The Power of the 5th Step

via The Power of the 5th Step

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The Power of the 5th Step

I’ll be writing here about my personal recovery from life’s latest trial! Follow if you’re interested in my process….

Smashing Back

Who knew that the 5th step from the top had calamitous, universe shattering powers. Until 2 weeks ago I had passed heedlessly up and down across this step for well over 20 years, as my child grew up, my career developed, various cats and dogs came and went from our lives, colour schemes changed and our marriage matured. All this while I was oblivious to the truly life changing power held by the 5th step.lThen at 7am it revealed itself in its full bone smashing glory, cracking apart not just my morning, but my back, my independence, my sense of control and poise, and the next 12 weeks of my life, minimum.

The same day that the UK entered its reality shifting heatwave, the day that the British summer decided to behave in ways only known prior to this in myth and fairytale and childhood dreams, my T8 vertebrae…

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Brides Snowdrops

Walk with me through the bare woods as winter retreats into the earth. As the frost seeps away into the deep earth, the ground beneath our feet is warming, and stirring with new life. Let’s linger a while in this space of soft change. Birds freshly free of their winter prisons sing rivers of song, guiding us onwards into the trees. If we drop down close to the earth we will tumble into a forest of tiny flowers lit from within by the growing sun.


Tiny lanterns of sunlight, sway all around us, in a sea of white and green. A subtle sweetness drifts in the soft breeze as the snowdrops are drawn sunwards in a wave of pure joy. Delighted to see the light once more after a winter held in the dark earth, we can almost see them opening with yearning before our eyes.


As we lie here on the forest floor we too become woven into the greening cloak of Bride. Goddess of the Scottish spring, she softens winters hold, and fills the land with beauty and hope for the year ahead. These flowers of hers flow like rivers of milk between the roots of ancient trees, bringing colour and movement back to the old cold world beneath us.Lets rest a while here, in the soft flow of spring as she awakens around us and within.


Snowdrops are named Galanthus in Latin, meaning milk flower, and they spring from the bare winter earth as heralds of spring. Known in Scotland as Brides flowers, because of the link between them and the Scottish Goddess of spring. 

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The Goddess of Winter Mist

Winter was doing her best to cloak the growing light of the sun. She threw a shroud of freezing mist across the sky, to try to gather away all of the light and the warmth, and she almost succeeded. The sun however was determined, and she shone with all of her might, through the cold winter sky of the mountains. Layers of landscape were whispered, almost forgotten, across winters breath. The golden disc of the small winter sun gleamed white hot in her heart, against the cruel cold grip of the Cailleach Bheur.


Black bare branches rattled like the antlers of the hill. The sun rested a little among the arms of the trees, after all her efforts. She was beginning to weaken and sinking slowly back towards the dark curve of the earth. The power was fading from her fast, and winters cold fingers were closing in, drawing the day to an end.


In one last gasp, the sun drew a line of gold across the face of the loch. She smouldered down into mist and water, as they became one with the light. Day was over, and winter held us all again in her cold frozen spell of night. The Cailleach Bheur it seems is not ready to relinquish her crown just yet.
These images were taken on my iPhone, deep in the heart of the Scottish Highlands around 3:30pm on Saturday afternoon. 

The Cailleach Bheur is the goddess of Scotlands winter, and of the earth and stones of her mountains.

See another post about the Cailleach Bheur here.

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Snow Mounds and Cancer Care

These are some snow shots of the beautiful and inspiring centre which I have moved north for. Set in the heart of historic Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands, they make a bold and challenging statement in the grounds of Raigmore Hospital. Inspired by the shape of diving cells, the earth mounds and the copper building offer a truely inspiring place to creatively support families living in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland who are dealing with cancer. Last Thursday under the full Wolf Moon, a hare lead me out between the mounds into the glittering snow, and the hushed air. All was timeless and still between the raised earth coils, and only the moon saw as I walked the path of the hare, on into the darkness…..

The wonderful landscape and architecture create an ever shifting magical ambiance…..which fits beautifully with this weeks WordPress Weekly Challenge.

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Winters Weary Light

Winters weary sun

Rolls over earths frozen hills

Leaking cold sharp shafts

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Winters Light

The small winter sun shimmers low and weak. Unable to climb high into the sky, its warmth and light are quickly lost to sparkles at sea. Colour and flowers pass from the cold earth which holds her breath, waiting for Spring. Our worlds shrink in the darkness pushing in at the edges, and we too wait, paused and silent, for the suns power to return. We turn inwards looking for inner light to show us the path onwards in winters weak light. In the light of the small sun, winter grips the earth, and we all shiver with longing for heat and light.

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