It’s hot. In fact, my part of the country has had record-breaking temperatures, including the hottest temperature ever recorded in the UK…ever. On a broader scale, the world is on fire. Literally, there are fires raging from the Amazon to the Arctic. This is the new normal, this is climate change revealed, and it’s scary stuff.
This isn’t going to be a post about how awful things are. My heart is too broken right now to write about how to cope in an age of destruction, to be a Druid in a world being killed. There will be time for that, there will be time to mourn and time to fight, but not today, not for me.
As someone who naturally isn’t built for heat and prefers, say, Norway in November, it’s been a challenge. I’ve spent much of the summer hiding inside, unable to use the long days to explore nature as much as I would have liked.
But even in this heatwave, the Wheel of the Year turns. A bit lopsided on it’s axle perhaps, but it turns all the same. I saw the first flying V of Canada geese coming overhead the other day, always the first welcome sign of Autumn approaching. I love them and greet them as old friends.
Sometimes Autumn is seen as a time of quieting down, reducing activity and spending more time in contemplation. It isn’t that for me. For one thing, I work for a university, and Autumn means the new academic year, new students, new teaching, new things to plan and hectic activity. For another, the summer heat had me wilted, unmotivated and lethargic. Autumn’s promise of cooler temperatures, and maybe even blessed rain, means I can be more comfortable outdoors again, without feeling like I’m about to melt or pass out.
Autumn is for me the busy time, the time of greatest productivity, the time of new beginnings and new adventures. It’s no wonder to me that Samhain in October is seen as the Celtic new year in some traditions. It seems natural that as the intensity of summer fades, we look ahead to a new start.
So here I sit, in what is hopefully the last heatwave of the summer, awaiting Autumn, and with it a new energy, one of healing and cooling, of breath and respite as the earth exhales.