now I’m back home..how to bridge the gap between that intentionally created time for connection and the dance I have with courting otherworldy connections in my “ordinary” busy life. This “standing at the threshold” is part of my soul work of re-membering how to be indigenous. These wavery edge moments are woven around my everyday of “momming”, being someone’s life partner, working as a nature-based mentor, (which involves a fair amount of time online as well as on that numinous egde), growing veg and planting trees.
I actually believe where I am — at the place I stay that we call home in our culture, in that thick tangle of tangible necessities such as earning enough to feed family and keep home going, is where this attention to the liminal worlds is most called for. It seems of little use if we can only re-member that sense of merging with “other” in specially constructed time-out…in fact, I’d venture to say that pursuing it in isolation from our everyday can easily become a form of escapism and create an unnatural division in our thinking that perceives some things/ beings/places/experiences as special or sacred and others as not.
A few years ago, I was sitting drifting in and out of deep imagination in the woods here that I am rewilding with. A word and its definition came on a tendril of mist out of dusk and into my mind. A couple of years on, after the entanglement with the fighting sea eagles that I described in a previous blog, I was crouched on a mountainside above the buried bones of eagle. In low cloud I had a clear directive that the word that has found me in the woods at home, “Resecration”, (defined as “to restore to sacredness those which have been desecrated”) was what I had been doing all my adult life in one way or another since I had psychosis. I saw my life through that lens of resecration as clearly as if I was flicking through chapters of a book I haven’t written (yet).So, bearing witness to how worlds bleed into each other is what I’m writing for. It is to remind us wounded humans to feel and hear that song of earth in everything we do, from the things we call mundane to those we recognise as sublime..
Returning to that waking feeling of loss — it was still raining steadily and the yurt was nippy…more bedtime seemed like such a good idea, except for the sciatic twitch in my hip that tells me when I have been sitting on my butt “computing” for too long; that I need to move this body and go for a run. I live with some co-operatively owned land in Cymru along a mile of track that snakes through new woods. They have returned after 21 years to a chemical dairy farm in recovery. They are watchful, quiet and changing rapidly in both their youthful growth spurts and swift deaths from ash dieback to which many have given their lives. Along the track and into the neighbours spruce plantations I ran with buzzard low above me… I felt still inside as my body moved through the feathery trees, beneath light grey sky with jays shrieking at my puddle-hopping, mud-slipping blunders, tripping on bramble trip-wires that were strewn across the overgrown path.
I noticed the top of spruce moving with breeze and stopped to see…gentle fingers at the end of their branches were caressing air and they were nodding and shimmering whilst wind sang a soft shushing song…all of my body felt pleasure flowing through — I knew that tree and air were feeling pleasure right then in their exchange just as I was. I’d say I’m polyamorous, just not with other humans — this embodied pleasure in the presence of other-than- humans is very much part of being alive for this human and I know that I am not alone in sensing this. Many people have shared with me in private the sensual and erotic joy they feel in their bodies when they have gone “out of their minds and into their senses”, with no cultural taboo telling them it isn’t allowed or real to feel aroused by wildness.
I sat and sank into the sensual exchange until air and spruce grew still. Some 10 metres away, amongst the dark choke of the plantation row shone a single young autumn leaved oak — jay planted perhaps. They was growing tall, thin and strong amidst the old evergreens. I felt tender for this one, separated from its kind and said in my heart “I see you”. A single golden leaf left a branch tip then and tumbled, spiralling slowly down and I knew , if it landed in my lap, that what I had been feeling is all real.
Wishing you a slowed down and body-felt dance with tree or wind or rain today dear humans x