Despite the background noise of gloomy punditry, a sense of peace and hope overshadowed every day and night of the Christmas period here in the Cambrian Mountains, perhaps into your world too. It was and continues to be a remarkable space and time.
For much of the time a mizzling mist hung in the moist mild air that was part of the gift we were given, encouraging the return of the Celtic rainforest that once prevailed in these regions. Because human interference is minimal, mosses and lichens are able to creep undisturbed up the trunks and along the gnarled branches of the old oak trees that are the remnants of a great ancient oak forest that covered these lands, while the old stones that litter the ground, reminders of glacial activity and of when this place was covered by sea water, are green with age and by nature. It is extraordinary what happens when natural life is left alone.
The sense of ancient past and timelessness is accompanied, meanwhile, by signs of renewal as this temperate damp climate is welcomed by plant life. Hedgerows are bursting into leaf and buds are appearing on shrubs and trees, waiting cheerfully for the return of a warm sun. It is a time of hope and anticipation, for all of us, and the message from nature is strong and reassuring: “All is well.”
For us, this new year will be one of revelation as well as renewal, and it may not be comfortable from time to time. Just as a tree may lose its leaves in order to grow anew and even stronger, renewal for us often means destruction in order to rebuild and start again. It can be the loss of beliefs, of trust, of material objects and even of life, and it can come about as a result of our own actions or more indirectly through other people, or spiritual forces like Gaia.
How we handle such events is another test for us: do we succumb to inertia or self-pity, or see change as an opportunity to create and grow? Grief, even, can teach us much and make us stronger.
Revelation will feature strongly in this new year, and it is revelation that may cause us to question our assumptions and even our values. For some of us it will destroy our faith in the accepted pillars of life, such as aspects of politics and science, of developments in technology and finance, even of religion. People and bodies that we have been taught to respect almost without question will be found to be frail, and they may fall from grace painfully. Some of the new truth will be shocking, and the cover up even more so.
It will be important, in order to allow liberation and renewal, for us to ensure vested interests do not perpetuate misinformation or replace revelation with new lies, and this may mean demanding the end of cancel culture and the right to peaceful freedom of speech on social media and elsewhere. The battle for personal liberty may be hard.
Revelation leading to renewal will be a good outcome, even though we may feel a little weary from it all by the end of the year. In low times to come, you may wish to remember the constant and infinite resurrection of nature, and that she is our messenger of hope.