We seem to be getting more periods of extreme weather in the last few years. These range from snow and ice to floods and extreme heat. Last week it was warm and sunny and a definite feeling of spring in the air and then overnight the temperature plummeted to below freezing and we have lots of snow and ice together with a strong wind blowing the snow everywhere.
I feel for the plant and animal life. The birds had started their mating rituals and some were building nests. The spring bulbs had dared to show their faces and were blooming well. What effect will this extremely cold spell have on them?
As humans we are able to adapt to the spells of extreme weather whether it is cold or hot but the animals and plants cannot deal with these extremes so easily. Is this a new weather pattern or a sign of climate change? Whatever it is, it could affect our food supply. Extreme cold or flooding and even heat can affect the way our crops grow. We hear of drought in other countries and how that affects all of their inhabitants. The UK also relies on other countries for some of its food so there is much to think about.
One of the things I have noticed over recent years is the way that the seasons have become less defined. Summer and autumn last year seemed to just be one season. Is this also something for our future climate here?
But I was ready for the spring. I had a feeling of expectation, of new things ready to happen especially as I am about to move house again. Now everything seems to have been delayed but hopefully not for long and the sun will soon shine again and the flowers raise their heads.
One other thing which crossed my mind was the solar storms we have been having and I wondered if they had anything to do with these extreme weather patterns. Food for thought! Of course the wind is cleansing, blowing away all the negativity around us which is good and the icy cold kills nasty germs so maybe these extreme weather spells can be good for us.
It has been another week of dark grey days with lots of rain and occasional flakes of snow. But it is the dark grey days that I do not like. I need light and warmth in my life in order to function. I started well at the beginning of the week as I was writing a new book then suddenly on Wednesday everything came to a stop. I was feeling depressed again and I am sure it is the dark grey days.
I used my SAD lamp for a short time and it did lift my spirits enough to do a bit more writing. But I shall be really glad when the weather improves. If the sun comes out I immediately feel better as I am sure we all do. Yet the landscape in winter has a beauty all its own. I love the bare trees with their gnarled branches standing out against the sky. I love to watch the birds on the feeder in the garden and see the hazel catkins swaying in the breeze.
We have been lucky where I live unlike many of my friends further north who have had large amounts of snow. Yet I think I would have preferred to see the snow rather than the grey dark rainy days we have had. The snow brings light to the landscape unlike the rain which just seems to wash it out into a greyish mass.
Soon it will be Imbolc, where we welcome Brigid. The snowdrops will be out then bringing their light and joy into our world. I am looking forward to this and to the lengthening days.
It will soon be the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. After that the days will start to get a bit longer and the dark nights a bit shorter. I am really looking forward to that as I don’t deal with short dark days and long dark nights very well. I need lots of light in order to function.
Many cultures celebrate the return of the light at this time of the year so I like to join them and celebrate too. The return of the light is a very common theme. I wonder how our ancestors felt at this time of the year. Yet although the days will be longer, here in the UK winter is still to come although we have had a frosty snowy week just now. January and February are often the months when we get snow and lots of ice. But we often also get beautiful clear blue skies and lots of sunshine as well.
This last week here has been one of snow, more snow, rain and then ice. There is still some snow lingering on the grass and roads but there is also a lot of ice making it difficult for me to go out and enjoy the local nature reserve. I have missed this but I have enjoyed looking at the photos of those who could get there. The pools were frozen over some days and the ducks and swans went skating.
So I am really looking forward to the return of the light and will be celebrating this as will many others, alone while some will be celebrating in groups. However you celebrate the return of the light I wish you a wonderful day and a good year to come.
There is something special about snow. It is white and pure, dazzling when deep and glistens on the trees and ground. I love the way it rests on the branches and on the shrubs like a layer of icing on a cake. I love to see the animal footprints on it when there are large areas of white snow. You can see where animals and birds have been that you might not actually see at other times.
It also muffles the noise so silence can prevail. Even the traffic noise is quieter. It gives me a feeling of peace as the incessant everyday noise of communal living fades into a quiet sleepy humming noise. It is still quite early in the morning as I write this but later there will be children around in the nearby gardens making snowmen and having snowball fights. There is enough snow in some places for toboggan rides as well. There is also a gusty wind which is blowing the snow from the rooftops.
But if you can’t go out in it then watch it as the snowflakes fall gracefully. Each snow flake is individual. There are many photos of individual snowflakes and you can see how amazing they all are. I am one of those who can’t go out in the snow but I can watch it falling and settling on the trees and the ground and see how beautiful it is knowing that each flake is unique. Nature is wonderful. Enjoy it while you can. Enjoy the stillness too.
My photo was taken yesterday in the garden here. I love the way the tree branches are outlined with snow.
We had the first snow of the coming winter the other day. I woke up to a covering of white but it soon disappeared although there were flurries of snow during the day. There has been a lot of rain too and everywhere is wet underfoot which makes walking difficult for me where there are lots of wet leaves. Today I walked with a friend to Ford Green Hall a beautiful old mansion. There was a Christmas Craft Fair there today and it was very busy. We walked both ways and enjoyed the damp trees and misty landscape.
Outside my window the trees are almost bare of leaves and I can now see the many different birds sitting on the branches before using the bird feeder. This is giving me an opportunity to take photos of the birds again as I could not see them before because of the leaves. I love to see the trees now when you see their shape better and the way the branches grow out from the trunk. There is something special about them now and when the frosty days and nights are here too. On the nature reserve there are many different birds now as well as those that have been hidden amongst the leaves. There is always something to see and notice when you take a walk however short the walk. I walked back from the hospital the other day and the sky was clear. It is downhill most of the way but quite steep in places but is less than a mile to walk. I stopped and admired the view over lots of houses where there used to be fields but in the distance the moorland beckoned.
The approach to Christmas seems to start earlier every year. As a druid I should not really celebrate this festival but celebrate the Winter Solstice and Yule instead. However I like to celebrate them all but more of that to come in a blog next month. The photo is of Ford Green Hall taken in the rain this morning. I could not avoid the tree as the grass was too wet to walk on.
Friday evening there was an eclipse and a full moon, the Snow Moon as well as a meteor the following morning. On Saturday morning I woke up to a thin blanket of snow on the ground. Very apt as it was the Snow Moon! Everywhere seemed so much quieter, peaceful and calm. I have noticed this many times before. The blanket of snow mutes the sounds of traffic and people and seems to calm everything down to a slower pace. It led me to thinking what a wonderful thing it could be if this happened in places that needed calm and quiet.
Words, thoughts and actions are all forms of energy. Have you ever noticed how the energy around you or a group of people, changes when you chant? Do you use singing bowls or other items which make resonating sounds? If so have you noticed how the energy changes when you use them? So how would the energy of our world change if there was a blanket of calmness around it and on it?
When you are calm you can think better, decide what is right for you and how you can change the things that are wrong. Calm brings clarity of thought, it brings peace and understanding. Maybe those who are protesting or protecting could send out this feeling of calm energy, the feeling of peace and the feeling of togetherness. Some protectors are doing this by holding sacred ceremonies and by praying. Is this the way to go?
Boxing Day brought the snow. It was thick and fast and covered the ground quickly. But by the next morning it had started to melt. However it soon became very cold again and there is still snow on the ground and on the roofs of the houses. When the sun shines, it glistens and looks beautiful.
I used to love being out in the snow when I was younger but now I am not so happy to be outside in case I fall over. Old bones do not mend so easily as young ones so I have to take more care and stay indoors until the pavements are safe for me to walk on. I am lucky to have a very good friend who will take me to the shops. There are many older people who do not have such friends. Do you check on the elderly living near you to see if they need help when the weather is bad? Often they may just need someone to talk to. It can be lonely living on your own and the days seem much longer when there is no one to talk to.
In many places there are befriending schemes. I think that these are good for those who live alone whatever age they are but especially for those who cannot get out easily. As a druid, caring for others, especially those who are vulnerable is part of my belief although I am on the other side of this now. I do try to help others when I can. How about you?
It has been a cold week with lots of snow and ice. Although I am confined to the house as I can’t walk on ice very well and don’t want to fall over as I can’t then get up again, I have seen some magical sights during the week. One morning all the spiders webs were covered in ice and they were absolutely beautiful. Another morning, when the sun rose, the trees turned a pink colour and they were beautiful too. Nature never ceases to amaze me.
The snow brings to my mind other concerns. Flights are cancelled and trains but why do we travel so much? Why do we have to go so far for social gatherings and meetings? How did people move around before trains and planes? What effect does all the travelling have on our planet? If we were not so reliant on gas and oil maybe the recent events in Algeria would not have happened. There is lots of food for thought here. How large is your carbon footprint? And how can you reduce its size? As a druid I try to use public transport and don’t go very far as I don’t need to. If I could walk like I did several years ago, then I would walk most of the time. Ecological awareness is a good thing to have.