September 2021 to March 2022 (Elders Weaving in the Woods – Samhain to Equinox)
With Storms Dudley and Eunice forecast, we accepted the invitation from the Pear Tree to shelter there for this Thursday. Guess what we talked of? Wind of course, and how it affects us.
Shona set up a table of the elements, a candle replacing our fire, a cup of water, a feathery grass for air, and a piece of wood covered with moss for earth. We had the help of the Pear Trees wonderful volunteers Suzie, Lindsey and Jane, together with our own Lesley.
Amoral set the scene with a poem by Spike Milligan
Through every nook and every crannySpike Milligan Granny
The wind blew in on poor old Granny
Around her knees, into each ear
(And up nose as well, I fear)
How was the wind for us? Unsettling, enlivening?
– Living in a static van with huge trees around, I did wonder how safe I was, and while comforting the dog (who was fine) I knew I was comforting myself.
Reminds me of our weekend caravan under a great oak which shed acrons and rattle above us
– The mistral in the south of France effects people so much they forbid major surgery when it blows. (And murders then are called Mistral Murders, acknowledging the power of the wind to drive people mad)
– It plays its own music, especially as i live in an old house which rattles and groans in the wind and will the chimney stand up to it? It has for 400 years.
– I hate wind, it makes me nervous and jumpy.
– It is a threat. Reminds me of when I lived on a house boat, when the tide was in and the wind blew, there was always much to do to fasten things down, burst into action. I felt the same last night and said to myself, it’s alright, I live in a house now.
– The dog and I curled up on the sofa with some gentle music playing and an astronomical image on the TV, until we woke up in the early hours of the morning, wondering where we were!
– Wind makes me feel alive, and the goblins in my mind disappear.
– It sounds like the sea, the wind in the trees.
– On the Island of Harris with no trees, I had to look at the grass to see the expression of wind. In the wood, I looked up and saw the amazing swaying of the great ash, and marvelled at the plasticity of trees.
– It is humbling: however far technology progresses, it is nothing compared to the power of nature. I remember in the storm of 89, when we had to evacuate the school, and I went back for something, and just after the school roof blew off!
– The force of wind when walking on the beach, blows away all the cobwebs.
Inside we had the luxury of no boot Tai Chi, Chi Gong. N took us through the subtle move of one foot to the other, the emptying and filling of weight from one to the other.
Tai Chi sounds with our breath. We connected with our lungs, letting out grief and sorrow and welcoming in courage; our liver, where we let out anger and welcomed in openness and kindness; and our heart, where we paid attention to opening our hearts and sending love to our broken hearts.
We created a strong Earth within us, which can support the opening of our heart.
This was a cosmic dance – not an exercise!
Outside we walked to view the facade of the Patrick Stead hospital a building we walk or drive past, and some of us enter occassionally. Here we had a chance to look at it, in the sunshine, see it’s detail, it’s year, windows, bass-relief at the top
Back inside, a randomly found book, describing the Patrick Stead hospital, attempted to answer the question we all wanted to know, what prompted the gift? It was a glorious list of all the trades in Halesworth at the time, including straw bonnet makers, basket makers, and an animal portrait painter.
N, with great personal sacrifice of dignity, then donned an apron, and gave us a demonstration of Neti, the cleansing of the nasal passages. Jala Neti is an ancient yogic cleansing technique. It entails pouring lukewarm saline water through the nasal passages. It’s not only easy but highly effective. This helps combat seasonal allergies, sinusitis, improves clarity, alertness, sense of smell and brings about a sense of lightness in general.
At the end John said the day was good to connect and be with people – It’s all I need.
And Martyn’s reminded us that when we come to the woods next, how it will have changed, for change is rapid now and it will be 2 weeks.
Sept 30 – Introductions
Oct 7 – Weaving and Dyeing
Oct 14 – Dyeing and conkers
Oct 21 – Dyeing and drawing
Oct 31 Samhain Sunday
Nov 4 Leaf letting go
Nov 11 EARTH
Nov 18 AIR
Nov 25 WATER
Dec 2 FIRE
Dec 9 WOOD (crafting
Dec 16 (Solstice)
Jan 6 Stories – story of an object
Jan 13 Stories – His-Herstory
Jan 20 Stories – Tree Stories
Jan 27 Stories – More Tree Stores
Feb 3 Stories – Pear Tree gathering
Feb 10 Stories – Words with Dean
Feb 17 Stories – Wind and Patrick Stead
Mar 7 (Equinox)
GET IN TOUCH
Shona, Kally and Rachel are keen for you to get in touch with us.
Supported and sponsored by:
COVID-19 Engaged Communities Fund (Suffolk CC)