Braving the Elements

Belated greetings from deepest, and at times darkest Kent. 
First of all apologies for my recent lack of blogging, without going into a huge amount of detail (unlike me I know but it's not my detail to give), we suddenly had to deal with a serious health issue involving a vital and hasty operation of someone very close to me, which despite going well, involved a fair amount of stress, visiting, changes to plans etc as you can imagine and was generally exhausting. So whilst the storm passed and everyone got through the crisis more or less in one piece physically and emotionally, pulling each other forwards and onwards when necessary, my long realised knowledge that I am not superwoman, nagged at me to refuel my soul. As Michelle our wonderful teacher and Priestess is fond of telling us - you cannot serve from an empty vessel, nor apparently can you write blogs, my vessel was well and truly empty . Lethargy had well and truly set in, so I went into hermit mode and crawled into my bookcase- pretty much literally, working my way through my 'unread' pile to recharge and replenish all that spent energy. So, refreshed, still as full of
A Basic Wheel Of The Year
odd observations and keen to look for signs of my Goddess here I am - thanks for hanging on in there with me! I'm planning on catching up with myself somehow to keep the posts chronological. It might work...

Interestingly, even before this personal 'storm' I had been obsessing about the weather (no change there then) and the elements, fuelled I expect by the extreme weather we had recently experienced as a result of Hurricane Katie. For those of you unfamiliar with the wheel of the year used by myself and my circle sisters, a basic explanation is that the main compass points correspond with a Sabbat and/or season, with an archetype of Goddess and an element - less confusing than it sounds - I even drew a diagram! Obviously there's more to it than my simple doodle and I know different groups and paths use different wheels, this is very much Avalonian tradition. I've been very aware of which ever element was prevalent, both on the wheel and in my surrounding environment. 
We Used to Climb This Tree as Children 
Coming back from our lovely weekend away, where we were surrounded by a forest, we had heard the wind but seen little of it's force until our return when we found Mum and Dad's 50 year old plus Rowan tree had crashed down, luckily no one was hurt, not even Mum, Dad or myself after we yanked, pulled, shoved and chain sawed our way through the afternoon in our post storm operation clear up, pretty game for a couple in their 70's eh? The result was a fine stash of Rowan logs and kindling - what a shame none of us have a real fire indoors. You can see where I got the idea for a fire pit for himself for his upcoming birthday can't you?

My desire to brave the elements coupled with the
These Boots Were Made for Walking....
urge to properly christen my new walking boots that had only just touched the earth as yet, lured me out of house for a lovely long ramble along the river, something that I would never have done on my own before I started my journey walking with Goddess. My plan was to walk to 'nearby' Yalding about 5 miles upstream and then catch the bus back to the cross roads on the top road, even sitting, legs swinging enjoying a swift half in the pub garden whilst I waited for it. It started of well, despite the additional mile and  half down through the fields to the river itself, trying a new path for good measure. By the time I got to the river I could see how swollen it was with rain it was and how muddy the earth had become, ah no concern for me, I had proper big girl walking boots - Hurrah!

A Bit Of Nature Art
It was a beautiful walk, and half way along the path I found a beautiful natural grove or bower, with a tiny stream finally making it's final few feet to the river. Joyfully I decide to have a moment! I grounded myself and offered up thanks to my Goddess for sharing this special place with me and for this wonderful commune with nature, unperturbed by a train rattling suddenly past and probably much to the amusement of the passengers wondering why there was a crazy lady spinning round in a partially hidden grove! I decided to fashion a bit of natural art out of the many fallen branches and twigs by making this Goddess shape out of them in the grove, it will probably freak the living daylights out of the next person to walk past, but oh well! As I emerged from the bower I was greeted by ominous black clouds, I was exactly half way between either of the bridges so decided to press got darker and then it completely poured down, the paths were getting muddier by the minute and at a couple of points I actually had to climb over a fence and along a railing to avoid wading through deep puddles, huffing, puffing and swearing as I went - so at one with nature, hmm! Completely soaked, jeans clinging to my legs and belt-less threatening to flash my backside in a sudden freak sagging accident at any minute, I trudged on, hoiking my jeans up as I went. Finally I could see Teston Bridge where there is a country park, I've never been so pleased for the urine soaked aroma and dryness of a public loo before! Rain was still lashing down I gave in and phoned my Dad
Teston Locks...Really!
to rescue me, bless him. The sun of course came out while I waited for him, which gave me a chance to have a the river and the locks, where they often walk the dogs. As you can see from photo the entire lock system was under the water - just visible behind the red life buoy marker! I don't think I could have got to Yalding if I'd tried. That was enough of braving Goddess's elements for me for one day, after copious amounts of tea and cake with my lovely parents before they dropped me back home and left me contemplating the awesome power, force and strength of the weather, wondering how much my ancestors who lived and worked on the land for generations would laugh at my modest effort to brave the elements, probably quite a lot!

Have a Blessed Week x x


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