Transition

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It is the dawn of the summer solstice, the longest day of the year.  This midsummer dawn is a time of transitions.  For a moment the sun stands still, before the year turns into another season.  Later today, the moon will become full, the first time in half a century that it has done so on a summer solstice.  It is the fourth full moon in a season, something that happens seven times within a 19 year cycle.  High tide coincides with dawn, reaching its own zenith before ebbing.  At spring equinox, I was at the other end of the causeway, marooned on the island with the seals.  Today the tide resists me, barring entry.

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In the west, last night’s moon is setting.  It hangs suspended, an amber globe, almost at its potential.   In the east, the horizon hints at sunrise.  A slash of yellow silhouettes gloomy clouds.  Pinprick lights glow from ships far out at sea.  Clouds dwarf the ships as though pressing them downwards.  They look small and lonely out there.

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As the light grows, sand martins flicker across the water and back to their burrows in the cliffs.  There are some ducks that might be eiders in the distance.  But there are no bird calls, only the relentless growl of the sea.  A flock of geese flies silently overhead, in the midst of changing positions in their V.  The sky is all luminous pastels and foreboding greys.  A yellow stripe daubs the horizon.   The clouds play at masquerade: brush-strokes, wire wool, snow-clad peaks and blotched fur adorning the sky.

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This is a time for empowerment and some would say the combination of a fourth full moon with the solstice emphasises that power.  It’s a time to renew energy, to inhale the lightness of the season, because after today we’re already heading towards darkness.   But there has been little in the way of sun recently and much of drizzly rain and grey skies.  This morning, I don’t feel empowered, I feel tired.  And yet, there is a simmering power in the silence, if not of the sun, then of sea and sky.

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Our world has both expanded and contracted this week.  We shared home, food, lives and experiences with a visitor from America, reminding us that we are different but much the same.  But our world has suddenly grown smaller.  We’ve chosen to withdraw from Europe and become an island again.   In this season of looking outwards, many of us have chosen to look the other way.   This is a country enclosed by sea and sky.  It would be easy to view it as a barrier and this island as a fortress.  But when I stand at the sea’s edge, I see only an expanse of possibility.  It’s what allows me to breathe.

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Summer is a time of plenty, when we enjoy the bounty of what is around us.  But not for everyone and there’s a fear that there isn’t enough to go around.  The divisions are showing, between young and old, between those with and without.  It seems that we are in chaos and uncertainty as we confront the descent into winter.   In town, I’m surprised that people are going about their business as though nothing has happened.  This is another transition – we stood still as the votes came in with another dawn.  Now the sun recedes, even as summer comes, and we as a people are withdrawing too.

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It’s time to collect what we can from the summer to empower and sustain us into the winter.  To gather our sustenance from the light, the heat, the bounty of the land and the swelling of our imaginations.  I can’t help but feel sad today at what we may have given up, but I take my sustenance from the quiet power of the solstice dawn.  From the wide open sky and the potential of the horizon.  Transition always comes and in itself, it’s neither good nor bad, only a change from one way of being to another.

77 thoughts on “Transition

  1. An excellent analogy of the transition the U.K. has voted to begin. It is a declaration of independence of sorts and brings uncertainty for the future. The US will be facing change in the November elections; some compare your vote to ours. Who knows? I do not think Donald Trump represents our country! Your photos and words bring peace to a world that is in unrest. Husband and I celebrated the summer solstice with wine and candles as we try to go with the flow of the natural seasons. Cheers!

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    • It’s certainly an interesting time and definitely brings uncertainty for the future. I’ve also been watching your election with interest and Donald Trump does scare me! It was interesting to hear our visitor’s views on it 🙂

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  2. We have been watching from the other side of the world with alarm and some sadness. There are so many commentators and so many points of view, but it seems to me a backwards step rather than one oriented towards the future. But, if things happen in the way that they are meant to, perhaps there are unknown consequences that are necessary for both the evolution of Britain and the world. Anyway, interesting times!

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    • Sara, hello! It’s great to hear from you, I haven’t had a notification about your posts for a long time but it appears they haven’t been showing up in my emails, I’ve just unfollowed and followed you again so I hope this rectifies the problem. It does seem a backward step to me and the vote was pretty close, so it does show a division in the country, but yes, it is interesting times 🙂

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  3. Reflections beautifully well put, Andrea. I feel your uncertainty and transitions from across the ocean as here in the US our transitions loom on the horizon. The divisions are showing up for sure and those that are taking sides. Soon, we will also be making a decision that could possibly change our lives as we know it.

    I wonder where it will take us? Is the world reaching for better or personal gain? I don’t know. But, like you, I’m tired, yet I feel a simmering power in the silence saying, “All is well”. Hugs to you, my friend, take heart in what lies in the sky and sea and is within each of us. Love xxoo

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  4. I remember your post on the summer solstice from a couple of years ago, Andrea. This is just as beautiful, but really has an entirely different meaning after the recent turn of events. My prayers are with the people of Great Britain.

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  5. I enjoyed your photos and thoughts on the solstice, transition, moving forward, Andrea. I was stunned when I woke up Fri. morn. to the news, and have wondered what it must feel like for you and others; so I was glad to read your thoughts here. My best wishes to you during this changing time; it seems to me like you have a solid footing even in the chaos.

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  6. We had the shortest day of the year here on the other side of the world, Andrea. It’s been very intriguing watching what is going on in both the UK and the US. Interesting times ahead indeed 😉

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  7. Dear Andrea, I’m sorry this time of natural power finds you in a moment of fatigue and sadness. I send a breath of healing air across the oceans to lift you. Maybe there is a thread within this unusual timing of solstice and moon that brings some of us down (without the assistance of negative events), because I have to say I share the sadness and tiredness.
    However, even in your current state, your words were so poetic, so glitteringly magical that you brought me comfort. So I thank you for yet another beautiful post. Mega hugs! 🙂

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  8. Your lovely introspective posts always make me reflect on life in the moment. I so seldom watch the news anymore because it ratchets up my general anxiety but this Brexit story was unavoidable. I don’t know what it means and I don’t know how people can withdraw in an era of such connectivity but I guess we’ll find out. As John Donne said “No man is an island….”

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  9. Beautifully put. Very thoughtful post that allows room for expansive thinking on the part of your readers! It’s so easy to get discouraged over recent events–worldwide and at home–but that sea is always there. The sky, too. Transition: very very liminal!

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  10. Amazing descriptions of the solstice. I didn’t realize the timing of the full moon with the solstice was so rare. I love that the place you were marooned on spring equinox was now not reachable. it seems so symbolic and beautiful.

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  11. Andrea,Your words and pictures are beautifully filled with the cosmic stretch of the summer solstice and the full moon that connected earth’s people. Your words are calming as you find room for hope in the midst of the UK voting to leave the European community. Here the prospect of Donald Trump becoming President is too terrible to consider. The times are strange and I wait to see what evolves, maybe not in my lifetime. Yet I have hope, too. ❤

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  12. This is my favorite line. “Transition always comes and in itself, it’s neither good nor bad, only a change from one way of being to another.” I hope you don’t mind if I borrow this and quote you some time.

    Change is fearful, because no one knows what’s on the other side. Fear of the unknown. Sometimes people feel it’s better to stay with the devil they know than the devil they don’t know.

    Such a big shift is bound to stir up some difficult times at first, but it can always be made into something good if people so choose. May the Universe bring brighter days ahead for those on your “island” and beyond.

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    • Thanks Lori, no I don’t mind if you borrow it 🙂 The good think about this debate is that it has really engaged people, more so than in a normal election, so maybe something good will come of it, it just doesn’t seem so positive at the moment.

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  13. A most thought-provoking post, Andrea. Thank you.
    Do you paint? Because your posts are always jewelled with fabulous description – you certainly paint with words!
    From where we live on the coast in Kent you can see France across the Channel. In the last few days, I have been viewing the French cliffs rather sadly and hoping that one day they will forgive us …

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  14. Beautiful writing, Andrea, and the photos are just right. I love your ability to describe the weather, the scene, the mood. Have been out of contact with so much in the past two months, so reading this blog post is refreshing and invigorating. Not sure what to think about the larger political issues, but I like the way that you incorporate that major change in this post about the landscape and the season.

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  15. Transition, ebb and flow is always reassuring, things will cycle, everything repeats nature eventually, unfortunately we are less predictable as a species! Wonderfully described by the way!

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  16. Such a wonderful post Andrea. The relevance of summer solstice – the longest day – and the transition – the uncertainty – all match up with your beautiful photos and words,
    I think, it’s a sad and strange world right now. Still hoping and praying that there are good days ahead for each one in each country.

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  17. It was indeed shocking but your post held such a feeling of peaceful acceptance in the harsh winds of change. As Bob Dylan sang in Forever Young, “May you have a strong foundation when the winds of changes shift” Time will tell and the seasons go on. My prayers for you all!

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  18. I agree with you, Andrea. It is just a transition. We might be happy or unhappy with the choice, but there is nothing we can do but keep on living. When I was young my father once said that the times are always changing, but we have to remain human regardless.

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  19. I am a creature of habit, so transition/change always serves to unnerve me. As I’ve gotten older though it’s been easier to deal with this natural part of life. To embrace the newness change brings and to celebrate what once was. Beautiful post.

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  20. Well, Andrea, the referendum is like a pack of cards thrown up in the air. Now we must see where the cards land, who picks them up, and if whoever ends up holding the pack will turn things to bad or good. The whole of the universe is held in balance between chaos and order. Sometimes chaos is a necessary trigger to creativity, Just as too much order can lead to stagnation. The thing I’ve disliked the most about the referendum is the Machiavellian actions of certain politicians, post-referendum. Also, I would have liked a campaign run on truths rather than lies. One thing, it has exposed the way of things amidst those running our country, and now it’s time for a decent spring-cleaning of their ways.
    Your post is a wonderful reminder that the seasons go on, whatever the ways of humankind.

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  21. Andrea such powerful photography really set a mood and so very beautiful, along with your words. I look forward to change it is what drives the creative spirit. As we sit by the fire in the dead of our winter I dream of warmer days and sitting with nature without shivering.

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  22. You write so beautifully and powerfully about the ebb and flow of things, the changes that confront — on both personal and national levels. An anthem to transitions – and what may be lost, and what may be gained, the uncertainty of it but also a hope that things will work out.
    Here in Canada, so many people feel for the British – we came close with our Quebec referendum and we never want to come that close again! Wishing you well, wishing the British people well.

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  23. Well said, love! I didn’t know where all of your gorgeous nature musings were heading, but you tied everything together perfectly. There has been so much negativity and debate over the whole situation. Thank you for seeing everything with your usual beautiful outlook.

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  24. With so much uncertainty, your photos and words highlight the clouds and storms that may come ~ but also give some assurance that the winds will die down after the storm and gloom has passed.

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  25. I really enjoy your words, and the reminder that we are part of an infinite and universal cycle. Your pictures provide a powerful and magical setting for your text. Thank you for sharing!

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  26. I feel the transition you are making after Brexit in every paragraph written here and the way you draw parallels with the landscape is beautifully done.. I sense there is sadness and anxiety… which I feel for you too… Sending love ❤

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  27. Summer Solstice Down-under tomorrow. I’v been taking snaps every day. Have a look at what the Aboriginal’s looked at @ Summer and Winter solstice… You might like my true short story; ‘White Feather Black Feather’
    I see things you cannot

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