Samhain, Halloween, All Saints’…
The turning of the year from light to darkness.
In the midst of the celebrations, the magic, the movement, is a point of stillness. The balance point before everything changes direction.
I don’t do being still very well, the turning began and the still point came and I didn’t understand what was happening. What should I be doing?! I cried. And then I realised; this is the point of balance, the stillness, the moment when all time stands still. And I did the only thing I knew how to do with stillness… I danced with the stillness in painting.
Before this… The ritual I assisted at was preceded by an hour long obstruction instead of the preparation time expected. Finally I stood still in confrontation without that overflowing of the oceans which spill themselves as tears. I surprised myself by remaining calm, drawing on the stillness that resides within.
The year-wheel tipped into motion again and the week following Halloween was filled with sparks, with changes, with moments of magic. Things began again – the darkness rising, the winter coming.
Right through to the Night of Fireworks. It should come as no surprise that the wheel is too huge to change direction in just one night.
And now we are sinking into the darkness. The time when stillness is more important than ever. The time of reflection, while the sun gives us space to breathe and go within, while the land recovers and asks us to rest and heal our bodies.
Can I spend more time in the stillness? Can I say No to some of the activities which present themselves as opportunities? At least for long enough to strengthen and heal. To gather strength for the spring which will follow winter as surely as the cold is filling the land.
Bones are calling. My mind turns to thoughts of the dead, ancestors of blood and spirit. My altar shifted and now reflects the song of the dead whispering on the winds, the deep water, the cauldron of the night.
This winter I will be seeking stillness.
In the chaos of life.
In the dark of night.
In the endless activities and the calm carved from the storm.
Many things still need doing this wintertide and between them I shall seek the stillness. I am learning, slowly, that a time to rest and reflect is as important as a time to act. I can only act well when I come from a place of stillness, from a rested place, a place where I gather my energies. The tools which will help me? Reflection. Meditation. Musing. Breathing.
What will you seek this winter? And how will you seek it out?