October 31. Life and Death. Our Samhain celebration started with a favourite walk. The morning was still and slightly overcast. We encountered a greater spotted woodpecker (unusual) early on. After a couple of miles we paused only to hear a Crow’s call that echoed like a gunshot in the stillness. The land stretched out before us.Entering the wood was almost a reverential act .It seemed as though all of Nature was saying farewell to Summer and hello to Winter such was the quietness. We walked mostly in silence lost in our own thoughts and meditations .A late lunch of homemade parsnip and apple soup made for a perfect end to our excursion. As darkness fell I set up the Samhain portal mirrors and fire pit .The moon partially hidden watched over us as we lit the fire. Little Owls called from the fields beyond the garden as we stood quietly in the firelight.The fires consumed the years unhappy memories and we gave thanks for the goodness we have received. Winter and cold will come soon now along with warm jumpers ,boots and scarves. Time for enjoying the rhythm of the seasons and accepting the dark and cold , understand the meaning of “winter” and looking forward to the light of rejuvenation.
September drifts to an end quiet warmish days and showers. Pay a short visit to our friends Peter and Linda . We met a lovely watercolour artist Patricia Board whose work is wonderful and a retired farmer/countryman Peter Thomas who now spends his time woodturning using found pieces of natural English wood. They both said ” we love what we do ” .They felt like kindred spirits creating beauty simply because they could. Unpretentious happy artistic beings. Inspiring.
Today I am out in my favourite wood a mile or so from home .l’ve packed lunch and my painting gear .The need to be away from the madness of the world is overwhelming. I sense a familiar warmth of welcome in the seemingly nondescript woodlands . The trees are whispering in the breeze and more than a few leaves have made the short descent to the ground . No noise. Not even a bird.
I am sat a the trunk of an ivy clad ash tree with small beech saplings nearby . Sunlight dapples the woodland floor! Peace. I paint and leave the small canvases to their fate.
Arbor Low! I packed peanut butter,bananna and honey sarnies ,loaded up with sketchbook and drawing materials and headed off. A glorious day. Walking up to the ancient stones the wind was humming through the now yellowing grasses.Overhead the clouds were chasing each other southwards.I dine at Gib Hill looking west.Totally alone I wander back to the stone circle and lay out on the centre stone watching the sky. To my amazement and joy I am treated to a 15 minute natural psychedelic light show in the form of an elongated ” Corona”. My breath is taken away by this amazing experience. My photos in no way are able to reflect the wonder of this experience!
Listening : Mark Isham “TIBET”.
Stanton Moor late afternoon.Warm and uncannily still as the Moor often can be.A sense of waiting hangs in the air.Autumn is in the wings. The Nine Ladies stone circle is a focal point for most visitors but often the quiet forgotten corners of the moorland are where the magic waits hidden among the silent Oak groves and birches .The stones have their own power but when tourists are doing their thing and those with a more irreverent motive are present the circle remains silent.Good to see the oak tree by the stones shorn of the vestments of the needy .Pay homage yes, say a prayer by all means but hanging plastic regalia is hardly a token of reverence. Digging coins into the tree is even worse !! Best leave no trace just hold the memories and moments in the heart! The old oak near the trig point is my favourite tree. His back bent against the elements I suspect he will outlive me.The view is awesome and as ever the huge sky reminds me that I am here for just a moment! Make the most of each minute and as you pass by leave a smile !