Hope and wonder

At this darkest time of the year, I feel empty. Taken apart piece by piece, and scoured clean. After four months, I am still in pain, and many things that I once identified myself by are gone. I feel suspended, hanging by a single thread. Waiting for the tide to turn, for the light to return at the Solstice.

Back in August, I was City Lit’s long serving Dutch tutor. Now I’m not teaching Dutch for the first time in sixteen years, and may never do so again. Back then, I was not in top notch condition, but my body was not stopping me from doing things. Now I have been unable to work for months. Then, I had a part-time office job and felt useful. Now they’re coping just fine without me. Then, I had this belief that my spirits would heal me, and I would never need anything like antidepressants. Now I’m taking just that, hoping it will help with the physical pain.

Bit by bit, my image of myself has been taken apart. I’ve been reduced to the bare bones. What is left is not what you would expect.

Long ago, on a hill in Ireland, my Goddess whispered to me: “I am your bones.” What is left, after all the things that have been taken away, is just that: my connection to the Divine and to the Web of all life. And the threads of connection sing all the clearer because there is little in the way. I find myself, sitting with that emptiness, discovering that it is full of hope and wonder.

The wonder comes from the thought that I am not alone, and I don’t have to somehow wow all the people with my own personal uniqueness and gifts. My own gifts are only contributions in a great web of co-operation and support that makes up this world. My devotion to Spirit and the words that flow from it are like apples that come from trees and feed people. And the tree, at the same time, is supported by Earth, rain, and sunlight. It couldn’t make apples without those things.

I have come to realise that, if I want to speak words of power in this world, and make a difference, I need to do it within that network of support from the Earth, the Ancestors, the Gods, and my extended tribe of friends and loved ones. I am not alone, and I’m not supposed to be. I am a part of All That Is. That is a source of both wonder and power.

The hope is fragile, and it comes from a few sources. On a personal level, I have every hope that I will be healthy again. It may take some time and some doing, and I may always have to be careful about my health, but there is nothing sinister wrong with me. I will be fine. I will be able to work towards what I see as my life’s work.

Some time this week, our purchase of Westacre will be complete. My husband and I are intending to move to this house on the Staffordshire border with Shropshire and make it our home. Our eco-friendly, future-proof, seriously insulated home. My dream is to run a small spiritual retreat centre there, with courses, workshops and personalised retreats. Today is Westacre Day minus 366 – one year before the Big Adventure starts. So many hopes and plans. I’m both scared and excited.

I also have hope for this world. I really do believe we have a chance to dream a new dream at this time. So many now are realising that the way we are living in this world is not working. People are seeing the damage we are doing to our planet, our communities and ourselves by pursuing this quest for perpetual growth. Now is the time to dream up and implement something new. I am hopeful because so many people are standing up and saying so. Like the Occupy movement. Like Tim Harris, eco-warrior, poet and dragonwalker, a member of my OBOD tribe. Like Abigail Borah, who interrupted the Climate Change Conference earlier this month, speaking the truth.

So here I am. Waiting in that pause between one breath and the next. Empty. But at the same time full of hope and wonder about what is next. Waiting for the in-breath. It will come.

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  1. Liz Cruse said,

    22 December, 2011 @ 12:45 am

    Keep your courage Hilde – there are others with you as you see x

  2. Jane Jay said,

    22 December, 2011 @ 8:47 am

    Pain does wear you down and especially when no reason can be found as to why. I read your post with great interest, and if anyone needed an example that one person is no more important than any one else, it is there in your post and all around us, if we care to look. I am sad to see your posts go from up beat and full of determination, to ones of despair and depression, but I can fully understand why. I would love you to email me, as I may have an answer as to why they can’t find your problem. Look forward to hearing from you.

  3. hilde said,

    22 December, 2011 @ 10:39 am

    Dear Jane,
    If you think this is a post of depression, I must have done something wrong. Because to me it is exactly what the title says: hope and wonder. Yes, this is hard, and not as yet medically explained, but somehow it feels like a journey of beauty. It’s a shame if I didn’t manage to convey that in my post.
    To be clear: in this case the antidepressants are there to raise my pain threshold, as an alternative to opiate based pain killers, not to treat depression.
    Thank you for your offer of an answer. I and my guiding spirits have our own thoughts on this. For now, I choose to stick with those.
    Blessing of the returning light,

  4. Selkie Field said,

    23 December, 2011 @ 2:11 pm

    Dear Hilde,

    I am so excited for you and your husband. You will be near to cornoii grove. Briar is Grove Mother and Keith chef. So if you contact them and asked if you could join us. It will be lovely to see you. I will be lighting a heal candle and will pray for you, not for the pain, but for the aventage you are going on. I understand where you are coming from, because i when thought something similar to this. Much love and light to you and husband. love selkie xxxxxx

  5. hilde said,

    23 December, 2011 @ 5:55 pm

    Thank you, Selkie. It will be another year before we move to Cornovii land, though. There is money still to be saved and detailed plans to make for the renovation. But I do know there will be many members of Tribe nearby, and that makes it a lot less scary! Thank you for your prayers. They’re much appreciated. xx

  6. Grace Lloyd said,

    1 January, 2012 @ 4:59 pm

    Dear Hilde,
    This sounds absolutely amazing! Wishing you and Alex all the very best with Westacre. Our biggest regrets in life are usually the things we didn’t do, not the things we did. Hurrah for your wonderful adventure!
    Much love
    Grace xxx

  7. hilde said,

    1 January, 2012 @ 11:12 pm

    Hi Grace,
    So lovely to hear from you. And thanks for the good wishes. Happy New Year to you and Derwen and your extended families. xxx

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