My timeline is full of images of love and flowers and frolics and maypoles as many celebrate Beltain.
I want to talk about fire.
In 2005, the Beltain fires chose to burn away everything I was, and most of what I had accumulated until that point – home, marriage, friendships, the lot, all very quickly. That metaphorical bushfire allowed a whole new (very beautiful) forest to grow, but I had to sit in the black wasteland it caused for some time.
Some of what I lost in that fire has not yet been replaced. I still mourn some of it.
Many major life changes for me have happened as Spring returns and I emerge from the dark into clarity and action.
In 1993 I suffered a loss and the worst of winters, and finally put roots down in the UK through the summer that followed, moved forward with my art (and through it my whole life) – and ditched the belief that happiness lay in the arms of another person. That particular emerging from winter taught me that I could always move into the sun. Always.
In 1990 I moved here to the UK, switching Autumn for Spring overnight and leaving a long awaited love 6000 miles behind me.
In 2015 as Keith started chemo and the long process of dying, just as life was springing up all around him – and I began the journey to the person I am now, in many ways unrecognisable from who I was before I walked him right up to the point where nobody could follow.
These waypoints are visible to me like scorch marks on my life’s map as something new begins.
Each year as the wheel turns to this time, I feel that fire. I stand before it now.
Beltain is not just about life and lovemaking – it is the opposite and equal festival to Samhain and is also about death.
It is a clearing away.
It can be powerful and painful and it can burn you – just like the act of love itself.
New life requires that some things must die.
New life requires risk, and loss, and pain. The price of life is blood, mess – and stepping into the fire.
Life is woven through with the greatest Mystery – that all that lives must fall, that all that falls rises again, that nothing is still or unchanging, ever.
Blessed be the fire.
Blessed be the wheel that turns.
Blessed be the change, the chaos and the constant motion that is life.
Beltain blessings to my friends in the North, Samhain blessings to those in the South