My followers may have noticed a distinct lack of posts of late, so I thought I would just take five minutes to explain why. First of all, I feel that much of what I wanted to share has been, and I am not inclined to “waffle on” for the sake of it! I am sure like me, you all have many other bloggers that you follow and they will suffice. But secondly; this is now the time of year when traditionally I go deep within myself, to reflect on what has happened during the year, what can be deduced and learned from those experiences and what will be my focus in the year ahead. With the darkening nights here in Highland Scotland, the desire to almost hibernate when one is able to follow one’s natural body rhythms is compelling indeed. In the summers we frolic in the endless daylight hours; indeed in the Orkney Isles, when the skies are clear, people at the golf club in Kirkwall start a round of golf at midnight on June 21st. But as the mellow Autumn dresses the flora and fauna in deep reds and golds and the light hints at taking leave of our presence, we too slow down and begin to prepare for the luxury of dark silky nights, velvet smooth air and to anticipate the first falls of crystal white snowflakes that deaden sound and bring peace and stillness to our landscape. We stock up with food and I spend August and September preserving nature’s harvest, bottling fruits, making jams, Christmas puddings and cakes and making sure that like squirrels, we may have good things to eat when the landscape around us also rests, producing nothing. For many millions, the understanding of, and co-operation with these natural rhythmic cycles of life has been broken and life becomes disjointed and dysfunctional in its relentless demands of them in work patterns which no longer follow the harmony which makes for healthy relationships between us, each other and our planet and larger solar system. All operates to cycles of time, which require times of production and times of rest in equal measure to keep us fit, physically, mentally and emotionally. We have become fractured from our own nature.
Coming from the countryside and spending most of my time in that environment I have retained and am acutely aware of the cycles of Nature and how we too are in harmony within ourselves, running to the same rhythms as Nature herself. And so in these months ahead, life for me slows and becomes more reflective and restful. It is also the time of year that I study my ancestry; and the wider lives and experiences of those who walked before me and are connected to me still in my DNA, in my inclinations and choices, likes and dislikes and so on. For the past 3 years winters I have been absorbed with incredible discoveries but this year I have surpassed them all. As I started last month again; I took my tree back from the 1600’s, through the 1500’s and beyond…deeper deeper into history, all the way back to 730 and my Viking ancestors. There are their names, tales of their voyages, disputes and discoveries…wives, children, siblings. I travel forward with them across the seas to Scotland where they become Kings of Scotland and nobility there, others travel to France where they settle and become Dukes of Normandy, intermarrying with other nobility, owning vast tracts of land and castles and in time entering royal circles themselves, producing Kings of England, Europe and even Russia.
Your ancient ancestors’ daily lives may have involved working with the native flora and fauna of India. They may have used oil from neem trees to treat disease, eaten figs from the same sort of tree that is believed to have shaded the Buddha, and lived in the same regions as Bengal tigers.
I watch the fighting in Aleppo; and Afghanistan, the troubles in Pakistan and India, the conflicts of ideologies and religions and am part of them all, for my blood runs through them all and there are millions of people who are related to me there still today-my ancestors sister, aunt, mother who did not get to travel like mine did but stayed where she was. My direct relation could be anyone of you, it could be the face ravaged I see from my screen in an African famine, or latest attack by a UK soldier in a war zone.
I cannot separate myself from you, no matter how much I may waste time trying. For we are all linked, the same blood and DNA pulses through our body systems, enough to relate us all to each other eventually. The rhythms of our lives change and flux and wane, we are here but for a short while, and yet we are eternal. And so for me now I leave you with these thoughts and reflections until we reach Spring when I shall emerge again God willing as the new bud of life ready to bloom in the summer, harvest in the Autumn and die to reflection in the Winter to start the whole process again.