Bluebell Woods

Beltane Blessings

Beltane stands between Spring and Summer. Between the season of Air and Fire. We all know what strong winds can do to flames! It is this whipped up energy that is all around us now and we may be finding it very hard to handle.

The celebration of Beltane coincides with the blooming of the mayflowers on the hawthorn. This is the signal that the nights are warmer and the frost has gone. However, it has been a particularly cold spring this year and the mayflower buds are still wrapped in their green sepals, waiting. No ‘casting of clouts’ just yet then.

All this is giving rise to a kind of paradox within us. With the longer, lighter days we have the urge to ‘get out and do’. Yet with the cold and Covid restrictions, we still feel the need to stay in and huddle near the radiator. No wonder so many of us are feeling confused and frustrated.

What do we do with all these pent up emotions? In the news we read that, for many, it is overflowing into a more physical form of expression, even acts of violence. This can lead to much distress and discord within our communities. There may be the odd occasion when an expression of violence makes a point that needs to be made, but those occasions are extremely rare. Usually, an expression of violence or anger just rebounds right back at us, often with more strength than it was sent. Far better to find a way of using the energy more effectively.

Firstly, we need to acknowledge it, own it. We must not think of detrimental emotions as ‘bad’ energy. There is no such thing in Nature, energy is only bad if we chose to use it that way. Next we need to find a way of channelling it that is appropriate for us.

For me, a long walk in the woods and a deep talk with the trees is the perfect solution. After a while, I can stop and listen, let the peace enfold me. Quite often one tree in particular will feel as though it is beckoning me over. I sit with my back to its trunk and let the tension of my ‘issue’ roll down my back and into the ground. Nature knows how to handle it. What I am left with is perspective. Once the emotion is gone, I can start to see the solution.

This is a beautiful time of year for a walk in the woods. The beech trees are just beginning to open their copper spears to reveal lime green leaves. The woodland floor is covered with flowers making the most of this additional light. White wood anemones are mingling with the vibrancy of the bluebells. It is hard to stay emotionally pent up when we are surrounded by so much beauty. This is Nature’s way of expressing Beltane energy.

Out there in nature, we see that life is moving on as it always does – and so it will for us. I am sure that, like me, you have future dates in your diary for meeting up with friends not seen in a while, or for a family break perhaps by the sea.

If we need to find something positive to take from this long period of lockdown, we can think about how it has helped us to focus on the importance of friends and places we hold as special. Let us remember this with gratitude when we are reunited.