A typical English day

New Flower Moon

We’re having one of those typical English days. We’ve had a mixture of sunshine, drizzle, heavy showers, more warm sunshine, and now thunder and hail. You never know what you’re going to get next.

It’s a bit like life. Any given day can be a mixture of joy, dullness, and outright pain. We encounter all kinds of emotional weather. Some of it bubbles up from our past, from intractable physical challenges, or from close encounters with people. And some of it flows to us from the wider world.

At the start of this Flower Moon, the world is doing just that. The pear trees at Westacre are in full bloom, and the big apple tree is showing pink buds ready to burst. The sea of forget-me-nots is a misty blue, and tulips are punctuating the garden with flashes of fiery red. All this beauty is lifting me, giving me joy that pushes at my soul like the warming soil pushes up the grass.flowering

But the news from further afield is depressing. Just yesterday, we passed 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This is the highest concentration there has been for millions of years. Human kind has never seen this concentration, and the concentration is still rising sharply. The potential for significant global warming with devastating effects on the Earth’s climate is alarming.

Just today, I heard that the African Western Black Rhino has been declared extinct. The last one was seen in 2006. Many more species are about to die out and vanish forever.

That news makes me angry. After all, the dangers of CO2 pollution have been known about for about as long as I’ve been alive. And the decline of the world’s most majestic animals is mostly preventable. Yet still it happens.

And I don’t know what to do with that anger.

Spirit is asking me – has been asking me for years – to do something that I find very hard. It is asking me to stay awake and aware and feel these emotions as they pass through my life.

After all, it is just weather. Emotions come and go, like the showers and bursts of sunlight. But the whole enterprise of really feeling them actually scares me.

From a very young age I learned to put up walls. I learned to hide from my feelings and keep them at bay as much as possible. Dealing with them was just too painful. So they would regularly burst out and cause me trouble. Which just reinforces the idea that emotions are dangerous.

The trick is to feel the passing emotion, but not identify with it. I am not that anger at humankind’s destruction. I am not the fear I have carried for decades. Those things no more belong to me as the rain belongs to the grass.

Emotions are teachers. They show us what matters to us. They show us where our lives are calling to us to take action. When we listen to them, experience them without identifying with them, we can choose how to use their energy for the good.

It’s a trick I’d love to learn. I’m not sure where to start. For now, I’m sitting with that fear and the anger and the joy, trying to remember that I am me, and it is just weather. Just a typical English day.

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  1. Jane Winter said,

    11 May, 2013 @ 6:30 pm

    Thank you! As has happened spookily often before, this was exactly what I needed to read, exactly now.

  2. hilde said,

    11 May, 2013 @ 6:34 pm

    Hi Jane. Glad you liked it.
    As I just said on the Facebook page: I think there might be weather in our collective evolution as well.

  3. Liz said,

    12 May, 2013 @ 7:17 am

    Didn’t know about the rhino … sad news

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