I remember the day that the revelation came. I was in Sukhothai Historic Park in Thailand, walking around the impressive temple ruins, crumbling stupas and serene Buddha statues. Walking with difficulty in actually moving my limbs, and in a real grump. Oh the irony of being so grumpy in front of so many Buddhas! But it was a heavily humid 38 Celsius and, no matter how grateful I was for the privilege of being there, I was also overwhelmed by a sense of not being cut out for this; my head, heart and soul was loving the park but my body was not. What I realised, what those Buddhas helped me to realise is…
that I really just don’t cope very well with hot weather.
Particularly when there’s been a long stretch of it.
Once the “yay it’s been sunny for a while and it’s still sunny” feeling gets old, I just struggle immensely to move, think, be motivated or decisive about anything. My patience is much more limited – and my skill at trying to disguise this probably more so. Resentful, defensive, snappy feelings come to the boil much faster than their positive, rational counterparts. I’m tired, sooooooo tired. And all this combined hasn’t made for the smoothest days lately looking after a similarly tired and brittle toddler alone.
But I need this time. The land needs this time. It’s this weather that forces me into slowing down – into being still enough to be open to such gifts as just watching butterflies dance, just watching bees collect pollen, just watching the laundry flap in the breeze, just watching my little boy play. In doing so, I show him what there is to be gained from stillness and from savouring.
At this time, the harvest is about to start; the Goddess of the Land is about to birth her creation, her fruit. Just as we may have already been harvesting some crops for a few weeks but without the full bounty (and the rush to preserve it!) flowing yet, the pregnant goddess may feel her body getting ready to let go. In the last few weeks of pregnancy the woman’s belly often appears to drop as baby engages, losing the perfect roundness I associate with the Goddess at midsummer. There may be a “show” and she will probably be very tired and itching to meet her child.
I guess we need to feel tired of something in order to release, in order to move on to the next stage. In recent years, a sense of awareness about what in my life no longer serves me has helped me start – and maintain – journeys such as getting rid of material stuff I don’t need, becoming less affected by anxiety, and leaving a career that wasn’t right for me. “What no longer serves me?” is something I usually ask myself as the moon starts to wane; the lunar phase that I correlate with Lughnasadh. As I prepare to give thanks for and begin the harvest of what I celebrated at midsummer, I’m realising what’s nearly ready to birth in my life and what I need to just let go of. This list is still coming together! But something I do know I’m thankful for is this recent time of slowness, in spite of its challenges. My difficulty with stillness has been helped by my difficulty with hot weather. Yet the lessons gained can be carried on to the next season and the next.Like the life in the seed that floats on the wind, settles on the soil and grows again. ♥