Snowdrops. Photo by me.
Candlemas bells, Galanthus, you still sound just north of the Levant, drifting across the northern shores of the Mediterranean Sea. You came to me via the piety of Benedictines serving the faith in rejection of most else—they brought you from Renaissance Subiaco on foot or on horseback, in canvas bags tucked inside leather satchels— and they poured you out into the sunlight, then buried you in chimes a stone’s throw from their dark nocturns and early morning prayers. They did love their gardens, the monastics, as they loved God. They must have loved you.
The candles that were lit in these cold, stone buildings each February, where congregations gathered to beeswaxed pews from all corners of the shire to pray, now spill into the graveyards in the form I find you today on the Goggin, all the way from the Abbot’s fields of Lazio. … Read more
We know the forces for good in walking as part of nature. And I do it myself. So I have been considering a word for it.
Med ~ PIE root for “take appropriate measures”. Also root for meditation.
Ambulare ~ latin for “walking”.
Medambulare ~ walking as welldoing for wellbeing. Also, the closer within nature’s flows we are, the growing fluministic love we have for all life, the more we will defend and protect. Soul food.
The School of Medambulare.
Verb ~ to medambulate.
As a study, medambulology.
See also “going in for a walk“.
… Read more
Wye foxes, out-foxed. Photo by me.
Foxing along the riverbank, you two orange drops stop still at the scar that leads to the water. Lowering your heads, take a deep draw of matter through your nostrils; this cleaved soil is where all the scents of the hill fall from its westerly face before hitting the water. The cold hangs low just here, sunk into the light on the edge, trapped between cracked willows. Much of it smells of duck.
Everywhere you turn, my eyes look to what you are interested in. I want to protect those things, for them and for you. … Read more
Hawthorn berries (or botanical pomes).
She’s there. I can hear the familiar peep of Blackbird, even under low light. I can just make out the colour brown and not black, and a dullish beak, so she is female.
Small by comparison to others perched in this same gnarly hawthorn, she spies all the berries as she flicks her tail feathers and hops from twig to twig. Mine is the quietest of observations I think is possible. Hers is an instinctive judgment of self within the whole floloca, and an internal vision of the safe movements required to get from where she is now to the red haw ‘pomes,’ to put one in her beak and then inside her belly. … Read more
It’s barely possible to imagine the hem of her black or white dress resting close at the knee of a leather boot belonging to a soldier with so many children borne to another woman.
Metallic scents of expensive ink on expensive paper linger not in her room, but in her father’s office downstairs. She writes by hand, of course, in her bedroom, at a small, crafted desk and seated on a chair that is cut and waxed from some of the grandest trees of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The glories of lilac and generations of bees flavour an ordinary lead pencil, maybe a sharp knife too, laid on the desk to carve a point. … Read more
Lighting a candle.
A year of grief, over. It means we have loved, and we need not be fearful of loving again.
2020 has been a year of mass grief; grief for changed bodies and bodies lost forever. I am writing of people and teresapien lives, through pandemic and the vagaries of the Anthropocene. There will be more to come, no doubt.
It takes courage to love again when the love that came before has pierced the skin with a hundred needles. Grief can feel like that. But without giving and receiving love, even love for ourselves, we are all dust. It’s just the way it is, the way more complex lives have evolved, who knows, maybe all life. … Read more
This Christmas, I just want to pay tribute to Tenovus cancer support.
Two years ago, my very existence seemed uncertain, and I was lonely as I underwent extensive palliative treatment for a type 3 aggressive womb cancer at Velindre Hospital, Cardiff. Velindre staff were always lovely to me, but hugely busy, as they treat more than 5000 people a year.
I knew few people in Cardiff, and didn’t want to burden anyone. So I rang the Tenovus helpline. Ex-cancer nurse and confidant, Elaine, was a godsend. We discovered a shared love for nature ~ she even has a very special thing for red kites! … Read more
Alder, Wye, and Ben. Photo by me.
I am thinking about Alder fixing nitrogen at the roots next to the flowing, swirling river. They are in symbiosis with all realms of friendly powers to do this. True.
Fixed, rooted, “they have figured how to live trapped into place,” says one of Richard Powers’ characters in Overstory.*
They are stillness in the ground, and unable to outrun us. They are vulnerable to pestilences, including our terrible machines. They evolved to be hardened, poisonous and giant to all who may assault them, yet they are losing this race brought upon them. True. … Read more
Cardiff Bay Sluice Gates. Photo by me.
The Anthropocentric mode of being. Norm of the Anthropocene. A problem.
Anthropo, of the human. Mode from modus “measure, extent, quantity; proper measure, rhythm, song; a way, manner, fashion, style” (in Late Latin also “mood” in grammar and logic), from PIE root *med- “take appropriate measures.”
Tethering any potential vitanance of ecosystems to an ill-ecological disunion or dominion of human behaviour ~ mistake.
Economies, law and other human modes of existence are not fully diverse, inclusive and based on ecologism.
… Read more