When fall and winter set in and the long dark days see my mood matching, I am hesitant to admit to being SADD. I don't want to attribute my feelings and capacity to deal with them as being hinged on the length of days or the weather. I worry that if I let the weather be such a significant indicator, that in some sick twist of depression playing dominant, the spring and summer will return, as they always do, but without emotional reprieve.
But here we are, Beltane, a time of year that my ancestors surely celebrated with big bonfires, orgies in the forests and ritualistic dances around the pole. Spring is horny as fuck and is coming all around us. Baby animals are popping out of every corner. Here in the country all the attention is being drawn to buds, seedlings, bottle lambs, brooder huts, and big changes; in the temperatures, colours that surround us and the length of days.
Since moving out here I have started exploring this practice of travelling in space (an idea which I can credit to Ricardo Hubbs). The Earth travels around our big star Sun and we watch our Moon wax and wane and shift where it shows itself in the sky. I have started to get to know these patterns, knowing when to expect to see the full moon rise over the hill. I start having a rough sense of when springs in the mountainside will bubble and burst before disappearing back into mysterious underground realms. I notice and start to know when the buds will emerge, how they close in the evening preparing for mountain harsh cold nights and where on the land to find the last piece to balance a vase of fresh cuts for the mantle.
I can putter and wander and observe for hours at this time of year. The damp cold has backed off for the day times, and my layers peel off, necessitating an evening harvest of hoodies and scarves as the sun dips into the valhallas. The days are almost long enough that the suns last dip of the day will be a tease. The tip of Mt Dag, sharp like a ramp kids make to jump their bikes, plays hide-and-seek with the solstice high sun for a few minutes before letting them out to dance a last dance on sun hungry gardeners (not likely to stop just because the sun has gone).
I won't say that my darkness has departed, as an almost ever present aspect of my life, it holds a comfort. An attempt to hold me in something I know, I have spent the winter nesting and tending to pain of the heart and body. The doom is present in my heart and mind and evident in the world around me. Hearts break on the daily. Ever growing numbers of young black folks being killed by cops. More indigenous women disappear all the time. People starve while working themselves to death producing food for those that can afford it. Folks die from treatable illnesses due to the corporate greed of drug companies hoarding knowledge and patenting tradition. And more and more of the earths old blood, her deep, dark, energy rich crude forced out of every possible vein and peeled and pumped out to fuel the out of control machine of global trade. When I allow myself to sit with these things and learn more, explore my own misconceptions and prejudices; when I spend evenings sitting on the front steps, watching planets, stars and spaceships travel across the sky, chatting with beloveds of the horrors we live amongst it can all feel like a bit much.
The desire to crawl back into bed, self medicate into a numb state of sedentary self distance and disappear into story is strong. I can't deny the desire to watch something on a screen wherein good wins, a tale as old as time, told in the medium of this one. Something where the dichotomy of good and bad can be simplified just enough, or where someone else has the plan about what to do next. Some one else is instigating the rebellion, or it's already been happening long enough to have a recognizable movement. Familiar enough to serve as a salve to the current and real wounds of trauma and current events, but far enough away to not pull all the scabs off.
And I look back out the window to see poppy fronds bursting and building their chlorophyl catching nests preparing for their big pink and red flowers. I see the lilacs, just about to burst, swollen and getting more purple everyday. I see birds having a hay-day, and watch the bees bustle between the buds. I see the grass attempting to encroach on my garden and more piles of brush begging to be planted as hugelkulture beds. I hear the calls of the fiddle heads and the nettle and the horsetail telling me to come and gather their medicines. I see places that were once buildings and garbage dumps overcome with bursting life.
I know the story I am looking for - the one that comes after the dark painful winter that capitalism and colonialism has cast on the world. I dream of cities that have been re-consumed by the environments they attempted to dominate. I must hold on to the belief that this depression can lift. That there is life and love and a victory of spring waiting in the wings, building to burst. I feel a gratitude to get to hold story in this time. I've always found home in the inbetweens, and here we are.