from BARDO

The stars are in our belly; the Milky Way our umbilicus.

Is it a consolation that the stuff of which we’re made

is star-stuff too?

– That wherever you go you can never fully disappear –

dispersal only: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen.

Tree, rain, coal, glow-worm, horse, gnat, rock.

Roselle Angwin

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

that hare, my mind, jumping

No swallows yet. They're late, considering the sunny weather we've had here in the southwest for a month. I need to check the various migration websites: have there been storms impeding their crossings from Africa over Europe and the Atlantic? Or have too many watering holes dried up in this unprecedented drought (river levels in England as low as they were in the very hot summer of 1976)? Or maybe they are simply late. [UPDATE 6.30pm today – driving back through light snow on Dartmoor, as I emerged into the South Hams lowlands, there were 3 swallows! Let summer begin!]

But there are skylarks aplenty, and the hedges are swimming in primroses, periwinkles of every shade on the spectrum from white to lilac to darkest indigo purple; and the greater stitchwort is now open. It'll be a race between ash and oak to leaf first.

Around us is the continual bleating of lambs, and the tractors are very busy ploughing, fertilising, sowing. We've put our early potatoes in, and I've replanted onions and broad beans where they didn't come through from last autumn's planting. The garlic's doing brilliantly. I'm feeling both excited and rather over-faced by a huge quantity of seed to be planted before I go north next week.


There are periods in our lives when there seems to be nothing but a torrent of troubles, one after another. Sometimes they are specific to one's own life, sometimes they are circumstantial, or crop up in the lives of people one loves. Always there's the spectre of larger global troubles, of more significance than one's own micro-life; and while that can sometimes put one's own trouble into perspective, sometimes the news items simply exacerbate the sense of dis-ease and unrest. This week I remember why, although I feel I 'should' engage with it, I try on the whole to avoid hearing or reading bad news every day – it colours not only my waking and sleeping life but also my perception of the world. Of course it does. This subtly alters my behaviour, as well as creating a change in my expectations, which is then circular. It's so easy to forget that everything has an impact, and lodges, at a subtle level. It seems important to be aware of this.

I can choose, of course, to a large extent how I relate to the troubles, but that doesn't mean they go away. It's one of those rather relentless periods in my life, as you might have gathered from previous posts; hence a certain lack of sparkle here on the blog (and in fact a certain lack of blog too!). Normal service will be resumed soon! And going off to the Hebrides will make a very big difference, as it always does.

The transits of the planets through the skies, and their mathematical relationships to each other and the earth, can offer symbolic insights, if one takes the view of 'as above so below'. If you are interested in astrology, then you will know that there are 'big' aspects between some of the outer or transpersonal planets and some of the personal ones at the moment, reflecting turbulence and the potential for transformation. In my own personal life, by age-point I am at the second Saturn return, with its prompt to explore internal limitations, boundaries, and that which does not serve us any more; through deconstruction and then reconstruction it offers an opportunity to finish more subtle levels of work initiated at the first Saturn return at 28-29 years (most people can relate to the idea that big changes in their life happened at that time: people often meet a significant other, get married, divorced, move house, start a new job or creative project, or have a baby at that time).


This morning, just down from the crossroads, Dog and I stood for a few minutes watching a hare on its hind legs maybe 3 metres away: it was so preoccupied with sniffing the air at the edge of the hedge that it didn't spot us initially, and I was able to admire its glossy coat and black-tipped ears. There's much to write about hares in mythology, and their connections with both moon and goddess; another time...

at the crossroads
that hare, my mind
jumping this way then that


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