Once upon a time…
…there was the simple understanding that to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk was to heal the world through joy. The birds still remember what we have forgotten, that the world is meant to be celebrated.
~Terry Tempest Williams
I awoke early as I often do, whilst everyone else still slept. Even my old girl kept her eyes closed as I crept from the bed, snuggling back beneath the covers for a while longer. I went downstairs, avoiding the boards that creak and the steps that groan, a hangover from the days when my babes were indeed still babes. Oh how the years have passed by so quickly. Time is a funny thing, isn’t it? Sometimes it passes by so fast it seemingly slips through our fingers so that it’s impossible to grasp and yet other times, it stretches and oozes, honey thick, it pools and gathers before seeping slowly into the next moment. Sometimes though, like now, when I’m looking back at memories, snapshots of single moments in time, it feels both like yesterday and years ago all at the same time.
Yes, time and indeed memories are funny things indeed. And yet, in the present time is all too fleeting. There are never enough hours in the day to fit in all that is asked of us and all that we may wish to achieve. There’s work, and whether I enjoy the work itself or not is beside the point (I work with autistic kids and they are great, but other staff, management and whatnot, well, if you’re a worker, I guess you know what I’m saying), it still takes the largest part of my day. Sometimes it’s just hard.
But that’s just musing. It’s easy to let the struggles and woes of the everyday cloud every little moment of enjoyment, but I will not let it. Instead, I go into the kitchen and make a pot of coffee, strong and black (like my soul mwahahaha) and take it outside. This early, before five this morning for sleep eludes me, the street is quiet.
No wait, that’s not quite right.
There are sounds and noises, but just not the noises of man.
I take my coffee across the lawn and sit in what is perhaps one of my favourite spots, towards the corner where the trees grow and the undergrowth blocks much of the street. Here I can smell the last of the linden blossom and the darker, earthier, almost sweet scent of decay; of the processes of life and death.
Overhead, in the smaller of the two cherry trees, sparrows hop from branch to branch in search of insects, chattering to one another. Starlings pluck the last of the cherries, black and sweet in their ripeness, from the branches. I think pigeons are nesting in the linden though it’s impossible to tell for sure as the foliage is so thick it’s like a wall of green, but you can hear them take flight, so loud is the clapping of their wings and the crashing of the branches. The blackbirds hop and run on the ground, rummaging in the undergrowth and garden detritus looking for a tasty morsel, and this morning I’m early enough to glimpse the hedgehog that lives in the garden. It rustles through the undergrowth on it’s way home and you can hear it chomping when it finds a snack before bedtime. I wonder where it’s been and what adventures it’s had in the dark hours of the night and then it’s gone, disappeared in the long grass, though I can still hear it snuffling along.
Yes, this early, the world is alive. This is the real world and everything else is fake, doesn’t matter. This is the essence of reality, one that we are a part of, if only we just open our eyes and make the effort. Let this, let nature, be your therapy for life, your medicine. Take time to really experience the present and in doing so, you will find yourself.
My name is Emma Kathryn, an eclectic witch, my path is a mixture of traditional European witchcraft, voodoo and obeah, a mixture representing my heritage. I live in the middle of England in a little town in Nottinghamshire, with my partner, two teenage sons and two crazy dogs, Boo and Dexter. When not working in a bookshop full time, I like to spend time with my family outdoors, with the dogs. And weaving magic, of course!You can follow Emma on Facebook.