Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tears from heaven – Queen’s Wood

Saturday November 1, 2008:

At noon the leaden sky finally let go its heavy Burdon. Weighed down with the paraphernalia for our ritual, we tramped undauntedly through the deserted woods to a secret dell beyond the fierce holly trees.

I stood in the downpour and drummed. Rain dripped from my hood, soaking the shoulders of my duffle coat until it leaned against me like a sad friend. The green trees shook raindrops upon us as we circled our elicit fire and called in our ancestors.

Beneath my feet, the ground softened, trembling almost as the sky let go its load. It was time for me to let go mine. I reached out to the fire and gave to it some more of the pain I held. How many Samhains would it take before I was free?

And the heavens gave us their tears as they witnessed ours. The trees heard us as we gave the fire our burdens. They soaked up our voices as we sang. They watched us as we circled our elicit fire and shook their leaves in encouragement, as we each unpeeled and let go of what no longer served us and opened ourselves up to a new life.

The fire spat bravely into the deluge. We circled and tied ourselves together in symbol of community. Bound as one, we held the connection and honoured our community. Our cut and tied cords, we would wear through the winter to remind us in the dark times of each other and that we were not alone.

I climbed across the sodden blankets into the tent, our womb of Ceridwen. Inside, I lay on the ground face down, feeling the softness of the wet earth, cool and yielding. I listened to the rhythm of the rain upon the tent above me and offered up a prayer for rest and renewal, for I felt so tired and heavy.

Welcoming hands pulled me out and upright. It was a new year. Every day was mine to shape.

Gratefully, I stood amongst the trees and aloud the rain to soak me. Reaching out to touch the cool wet leaves, I stroked the raindrops. I breathed in the smoky smell of wet burning twigs and the mellow green damp mouldy perfume of an autumnal wood, and was refreshed. It might be pouring, but this was a beautiful place to stand and to be and to live in, even if it was pissing down. Why didn’t I do this more often, I thought, picking up my drum and beginning to drum in rhythm with the rain.

Rain penetrated down to my skin. It was time to go. Quickly, we took down our circle, collected up our bits and pieces and once more struck through the sodden watching woods to feast gratefully in a warm steamy car on a suburban street in North London.


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