It’s a lovely warm, winter’s eve tonight – the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere. As of late, the air has that aroma of cold, that delightful mix of decaying leaves with a hint of woodsmoke in the breeze. Unfortunately, the winter chill often brings clouds over Melbourne’s skies, so I can’t see the lovely full moon tonight or the stars. It’s just me on the porch and the rustle of leaves in the garden as the wind glides by.
I have to admit I’m feeling a little lonely tonight. The solstices always feel like big moments to me – you know, something to celebrate – and it feels funny to be having a winter solstice when I would normally be having a summer solstice. I’m aching for sticky, long days that wind into warm nights, drunk on the perfume of flowers and grass, every part of the world bursting to reproduce. Hot sun on your face, pale beers in the cooler, and outdoor adventures in every direction.
It’s not that cold really, but it’s a different kind of energy here. Everyone is turning in, bedding down, closing their doors and cuddling up. It’s a nice moment though, and there are plenty of pot lucks, yoga workshops, and craft classes to get stuck into. I guess I just feel a little disjointed. And that makes me feel disconnected.
And then I reach out for a connection, but the times are all wrong and people are living their own lives off in the northern hemisphere, lives that I am not so much a part of anymore. It makes it hard to feel connected again, to get that energy back.
Sometimes, I think, I just need a little validation. I just need someone to recognise the work I’m doing out here to set up my life again and tell me I am doing a good job. And I go about asking for that and can’t find it and then I get frustrated. How can I provide that for myself?
The song “Hunter” by Aldous Harding came on my mix this week. It’s a sweet, fiddle-infused tune with a beautiful poem for lyrics that repeat:
He’s a hunter, he’s a good man,
Be brave when he brings you nothing home.
We look for other people to provide for us, expect them to bring us the nourishment we need, but people, even the people that love of us the most, can’t always deliver, especially in trying times or over long distances. We’re all doing the best we can with what we have. Be brave.
I’ve been trying to think about ways to nourish myself and make myself feel more connected. Doing a good job seems to be a fundamental part of my self-value, which unfortunately feels like it depends a lot on the opinions and approval of others. But I also feel that “good job feeling” when I do something I am proud of in and of itself, like making something creative. Connection is something I often get from a few close people, but I feel it too when surrounded by the beauty of the world. I think this speaks to being outside in beautiful places.
This week, I’m going to try to put aside more time for creativity and more nature time. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Also, if you have not checked out the incredible Flickr archive of Nasa’s images of the moon, you should go now.