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Summer Solstice Celebrations 2014

Blog 9

It seems appropriate to bring us all up to date with AMYNEDD right now; so I’m breaking with the trend and rather than Blogging in chronological order, I’m going to tell what we have been doing over this summer Solstice.

For the past several years, we have made it our practice to sit out over the Solstice night. This year, we had thought we would do it as usual, and were talking about it quite animatedly, when it became abundantly clear that in fact we were not going to do that at all!

It was important for us to have a fire; we have always got lots to burn, so we looked to see where we would have the fire; in the place where the fire was started on Easter Monday? No.

Instead we went up into the garden, beyond the third greenhouse and looked at all the brash left by our new friend, Jon, following his chainsaw day with us way back in February.

On several occasions we had tried to shift it and to burn it but the fire had just not started and we had got into a mess with it all.

Now, after many days - possibly even a couple of weeks – without rain, all of the brash – mostly holly, alder and ash, were tinder dry. For a few days, it had also been very still. Today however, that is, June21st, there was a strong breeze from the sea.

Undeterred, we set about arranging a fire. It caught immediately and the flames that leapt from it must have been up to 10 feet high.

Feeding it was an exhausting task; I dragged the brash, frantically using loppers to get it into smaller pieces and Jane collected green weeds to throw onto it when it became too fierce.

For a long time, the fire roared and crackled, as it devoured the heap of brash.

These photos do not really do it justice….

 

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It was enormously powerful and terrifyingly huge….and this is what happened to my hair when I ventured too close…

 

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Apart from the grimace, I hope you can see the heat frazzled hair! I had a shower later that evening and the burned hair almost blocked the drain! Hey ho! At least I have a lot to burn…no-one apart from Jane has even noticed!

What is utterly amazing to me is that this tiny heap of grey ashes is all that is left of that massive burning….and it is still hot. If I wished to, I could open it up and burn much more on it…but, but an assortment of reasons; that is not going to happen today! Notice in this shot, the Old Shed; when we first found it, it was hidden behind an almost impenetrable forest…now see, it is quite clear! Mind you, inside, it is still full of wood…

 

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As well as burning a huge amount of wood and bramble, there was a sacred side to the fire. Jane and I often at Summer Solstice offer to the Fire things about us which we feel we have “out-grown” or which are now not serving our best interests.

This year, aware as I am of my volatility, I offered my “increasingly quick temper” to the Fire; it was consumed with gusto, leaving me feeling much calmer and more contemplative than I had felt for a long time.

Singing around the Fire later and simply sitting with it as it continued to consume but at a more sedate pace than the heady and terrible haste with which it had started, I counted my Blessings and found that they out-number the Stars in the Sky.

Because I am utterly aware of how a mere twelve months ago, I was gnashing my teeth and pulling my hair in despair; I did not want to leave Scarborough! I did not!

And I have and I am Home.

And I am Home because in spite of everything, I trusted in what my Spirits said to me. My Teacher who I trust more than anyone in the world, told me to Trust him and I did.

This last six months, since the Winter Solstice of 2013, has changed me enormously. We moved here, two of the three of us with excitement and delight; one of us (me) with fear and trepidation.

And where are we, six months on? Jane and I remain here; finding ourselves ever more deeply rooted into the Mountain which is our Home and forging stronger and stronger links with the local population; becoming friends with many; tentative as yet but over time, we are hoping these will flourish and bring us and all concerned even more Joy.

We wish Chris Ticehurst well, in her new role, caring for her parents, and we believe now that she has done us a huge favour first of all in coming with us originally and then, secondly, in leaving. She left even before the first daffodils were out here; she missed all of the wonderful and gloriously colourfulness of Spring and is even now missing the unbelievable heat of this Mid-Summer time.

But we have not missed it. We have lived it and give daily thanks that we are here.

These are a few photos I took only today…

 

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The 3 of us planted the garlic at Winter Solstice. It is now almost ready to gather. When we do, we intend posting her share to Chris T. You can see how well all of the herbs (and rhubarb) are doing in this bed….I’ve been very good and not had any rhubarb yet as it is only the first year of planting; but it does look good!

 

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Taken from behind the fire, it is easy to see how clear this area has become. Jane and I intend moving all of the wood and either cutting it with the chainsaw or using an axe on it to make into good firewood. Really, we have no need of firewood; I know you have gathered by now that poor Elisabeth had collected quite a lot…enough I would think for several winters…but it is always good to have more.

 

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This chappie is a newcomer to AMYNEDD; we collected him from the Corris Craft Centre only a fortnight or so ago; he sits very well on this stump of the huge Alder that was almost blocking the stream. The surface is always in sunshine, and it is where Jane puts her healing tools to clean in sunlight after she has used them.

 

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Our Dragon looks quite at home here; he has been in one or two positions since we arrived in AMYNEDD, but this is the place where we think he is best suited….he is sitting on a stump of a tree we had taken down earlier; well, actually, it wasn’t a tree; Elisabeth had a tree surgeon remove the top few feet of it, and so it was a badly cut, tall and rather ugly, stump which shaded the garden and caused the Acer to grow in a slanted way….

 

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The latest incarnation of the Shamanic Room; we have had a window put into the door, allowing even more light to flood in, and we have had the old, brown stained facia boards and guttering replaced with white. Tomorrow we will buy some grey undercoat and paint over the brown wood-stained doors and window surrounds before giving them a coat of bright white gloss. It has taken until the last few days (last Friday, actually,) to be completed because the nest box at the front had in it a family of blue tits. They have now gone; we will put up the nesting box once more, but in a place where it is not in full sun!

 

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In my enthusiasm last week, to cut the “grass” (it is mostly dock and creeping buttercup; really it is), I took the hover mover over a large rock. The grinding noise and consequent squealing of the engine told me that something was wrong (!). I investigated and discovered I had broken off a piece of the blade and twisted the rest out of all recognition. Sigh. However, never one to despair, I found a handy lawn-mower repair man (Derek) in the village and he came promptly took it way and will mend it ASAP!

The interesting thing about the second of these two photos is that less than 6 months ago, we were calling that area “The Somme” as the mud was so deep….now it is just a bit parched. Who knew Wales could be hot?

 

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This is rapidly becoming my favourite place; it is in dappled shade all day long from sunrise to sunset and as well as currently eating every meal out here, as you can see, I also use it as a computer desk!

This is our Home and You are Welcome to Visit…and to take away with you some of the Peace and Patience that AMYNEDD offers us all.

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