Cool Serenity

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All night a wild storm had pulled and pushed the world, lifting tiles off the roof and snapping branches from the trees. The storm had a loud cold voice, and the windows had rattled in their frames as the snow fell and the harsh ice took hold. By the morning a hush had fallen along with the branches and tiles, and I walked out into the woods looking for serenity.

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There among the fallen limbs and cracked ice I found a pure white peace. Nothing stirred but the memory of the storm, and the sun glittered and twinkled on the frozen water as though there had been nothing to worry about ever. A sparkling serenity filled everything and I breathed out.

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Sometimes after a storm, among the debris, a cool serenity sparkles, inviting us to let go. To sweep away the old and nourish what’s left. Out among the trees I found the first snowdrops of the year, bathed in soft low light, filling me with hope for the Spring to come.

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Snow Fall

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Snow fell snow on snow
Its hush shrank the world softly
Back to slow pleasures

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Mysterious Mist

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Ahead lies shrouded
Wrapped in winters freezing cloak
Glints of futures hopes

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This is everything
Senses brimming with beauty
Future forgotten

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All certainty rests
Forms swirl coming and going
Mysterious mist

Along these mist shrouded tidal waters people have fought for the heart of the kingdom since time began. Those who knew the patterns and moods of the waters had an advantage which left them winning, sometimes despite overwhelming numbers against them. Once the mist closed in you were lost, or you were perfectly hidden to move and pounce at will. Mananans gifts were many, and his followers ruled these waves.
Mist forces us into the present in a beautiful way, mesmerising us with what we can see, and blocking the distance and the future. To move through mist we need to find trust.

For our fact lovers these are the rest of the photos taken from the shore of Culross on the Firth of Forth in Central Scotland. It was late afternoon and the freezing mist parted just in time for the setting sun. Rocks and islands out in the Firth suddenly became visible in pools of mist shrouded light, and sea birds could be seen winging their way home.

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Shadows of Self

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In Winter the shadows draw in around us, we notice them more and we yearn for the light of Summer. In psychotherapy we speak about the shadow, and it’s a wonderful metaphor which Jung came up with to describe the parts of ourself we don’t know. Tucked away within the person you are so familiar with is a whole array of parts and characters which you don’t know about. These hidden parts make up the shadow or the unconcious. Without the light of conscious awareness, these neglected and rejected parts languish unseen.

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If we have courage, we can begin to shed light on these shadow parts of ourselves. We can if we chose, bring them into awareness and work with them creatively. Often instead, we project them outwards onto people around us. So when you catch yourself judging someone else harshly, you might wonder if that is something in you which you don’t like, which you are noticing in an other.

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This deer in the woods is half in shadow and half in the light, and this is probably the state of most of us. We recognise and love the parts we have chosen to embrace and show to others. We create an image and a self which is nicer than perhaps the whole self. We tend to let others see the parts we feel will be accepted and approved of. All the other darker meaner aspects of our nature we tend to leave hidden in the shadows, for fear of being unlovable.

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Yet there is a beauty and a balance in the whole. The light and the shadow together can be tolerated, but only if we are able to be real with ourselves and with the world. To allow the tension of opposites within, both good and bad, requires a maturity and an acceptance which doesn’t always come easily.

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So within the shadow realm of ourselves lie many wonderful unnoticed creatures. Like these deer, they move unnoticed most of the time, and yet they exert an effect whether we acknowledge them or not. Some of them might be real treasures, bringing their surprising gifts to us in unexpected and sudden ways, when the world forces us to do something new or different. Change has a way of working its way inwards and releasing these shadow treasures, whether we seek them or not. Whether we can be brave enough to embrace them and show them to others is a story for another day.

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Mananan’s Cloak

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Mananans soft storm
Clouds, mist and ocean swirl in
Neither here nor there

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Edges blurred and gone
Timeless cloak folds formlessly
Hide and reveal light

For all my fact lovers, these shots were captured from the shore in front of Culross, on the Firth of Forth last week. The whole estuary was shrouded in freezing mist, rolling down from the centre of Scotland, and then it parted letting the low winter afternoon sun offer some spectacular effects. Cold but very pretty.
And for my myth lovers, Mananan was the sea god who ruled these waters, and those around the Western Isles and the Isle of Man. The mist was said to be his cloak, with the powers of invisibility and forgetfulness.

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New Colours

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Luscious luminous
Pink, fresh light fills petal husks
Dried by winters wind

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Pulling back the curtains of the bay window, the light of another new day splashed across the wooden floor. It was tinged pink, which made her look again at the sky beyond. Vivid pink and orange light was painted through the winter clouds, and the whole world was washed with these new colours. The familiar garden path looked exotic and inviting, and the old dried out flowers of the climbing hydrangea, which only the day before had been a dried out brown, were now luscious luminous pink. New colours for a new day.

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New Years Gateway

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As the sun sets into the gateway of the year, all is possible. We can walk away from all that binds and hurts us, and we can walk towards all that nourishes and encourages us to grow each day. It should be easy, but sometimes we can’t see clearly, sometimes we just keep going as we always have. Janus the double headed god guards this ancient gate, looking both back and forwards. Crossing this threshold is a chance to take forwards the best of the past, and to weave it into new and exciting creations in the coming year.

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The mists of time close in around the sun as we pass once again over the threshold of the year. For thousands of years our ancestors have paused and celebrated as we see in another New Year, remembering all that has been, noticing who is no longer there among us, and filling our hearts with promises and hopes of a good year to come. Hope you had a great Hogmanay, and that the New Year is opening nicely for you.

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Every morning when we open our eyes into a new day, we have the chance to start living the life we want, and to be the person we really are deep in our hearts. Most of us pass on this chance each day. The start of a new day at the start of a new year though is a prompt which most of us notice. What will you do with the rest of your one wild and precious life?

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