We have all had those moments when it seems like we are lost in our own darkness. Having struggled with depression for most of my life, I have learned to fight my way through the tangles and snarls of vines that depression seems to lay along the floors of the forests of life….or so I thought. Over the past couple of months, I have been making my way through those forests…plodding out trails…hacking through the vines, only to find myself at the beginning of the trail I had started, wandering aimlessly like a man lost in his own thoughts with all the monsters that he has created keeping a steady pace behind him.
I couldn’t even seem to avoid these battles in sleep. The moment my head would hit the pillow, dreams of battles and terror and anxiety would invade the calm that I tried to manipulate into being before lying down. I found myself becoming edgier and angrier because there was no rest to be had. It was easier when people around me asked how I was to reply with a short, curt “Fine. Hope everything is ok with you.”
Yesterday morning, I got up really early and retreated to the woods. Inside the house, I have no escape. Every room is full with humans or animals at every minute. I can’t even take a long hot bath anymore without someone knocking on the door, asking me where something is. There is no silence. It is broken by the sounds of barking or meowing or a television blaring….so I go to the woods. I sneaked Friz out of the kennel…away from the eyes of the other pets. I gathered my cloak and backpack (for some reason, I have come to think if I wear my cloak, I can’t be seen).
We got into what I think of as the middle of the woods…I know that they go on farther, but this is the center of my woods. I set everything in the place that I feel it needs to go, and I face-plant in the dirt Friz curls underneath my cloak…and there we stayed for a while. By a while, I mean that we were there from about 6:30am until around 10:30am. Just a face-plant…no rituals, no wand-wielding…just a face-plant.
Even in the midst of that beauty, I felt lost. As I went through the rest of the day, everything that could happen….did. I even went as far as to doubt where my relationship with my partner stood. It is funny to me how the universe around us has a way of knocking us out of self-pity. To side-track my partner and I from an argument….we had a dishwasher that burned a hole in its own bottom….we had a pup that became a living, breathing diarrhea machine. We had to stop, pull ourselves away from ourselves and concentrate on other things and animals around us.
I went to sleep last night completely exhausted wondering where the magick was in this magickal life. I hadn’t been asleep hardly anytime before I felt pressure on my side of the bed. I can’t tell you if it was a dream or reality….those lines were blurred. I looked up and saw a familiar face. It was the face of Jim…my partner who had died many years ago. He looked at me and my partner. He quietly smiled and began to stroke the side of my head and cheek. Jim looked at me frankly and said to me, “When are you going to stop trying to see in the dark? Everytime you try, you end up stumbling over yourself. Why don’t you try walking in the lighted part of life around you?” He told me about a bush that I had taken a picture of yesterday. It is called a beauty berry bush. The leaves are such a vibrant chartreuse that I got caught up in that coloring. Jim said to me, “That bush isn’t named for the leaves. You looked right at it and were so overtaken with the color of the leaves that you didn’t look past them and see the berries. The berries are where the bush got its name. It is the bright, brilliant purple berry that makes that bush stand out. You think you have no place to run and hide when you are feeling like this…..STOP running and hiding. You will never defeat something while you are running from it. Face it head on….run directly into it with the intent to make it run.”
I woke up feeling rested, even though it felt like I had been up all night talking. I know the veil is thin this time of year….I just never knew that it could be like that. You feel that sense of comfort, but you also feel like you have been whopped up side the head. I put on my crocs and went to where I had seen the beauty berry bush. I picked a leaf and a stem of berries to dry for my book of shadows…my book of remembrance. Sometimes it only takes something small to remind us of the love and energy that surrounds us on a daily basis. Sometimes it takes that which only magick can supply to show us who we are in the grand scheme of things.
Yes, I am still fighting through….but I am fighting. The sword is drawn and the shield is up. I am winning. I will come forth stronger and more powerful because of it.
“You know that place between sleep and awake, that place where you still remember dreaming? That’s where I’ll always love you, Peter Pan. That’s where I’ll be waiting.”