It is the longest night of the year. Traditionally it’s a time for reflection on the year just gone, and a time for renewal and for faith in the future.
I think it is safe to say this last year has not been a resounding success. There has been a lot of darkness. I thought I was going home, to live in the place I always wanted to live, and to do an amazing job. These things did not come true. Now I am back where I started, precariously housed, indifferently funded (thanks, taxman) and starting again. Again.
But there has also been light. I lived in the forest, like Granny Weatherwax. Friends came to visit, and we ate cake, drank gin and looked for woodpeckers. I met some wonderful spiritual teachers. I walked with the dog in an ancient grove visited and decorated by the Picts. Gordon gave me a shot of his sidecar and I bought a Jawa outfit for me and for the Wingman. If I may mix and match my spiritual traditions, the light shone in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.
The darkness keeps having a bloody good try, though. Last Sunday Dog and I went out to a pre-Christmas classic car and bike meet. At 40 miles it was our longest sidecar adventure to date and we did OK, if slowly. The tea was good, the sausage baps were excellent and I had a very niche chat with another lady biker about the challenges of persuading recovery services that your obscure vehicle needs taking home, not bodging by the roadside.
It proved to be prophetic. Half an hour later, ten minutes down the road, the Jawa choked and died. 2 hours later the recovery van turned up.
Lessons I need to remember :- always pack a golf umbrella. Buy WD40.
May I judge the chap from the classic meet who, on his way home in his little roadster, pulled over to ask what was happening but carried on when I said I had a fuel problem and was waiting for the wagon? I’m sure he had Sunday roast calling him home, but a nice dry car to wait in would have been lovely. “Thanks for coming, though,” he said, as he fucked off down the road.
Apparently the Japanese recommend a practice called ‘forest bathing’ for spiritual renewal. I was certainly well-bathed by the time Marcin arrived to wrangle the rig into the van and take us home. “It nearly didn’t go in,” he told his boss on the phone. ‘It’s a good job I’m a manly man.”
But now the sun is coming back up and life is renewing, again. There is a lot to look forward to, and many new connections to make. Blessed be.