The season is all around me – hidden in the trees, holiday makers unfolding maps and plans for rest and relaxation, gift wrapping and unsealing of envelopes arriving from far off lands, the longest day arrives, casts her shadow and falls into the ocean. Always a time for gathering in the kitchen, on the beach, around the holy table and a time for reflection on what has been and yet to come.
This time last year I was acutely aware it would be the last summer, the last Christmas, the last year beginning and because of that awareness a little more care was taken for the turkey trimmings to be just right to meet the mouths of those who loved turkey, a little more patience and an aching sadness behind the scenes, the unspoken hovered in the air around us all. Entering this season anew, I am putting down some new foundations for new synaptic paths to be forged so the old ones can hold the memories in their own right. No turkey to cook, few gifts to wrap and most of the envelopes have arrived with kind words of condolence entwined with the joy of the season.
I am missing things, not finishing, not quite hitting the mark – one consequence writ large is the intense sunburn on my back – evidence of the lack of a hat, sunscreen and long sleeves – something I haven’t done since a teenager. There are already tiny bubbles of blisters forming puffed pink by the residue of calamine lotion inaccurately plastered as I can’t reach all the places it needs to go. While the walk and the conversation were gold and deeply cherished, the scar tissue forming is a reminder of my inability to be fully able to look after myself at the moment, There just doesn’t seem to be enough of me to do that for myself. There is a vagueness, a lack of commitment and general lack of enthusiasm for much, with rote learning kicking in to keep up appearances. Coming fully to any moment seems to be elusive or saturated in tears.
My promise to tomorrow in these days is to not be in a hurry to travel through these days and nights, and continue to meander aimlessly without purpose or direction, to let each step hold whatever needs to be held. Each aimless step is still a step and even going around in circles you are not the same person you were the last time you did the circuit. The gift of the labyrinth has served me well in many locations, McLaren Vale, San Francisco, Cape Town, Alice Springs and most recently on the beach at Port Noarlunga for the summer solstice. Each season has it’s labyrinth and each labyrinth it’s season.
May the longest of days
Bring your labours to the labyrinth
May the shortest of nights
Begin new dreams and visions
May the harvest of summer fruits
Yield sweetness and stickiness
May the cool sea waters
Soothe the sears of sun soaked skin
May the quickening of grain and grape ripening
Confirm the successful completion of a season.