What happy memories I have of long summer holidays when I was a child. We lived on the edge of a town, bordering open fields with countryside views as far as the eye could see. How I longed to be old enough and strong enough to walk the country lane leading up to the farm which framed the view at the top of the hill. I was desperate to see what lay on the other side! Memories of hazy days making daisy chains or running through the fields of barley almost as tall as I; of making up games to play with friends and staying out all day only returning home to eat. We delight in all of nature when we’re children, don’t we? It’s sad that we leave behind this innocent joy when we get older and feel the huge societal pressure to become more sensible. I sometimes think that as we “grow up” in stature we “grow down” in our connection with the natural world. I can still clearly visualize these childhood memories––long walks along the beach, tiny frames buffeted by Atlantic winds; the pungent smell of silage being spread on fields, an aroma so strong it seemed to stick to our lungs; walking barefoot on grass and hot tarmac. When was the last time most of us walked barefoot on grass? It felt delicious. We’d be too worried about bacteria now!
This season is the time of growth. Spring’s heady enthusiasm and shoots of joy mellow now into a maturation of life, infused with the heady sights, smells and sounds of summer. Light grows daily in intensity and length. The haze of summer seems palpable at times, as if we could reach out and touch the aromatic “scentsations” which surround us. I am so blessed to live near to a meadow full of wild flowers and grasses, munched in turn by horses or deer. Even watching it from my window fills me with joy and lifts even the lowest mood. I may have passed the summer of my physical and mental life (I would describe myself as most definitely autumnal!) but spiritually I’m in summer. Deeper meditation, a willingness to help others and a determination to reform myself of bad habits and negative ways of thinking have all contributed to this more rounded awareness of the reality of life on Earth and our role within it. Summer sunlight at its strongest enables all life to flourish. Similarly, spiritual enlightenment enables our inner light to grow, and importantly, to then be shared with others, as if poured over them like a healing salve.
Let summer’s words pour over and through you now, uplifting body, mind and spirit. From “The Beautiful Goodbye”, a heartfelt remembrance of a dream visitation; celebratory poems of love, marriage, friendship; verse about summer storms, since I know that summer’s heat and beauty is tempered with threatening storms. “The Storm’s Coming” is one such poem. I wrote this sitting in the car parked outside a garage, waiting for my husband. The sky was growing darker and more ominous as the minutes ticked loudly past; a flagpole to my left insistently clinked against its supporting pole; the air, which moments earlier had seemed to envelop all life in a warm, hazy shimmer, now suffocated and throbbed. Tension was increasing, and I could almost feel the sparks of energy in the atmosphere. I knew the storm was coming and was in awe of the power of mother nature.
I love this duality about life on earth: light v. dark; storm v. calm; ignorance v. wisdom and so on. Each thought, emotion and habit has its opposite. For example, if we have never experienced what it is to be anxious, how would we really know what it was to be at peace? I’ve found this duality to be true in so many areas of my life. Like all of us, we need to go through challenges and trials in order to grow and be rewarded with a renewed appreciation of the good things in life, which we may previously have taken for granted.
Anita Neilson is an author, spiritual poet, blogger and podcaster in her native Scotland. Her interests include daily meditation, spiritual reading, baking and nature walks. A graduate in 3 modern languages, she travelled, lived and worked in Europe before careers in commerce and education in Scotland. She now writes for many mind, body spirit and chronic illness publications. Anita's latest book, Soul Murmurs, a collection of spiritual poetry and prose arranged around the seasons, is published by O Books, July 26th, 2019. For all social media links (including Healingwords blog, IG, fb, YouTube & Podcast) visit https://linktr.ee/healingwordsblog
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