Reflecting on lessons learned in nature

My shroud is embroidered with golden amber

These warm fire colours the words of my final ballad.

Yet, leaf green still tinges life through my veins.

In death, my smooth pallor flatters to deceive

The shrivelled fate that awaits my decaying form


Last friday, I spent an hour in a wood sat around a crackling fire. A little group based in the village church I go to meet once a month to spend a quiet hour in the company of the trees. The woodland is part of the church grounds and it is beautiful with many mature and varied trees. This October gathering was the first since our March inseption that would be completely in the dark. Back in March we had the coming light of spring and summer to look forward to, but this October marked the beginning of the long dark of winter, with trees in their death throes and the year ending. I must confess to not looking forward to it! My week running up to the get together was not one of my best – too much stress at work, poor sleep and a bad cold. I felt exhausted and miserable as I got up for work that friday morning and began desperately considering an excuse not to go. However, since I take the lead in the times we spend, and get the fire going, I didn’t feel I had a reasonable one.

When I arrived at the wood and hot chocolate was placed in my hand, something changed. I headed into the darkness of the trees to our usual spot and instead of feeling afraid or depressed at the prospect of many short days, I actually felt protected and safe in the inky, black blanket of a mid-autumn night. Perhaps this is how a tulip bulb feels as it waits in the soil for the next spring? Time around the glowing fire in the quietness of a darkened wood and my frantic soul was peaceful. The feelings of the past week gone, while my thoughts on dark places changed. Not all are bad, some are protection, some are restful, some germinate possibility.