Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Yesterday I walked...

...through howling wind, it tossed the trees and the birds were silent. It was in the gloaming, the night was falling, the sky was textured clouds with lowlights. And the wind was blowing.

It seemed to infuse my dog with a madness, he raced along, twisting and looking at invisible things, getting more and more excited with the madness of the wind. There was very little roaming (in that gloaming). The silence was non-existent, rushing air was too loud for the world to be called silent, but there was a sense of living creatures being hunkered down. The sheep were in the woods for shelter, their eyes staring out at me and the dog as we passed, and I heard some rooks, but all else was silent.

It is weather for hunkering down in, don't waste your winter energy in fighting the wind and the rain; energy is too precious and no weather lasts forever, right? I tried to howl, but the wind was louder than me and more magnificent too, but it was wolf weather right enough. My dog sat and watched me, head tilted to one side before leaping in the air. The weather excites those that do not need to fear it.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

The Wren

And what of the soul song of the wren? The wren has a sharp alarm call, and a song to wake the deepest slumberer into light and joy and beauty. But what of it’s soul song? The wren needs no reminder that it is a wee bird with an ability to sing louder than birds four, five times it’s size; this is the wren’s gift. I wonder why it sings so loud? As a modest bird that tends to live in the brambles, maybe it’s so that the song is worth travelling for. Not for this bird the risk of chancing an encounter – shout it loud and shout it long and thE the song will reach the furthest corners of the earth. All will be aware of the wrens presence, despite the small size.

And so speaks the soul song of the wren. For, just as people, all animals and indeed all plants will have a soul song that speak of their reason. I speak of the overall impression and that thing inside that makes them Troglodytes troglodytes, Hylocomium spledens, Felix sylvestris grampia, Quercus petraea, Homo sapiens. This is the soul song, and it’s individual as well. Like the lone whale with the wrong song, we all sing our own tune and sometimes it’s with joy and sometimes it’s with longing for companionship, but we’re our own entire person at the end of the day.

And what of spirit animals? What animal speaks to you? Just think and be in nature and one will come to you. I do not know the traditional sense of spirit animal, I have no shamanic training and I know there is a lot more to it that what I know, but the animal that's part of the soul: that to me is a spirit animal. For me, I’m no eagle, souring high above all others, I’m no red deer, roaring in the hills and battling for supremacy. I feel more of an affinity with the more secret animals: those that slumber through the day and come alive under the night stars. My animals, one of my own finding and one that I was given: Lutra lutra and Felix sylvestris grampia. Otter and Scottish wildcat. I accept them both with an open heart and know that they speak to my soul.

The otter, the spit and the twist of water in animal form. The secret mammal of our watercourses, elegant and ruthless as a hunter. Lively, with time and energy to waste in play and loyal to cubs, to young, to places and sites. Dextrous, solitary as adults, chancers that will take that chance and turn it into something more beautiful. The otter.

The Scottish wildcat. We’ve gained possession of an  animal that is not ours, it’s no more Scottish than we are: by accident of birth and by absence of habitat, this is the remnant population and so we name it Scottish. The wildcat. Fierce, passionate, never seen, alone but never lonely. A cat and therefore playful, a terrifying hunter and proud.

The habitat of both is also mine: to be by water is where my heart finds peace, and to be amongst the moss dripping oaks of Sunart is another kind of heaven. Add water: a loch, a river; add the woods, the trees and both parts of my spirit are home.  Everywhere I have ever been that I have been happiest are places where these combine, where the water flows through the forest and the forest meets the loch. This is my, and my cousins, the otter and the wildcat: this is our heaven. 

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Howling for the Future

The wolves are back.

Returning to our souls and our minds. We're starting to walk on the wild side with the wild walking with us.

No longer content with being fettered, we're seeking the hidden old ways.

To be with nature as one, we know, nature needs to return

No longer the tame and the safe and the hindered

We want to welcome the fierce, the wise, the wary

Compromises are no good no more, we need more and more and more

More wild
   More forest
      More trees
         More hidden
            More secrets

                  More wolves

They're back, howling on the hills, raising the hairs on our necks, stirring our souls, unsettling our thoughts; they're back.

And we fling up our arms and dance with the wild side

And our souls rejoice.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Away with the Fairies

Yoga tonight was an incredible experience. I was lifted, joyful, into the pain of my muscles and the weight of my ambitions. I want to reach up, my back wants to twist, my hips to stay centralised. That stretch, such pain at first, but on the second, third time starting to feel more like a part of me and the reach, the twist, power becomes more of a potential.

I was lost in the moment, trying so hard to do the wrong pose right. I was lost in my muscles, but in this sea change inside of me I was wanting to push myself harder and harder. I want to find peace in my ability to move again; winter may be coming but I don't want to lose myself again. I want to know my muscles, and know what they're capable of. I want to know my feet and trust them, trust the strength, trust the sensitivity and trust their ability to keep me upright. Same with my back, my hips, my arms. I feel like through these yoga sessions I can rediscover myself.

There might be pain tomorrow, but it will be worth it. There might be pain the day after as well, but again, it will be worth it. In the re-stretching of myself no pain will be beyond the reward.

Driving home I sang all the songs I could think of. At the top of my voice. And when I got out of my car I jumped, for sheer joy. Joy of being here, joy of healing, joy of time passing and life moving on. Joy for a good day at work, joy for the snow, for being safe, for knowing wonderful people, for being part of life's great adventure again. I may have been slumbering this last year, but I feel awake again and I could sing and dance with the joy of it.

Come and experience this wonderful yoga too! Charlotte Turner leads classes in Inverness, Drumnadrochit and Abriachan. Highly recommended.