Later, at another turning point in the Celtic year, Imbolc, 1st February, I'll be offering a day workshop, Thresholds, as part of a longer weekend, The Inward Flame, in which I'll explore this more deeply, and we will as individuals and a group look at 'this wild and precious life' and the year we want to create for ourselves. What seems increasingly important, too, is how we honour our relationship, as a species, to all the other-than-human ways of being in the world, and this is part of the weekend's intention (places still available, but early booking needed).
Just now, Dog and I went up to the top of the field above the orchard and watched the columns of persistent drifting rain pirouetting across the hill and the valley. Already the hazel catkins are properly dusty-gold and 'all shook out', in their lambs' tails finery. One last spindleberry was clinging pink and orange to a bough. Below, in the courtyard, we have a fine visitation of tits: great tits, bluetits, coaltits, marsh tits and willow tits queuing for the feeder, and the woodpeckers are becoming less and less concerned by human presence. Beside the feeder, in its blue ceramic pot, my witch hazel has burst into a sudden clamour of yellow raggy flowers, rain or no rain.
So I wish for you many yellow flowers in this coming year. (If I could say that for you in Cornish I would; but the only other phrase I can pull forth right now is 'Leun a sylli yw ow skath bargesi' which, since it means 'my hovercraft is full of eels', I believe, may not be appropriate, though given our Devon weather it could yet be for me – supposing I can find my hovercraft...)
Oh and a little boast or two: please forgive me. In the Guardian Review section online the other day, 'readers' picks 3', my name and new book were mentioned in the headliner pull-quote in the same sentence as J K Rowling. AND I've just had my 100,000th visitor to this blog – though it does have to be said that some of those stats are false, as they're spammers/scammers, it's still exciting and rather overwhelming to know that out there in cyberspace real people choose to come and read these words. Thank you, friends, for your companionship and contributions – even if you don't comment (though I love it when you do), coming here and reading is also a contribution, of course, to the sense of wider community in which this blog appears.
The River at Wolf
Coming east we left the animals
pelican beaver osprey muskrat and snake
their hair and skin and feathers
their eyes in the dark: red and green.
Your finger drawing my mouth.
Blessed are they who remember
that what they now have they once longed for.
A day a year ago last summer
God filled me with himself, like gold, inside,
deeper inside than marrow.
This close to God this close to you:
walking into the river at Wolf with
the animals. The snake's
green skin, lit from inside. Our second life.
Door in the Mountain: New & Collected Poems