Some days, like yesterday, it is hard for me to dig up any ambition. Christmas break is a period of rest for me any way, from my day job of school bus driving. But I have individual plans that I would like to utilize my time for and when I have a day that demands rest, those things don’t get done. This is more than laziness; it is simply feeling worn down and worn out. At 62, I am needing to be mindful of care of my body between arthritis and type 2 diabetes. When the barometric pressure changes, my body simply cannot cope with all I could ask of it on better days. So digging in becomes more than the need for will power and motivation. It is recognizing those off days and respecting my self care enough to take them. This morning I was able to get into the exercise routine that helps me fight the blood sugar rise, and so I acknowledge these small strides in self care.
I like to follow my dreams and my intuition. I have a deep relationship with those whom I term the Goddesses of the Nitty Gritty, and call the GNG for short. Lately I have been getting visions of Bear, who came to me as a Guide a handful of years ago. This year has been one in which Bear is calling me very strongly to hibernate and to learn what She has to teach. So this morning, I woke up to a simple message from the Norns, and while exercising received a quiet image from Bear – we were sitting together joyfully in a meadow full of Rudbeckia (Black-eyed Susans) enjoying the texture and smell of the flowers.
My life is getting quieter now. The years of child rearing are behind me. While it was quite an adjustment for me, more or less a pacifist, to accept my son’s decision to join the military, I have adjusted, and I am so, so proud of him. My ambitions to make some kind of impact on the world have gotten quieter too, as I have realized I cannot change other people: I can only change myself. While I have hoped more people would wake up to the need to tackle Climate Change, I have had to realize that issues of feeding one’s family, racial equality, equal opportunity in the work place, affordable health care, and many other situations confronting humanity – all demand our attention. If any meaningful change is to take place it will have to be manned by the younger generations. It is all I can do somedays to cope with my own life. Still, I put the thought out there for those who can listen, that Climate Change is perhaps most important, because if we cannot survive on our world, there will not be time to sort our our other differences.
Every year since she began it, I have been participating in Renee Baribeau’s IAM Winter Solstice Symposium as a Fire Tender. This has meant maintaining an Altar and keeping a light burning with the intention of contributing to hold light in the world. This year Renee has had over 500 participants in her endeavor. That’s quite something! You can learn more about that here. This year I am working with my Altar more intimately than I ever have before. It started out larger than this, but as I realized how scattered my energies were, I pared it way down. The emphasis now is on what Bear has to teach and the GNG. The Wind Whistle and the Deer Horn Rattle reflect the Element of Air, Wind, Sound.
I am filling up with a lot of empty space, and after having spent much of my life busy, busy, busy, this is a new place for me to be in. But these are the quiet years of my life, so if not now, when? The Beauty of Nature takes me into Her self and sometimes calls me to be of service. Lately I’ve begun picking up trash that other people toss roadside. A couple days ago Raven called me to prayer at the side of a dead deer that had given her life that other forms of life might eat. My prayers take the form of thanks for what is hunted, because I realize that many human hunters don’t know those old indigenous ways of gratitude for what Earth provides, so I am praying for them too. The service I provide is a quiet one, and that suits me just fine. In the quiet of my solitude, I have space for what the Earth might teach.
I reflect often since the Gods of my faraway Ancestors have become active in my life. The great World Tree Yggdrasil represents an epoch when people were more in harmony with Great Nature and knew how to live in balance with the forests and all the bounty that Earth offered them. My Ancestors did not represent a throwaway society that takes more than it gives. They knew, as the indigenous peoples native to America knew, that there must be an equal exchange, that life might be reciprocal for all. I give back for what I take. Nature provides for my life – there is no separation here. I am a creature of the planet. I repay Nature with my love, with my prayers, with my gratitude, and I am sustained.