The Winter Solstice
|The Oak, still green leaves adorn her.|
The Winter Solstice has come and gone and I never really felt quite like it was truly that time of year. I look outside and my Oak is slowly changing, but it still has a lot of green leaves on it. There isn’t that stillness that comes with true winter. The tree holds it leaves and more than anything it is telling me that although it is cold and wet, winter is truly not here just yet. I think it could be the absence of autumn. We had maybe a week of autumn like weather before the rain and cold set in. I would say May was perhaps the coldest and wettest in my entire memory of living in SA. There was no middle ground and so the natural world around me seems to be confused and still keeping to its schedule of shedding and dormancy.
|The Oak, still leaved.|
I think the greatest confusion is for me, I don’t feel the Sabbats, not truly, not as so many others do, sometimes I think I honour them by rote more so than true, heartfelt dedication. I think it is because my path is changing so much, I am not sure how much of what was will still be. Samhain did not present me with a thinning veil; I still don’t think it has. To be fair, it could also be because I was incredibly ill during that time, but I almost feel like my spirit is adapting to the new direction of my path and so the old may not remain relevant or correct as I move along. I still have my Sabbat dinners with my family, this is a tradition I started and very much enjoy still.
|Cotoneaster plump with berries.|
I think the Green Path shows me that the body, the spirit knows when the seasonal changes truly happen. Winter is beginning to show her teeth, but I do not think she has reached her zenith. She has not given bite to the outdoors. There is no barrenness that talks of the months of dormancy, she has not reached her skeletal fingers out and plucked the last of the autumn cloak away. She lets the sun shine to nourish the plants before they gather their warmth around them for the dew and frost. The Old Ones of the Green have not placed upon themselves their cloaks, ready to face the coming cold, they still breathe life into flowers and give birth to colour, not ready to relinquish their domain to the chill of the Wintered Old Ones.
|Stinging Nettle beginning to flower.|
As my stone fruits slowly gift the ground with their leaves and my oak changes from green to gold to red, I look and see the Chinese Latern naked and bare, brushed by the winds. Those same winds cannot dislodge the leaves of the Oak; it is stubborn and stalwart in its strength and silence moving toward the darkening months. It holds true, knowing it has not yet come time to slowly gather in the dryads and sleep until spring kisses it awake. She holds firm, showing me that there is still colour to be had before the night of winter comes upon us. The mornings are crisp and my breath is mist as it expels from my lungs, still, some days I can take a cup of tea and sit on the verandah, enjoying the slight warmth before it fades away.