Impermanence, death, winter and nature.
“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.”
Photo dedicated in memory of NIKOtheOrb, RIP.
The first day of November heralded for the Celts the start of the new year, for my ancient ancestors considered that the world began from the darkness. This is now the twelfth day of winter, everything is dark and cold, the land of Britain is falling asleep. The trees cast off their leaves, the hedgehog that visited my garden has vanished into hibernation.
I am reminded at this time of the tale of Lludd and Llevelys, a Celtic story of a king that I argue was ruler of Colchester because he was brother to Cassivellaunus who was said to have historically seized Colchester prompting Julius Caesar to invade Britain, and in legend to have seized the throne of Britain from his brother. In this story at the start of winter an invisible thief charms everyone to sleep then steals the food and drink of the people, prompting Lludd to call in help from his wise brother Llevelys. The story highlights the Celtic worldview that death and winter is merely a transformation, nothing dies, everything becomes invisible and asleep, before re-emerging awake and visible. The invisible thief is that aspect of nature that is death and winter, the land is now asleep, and the abundant food I used to forage until a few weeks ago has vanished.
This invisible thief has hurt me in recent weeks by making invisible… stealing… those things and people I cared about. I was devastated when the “Castle Tree” was wiped out by storm St Jude on 28th October. Now I learn that a blogger, a kindred spirit called Nikotheorb died on 21st October, the day they made three blog posts, and who I last exchanged comments with on 16th October on Liberated Way. Niko’s blog posts and their comments on my blog was a source of influence and encouragement to my blogging. I do not know how Niko died, but I grieve at this news, like parts of me are vanishing into nothingness.
Objectively I recognise in nature there is impermanence, everything is change and transformation. Things and people appear and go out of existence every moment in nature. I write this, Helix the cat has jumped upon the table to investigate an interesting smell, unusual for this cat… everything in motion… the cat is cleaning itself and now settling down to sleep on its interesting new “blanket”… I remember Helix as a little kitten… in years to come it will grow old and pass on…
Like my ancestors I recognise that death is not an ending, but a transformation from one state to another. What is invisible and asleep will emerge again into visibility and wakefulness. The warm days will return, the darkness and cold will flee, the land will awaken into abundant visibility at some point. For everything and everyone death is a change in state, visible to invisible to visible again.
The last post of Niko was about her delight of a thunderstorm. My post on 22nd October after Niko’s passing is my own joy of nature. The cat Helix watches me as I post these last words, a reminder of the moment, to enjoy life whilst we can, each beautiful moment. Helix goes to sleep. The final post by Niko was a quote by Einstein:
“Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
Tears as I finish… a little cat sleeps next to my laptop in innocent bliss.