Living as I do in Glastonbury, there are endless ways in which to welcome these turning points in the year. All day today there have been and will be meditations, retreats, activations, celebrations and gatherings. Robes will be donned, headgear dusted off and worn; drums will be hit and fires lit. Invocations will be said to ancient gods and goddesses and dances and rituals will be solemnly performed.
The diversity of beliefs and observances is wonderful and adds to the magic of this unique place, but I have not joined in.
My pictures are grainy and blurred, but they mark my own personal Solstice celebration. I don’t follow the angelic or shamanic paths. I’m not a pagan or a druid. I simply AM and I walk my own path, happily and with humility and gratitude for being a part of this wonderful game of Life.
Yesterday I welcomed the longest night of the year by watching a beautiful sunset across the Polden Hills as I painted the walls of LIME Cottage’s study. What a glorious back drop for such a mundane task! (No photos of that – I was far too paint-spattered to risk touching the i-Pod 🙂 )
So today I headed out early and admired the mistletoe-laden apple trees on Chalice Hill as the sky started to lighten.
Usually I – and many others – head up to one of the hills. Today, though, I decided to take advantage of my first solstice spent living just above the edge of the Somerset Levels, so I took the Old Butleigh Road and wandered down to the fields and rhynes below the town.
By now morning had broken, so it seemed very fitting – in an Eleanor Farjeon kind of way – that a blackbird began singing in a tree right next to me. You can just see him – tail in the air – in the lightest part of this photo.
Away to the left, across fields that are already heavy and clogged with water, the clouds had parted enough to let in some dawn light. No sunshine, but certainly an ending to the longest of nights and a promise of the return journey, with days gradually lengthening at the turn of the year.
So no drums, robes, bells or whistles for me as I headed back uphill along the gloriously-named Cinnamon Lane (pausing to greet a pair of sheep who had somehow strayed into the children’s playing field there and were grazing gratefully).
I felt grateful too, to have witnessed and welcomed the solstice dawn in this beautiful place at this very magical time of year.
In homage to that blackbird and with seasonal greetings to all who read or follow my little blog, I send this with a wish that however you mark or celebrate the turning of the year, you may have a peaceful, joyful and memorable experience and find something to enjoy as each new dawn arrives. Meanwhile, I’ll return to the painting 🙂