When I leave the forest, part of me stays there: the part of me that is like the deer, slipping silently through the trees, glimpsed if you’re lucky. The deer are usually elusive here, but when we arrive, a doe is nonchalantly grazing a few metres away in the early evening glow of the sunset. For four days, deer grace us with their presence at dawn and dusk, their cotton fluff tails like beacons in the half-light.
Before the equinox, it’s not uncommon for life to seem chaotic as nature fights for balance. And for me, events conspired to enforce an unexpected pause from blogging: a virus that gave me blurred vision, dizziness, nausea and fatigue; a bereavement and family illness. There were stories to be written, pictures to be painted, blogs to be read, but I found I couldn’t act. I followed the spiral down, deep into the doubt doldrums and I began to think about giving up, almost to spite myself.
But before doubt overwhelms me, I retreat to the forest to find that it is re-balancing too. Spring is definitely on its way. The dawn chorus is deafening. The forest dances with movement: the flutter of chaffinches and tits; pairs of blackbirds, jays and woodpeckers. A single squirrel multiplies into three, sinuously moving along the forest floor and leaping through the trees. On our first day, a tiny death. I cry for the waste of a colourful life, as I carry the soft, still-warm body of a blue tit into the trees. Later, a crow circles curiously, before carrying the corpse away in its beak, as if to remind me that no death is wasted here.
Then early one morning, winter appears. I’ve longed for snow but had to wait until I came to the woods for it to find me. And this was serious snow: fat flakes falling heavily and quickly, transforming the forest into a wonderland. We walk through the snowy hush while others are still sleeping, following tracks of deer and hare. But by afternoon, the snow is gone and the forest glows with sunshine once more, as though this magical interlude had never happened.
I leave the forest channelling acceptance, realising that unconsciously I’ve been fighting against the season. I was trying to force action in the season of incubation. Action comes later, at Ostara, the spring equinox, when the spring energy sweeps in and calls us to movement. I didn’t follow my own lesson and that’s where I went wrong.
I haven’t quite left doubt behind me. I’m ready to get back into the world, if only tentatively. I’ll accept the doubt and accept the troubled feeling of my emotions fighting for balance, ready to take action when action is ready to be taken. And this spring equinox felt particularly auspicious. Not only were the hours of darkness and light balanced, but so too were the sun and moon, moving into alignment to form a solar eclipse at the new moon. The crocuses that tentatively appeared a few weeks ago are in luscious bloom. The first daffodils have blossomed to herald the equinox and, if I’m lucky, an end to doubt too.
I’m looking forward to catching up with you all soon and reading your latest posts.